Flashers and Floaters

Occasionally, everyone sees flashes of light, streaks, debris, webs, threads in their field of vision, even though there isn't anything there in front of your eyes. This is normal and nothing to worry about. However, if a condition exists that needs treatment, the incidence of these phantom light "Flashes" or debris "Floaters" may suddenly increase.

Flashes are mor common as people age, or if a person is near-sighted. The vitreous shrinks with time and pulls away from the retina. That pull is translated as a flash of light. Floaters are more common with aging, or if an injury or surgery have affected the eye. These are normally pieces of gel or other material floating inside the eye, and are usually harmless.


An Eye Exam

If you suddenly see an increase of flashes or floaters, have never seen them before but suddenly see a lot of them, if they look different than before, or if they interfere with tasks or work, you will need to have your eyes examined. Be sure to report your concerns to the doctor.


When Treatment is Required

If the vitreous is puling too hard on the retina, ths can make the retina tear or detach from the back of the eye. A person might see more frequent or intense flashes in this case. This is a serious problem that could result in rapid vision loss. A sudden increase in floaters may signal a tear in the retina or another problem that may affect the retina. Again, damage to the retina could result in vision loss, and should be addressed by the eye doctor.