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Are you Seeing Stars? About Floaters & Flashes in Eyes

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What exactly are floaters inside your eye? Inside the eye there is a jelly-like substance called the vitreous that helps maintain the structure of the eye. Over the course of our life the vitreous tends to clump together in small pieces and this is what we see as floaters. These floaters can present as small pepper-like dots, debris, or wispy strands of hair in your vision.

Is there anything that can be done about floaters? Unfortunately not. Over time floaters tend to settle with gravity and become less apparent. Most of the time floaters are benign and there is no cause for concern. However, sometimes they can be associated with a retinal tear, and this could be a more serious issue.

The vitreous is attached to the back of the eye to an area called the retina. As the vitreous breaks down, it “pulls” on the retina and this often times causes flashes of light to appear on the side of your vision. Occasionally the retina is pulled hard enough that it causes a little break or tear to form. Small breaks or tears can be easily managed; however, should they progress to a full retinal detachment the consequences could be severe. Signs and symptoms of a retinal detachment include:

– large curtain or veil across your vision

– numerous floaters that appear abruptly

– red tinge in your vision

– sudden blurry or decreased vision

A retinal detachment is a serious eye emergency, and if you notice any of the above symptoms it is important you are seen immediately by your optometrist.


If you want more information on this topic, book an appointment with Dr. Sharma. We would love to help you!