Eye Floaters and Flashes Explained

Eye Floaters and Flashes Explained

Eye floaters and eye flashes are conditions of the eye that many people are highly disturbed and concerned about. The truth is, floaters and flashes are a common thing that people experience but it should not be taken lightly. Here’s everything you need to know about eye floaters and flashes and what you can do to protect your vision.

What Are Floaters And Flashes?

If you begin to experience eye floaters, you may be concerned about it, but it is something that is very common. Floaters are entirely normal to experience but should be looked at by an eye care professional when they happen all of a sudden. If you see these small grey or black spots/shapes/forms that appear in front of your vision, you are probably experiencing floaters.

Flashes on the other hand are different. They can be described as a split-second bright white flash. They are often described as “lightning bolts” and can look like arcs or small streaks across your vision if they come very quickly.

What Are The Causes?

Most of the time, floaters and flashers are both caused by normal age-related changes in your eye. As we age, the vitreous which is the gel structure that fills the back of the eye, turns from into liquid. Due to gravity and aging this gel structure found in the back of the eyes separates into small pieces. The reason why we see these black spots is because of these small gel pieces (which casts shadows impeding light from hitting the retina in the back of the eye). That is usually the cause of floaters.

Flashes on the other hand are an indication when something is pulling/tugging on the retina. Floaters usually lead up to a person experiencing flashes in time, but it is not the only cause.

Floaters/flashes can be signs of posterior vitreous detachment, in which the vitreous separates from the back of the eye. This usually happens around the age of 50 and is usually a painless experience that a person does not notice.

Many people experience this condition and never develop complications. In fact, most symptoms subside within a couple months. It is important to watch out for retinal tears or detachment as this is a serious problem. If your floaters or flashes begin to worsen overtime, or you experience new floaters & flashes, visit your optometrist or eye care professional immediately so they can make sure there is no retinal breaks at the back of the eye.

If you are experiencing eye floaters or flashes visit Dr. D’Orio Eyecare today! Our professional vision experts are here to help you! Call us at 416 661 5555 (North York) or 416 656 2020 (Toronto) to book an appointment!



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