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Floaters and Flashes

What are floaters and flashes?

Flashes are described as a bright flash of light that occurs spontaneously. A flash is related to the vitreous trying to detach from the retina. Each flash that is seen by an individual is correlated to a tug on the retina by the vitreous. Flashes are commonly evident with individuals that have floaters or who are highly myopic. Floaters are particles that agglutinate together in the vitreous and cast shadows on the retina.

These particles form when the vitreous starts to liquefy and contract. Floaters are seen as small spots, cobwebs, or spiders. A floater is a common condition unless it is accompanied by flashes or a ‘’shower” of particles. Both of these conditions are commonly seen in the aging process of the eye, but sometimes it may signify that there is a retinal tear or retinal detachment.

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