What Are Floaters and Flashes?

Floaters and flashes are common occurences, and many people experience them over the course of their lives. In most cases, these are not serious vision issues, but sometimes they can signal a bigger problem. That’s why it’s important to consult your eye doctor should you notice any changes in your vision.

Floaters are small bits of matter that become noticeable occasionally in your field of vision. they may look like small specks or sometimes like little strings or even microscopic organisms. Floaters are often made up of material left over from when the eye was formed. They can also be caused by deterioration of vitreous fluid or by injuries.

People may notice floaters more if viewing a light background, or with bright illumination. Sometimes, they can be in an individual’s field of vision and go unnoticed.

Flashes are bursts of light that appear in the field of vision. They may be quick or appear as extended bursts. Unlike floaters, which are typically visible in bright light, flashes tend to occur in in low-light or dark situations.

Again, both floaters and flashes are common, and many people experience them. They are usually not causes for concern.

However–if you begin seeing floaters or flashes as a sudden change in your vision, then consult an eye care professional immediately. Flashes can sometimes signal vitreous collapse, a condition where the vitreous begins to pull away from the retina, which is an extremely serious, vision-threatening condition.  If floaters begin appearing more frequently, especially after an eye injury, then see your eye doctor immediately.

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have about your vision, and it’s important to schedule regular vision examinations so any issues can be identified early–and treated before they become bigger problems.

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