What are flashes and floaters?
You may sometimes see small specks, lines, or clouds moving in your field of vision. When these are inside of your eye, they are called floaters. These can develop when the vitreous (a gel-like substance that fills the middle of the eye between the lens and the retina) degenerates or detaches. Floaters are usually due to tiny clumps of cells or connective tissue moving within your eye.
When the retina is irritated or disturbed, you may see what look like flashes or streaks of light. This can happen occasionally as people age.
If the retina develops a tear or a detachment, you may see a shower of floaters and flashes.
Ask The Doctor: Flashers, Floaters or Tears
Causes and Symptoms
Possible causes of floaters or flashes include:
• Posterior vitreous detachment
• Retinal tear or detachment
• Bleeding in the eye
• Inflammation in the eye
Floaters and flashes are typically diagnosed by the patient. Our retina specialists can confirm the diagnosis and specific cause through a dilated eye exam.
Call your ophthalmologist right away if you notice a significant increase in floaters or flashes. The board-certified physicians at Retina Consultants of Houston are specially trained to determine the specific cause of your floaters and flashes, and if treatment is needed.
Treatment and Prognosis
Many times, a posterior vitreous detachment will occur without complication, and no treatment is necessary. Floaters frequently go away on their own over time.
If you experience a significant increase in flashes or floaters or changes in your vision, you should be evaluated by a retina specialist as soon as possible to determine the cause and if treatment is needed. A torn or detached retina may require immediate treatment. Our physicians at Retina Consultants of Houston are specially trained and experienced in treating flashes and floaters to restore your vision.