Floaters and flashes are very common and can be harmless.
If they’re caused by trauma or retinal detachment, however, they may be serious and require treatment to prevent vision loss.
Eye floaters and flashes appear particularly in older people, and are caused by the natural shrinking of the vitreous – a gel-like fluid in the eye.
Floaters are the tiny specks, dots, or lines that sometimes float into your field of vision.
The appearance of floaters may be accompanied by flashes of light, looking like they are in front of your eyes, blocking your vision. However, they are actually floating inside of your eye.
What you are seeing is the shadow of tiny clusters of cells inside the vitreous gel that fills your eyes.
The vitreous can thicken and shrink as we age, sometimes resulting in tiny clumps or strands we perceive as floaters. If the vitreous stays partially attached to the retina as it shrinks, it can sometimes tug on the retina, which causes flashing lights.
Other causes include any trauma or damage to the eye, migraine headaches, or retinal detachment.
Most frequently, floaters are not a sign of any serious problem and need to only be monitored to ensure they aren’t increasing in number or size over a short period of time.
However, if floaters are accompanied by flashes, it may be a sign of a detached retina, a more serious condition that may require treatment.
If you are experiencing eye floaters and flashes or would like to learn more about these eye conditions, schedule a consultation with Dr. Besser today. Our offices are located in Culver City, Los Angeles County.