Flashes and floaters are common symptoms affecting the eyes. They can be warning symptoms of severe conditions such as retinal detachment or retinal tear. Read more to find out the common cause of flashes and floaters.
Eye flashes are points of light or bright spots presenting in your field of vision. They look like camera flashes, fireworks, or lightning. Most people who experience flashes see them as the first thing when they wake up in the morning or when in a dark room. You can see the bright light flashes as you wake up in the morning and see them fade away during the day.
You may be experiencing eye floaters and have no idea. Most people see them as amoebas, clouds, or spiders. You are likely to see them as:
Dark or black spots
Strands that look like threads
Shapes that look like spiders
You may look at a blank wall or the sky and see some floating shapes that are not very clear. They look like dust bits stuck on the lens of a camera. If you blink and they do not go away or look away and they remain, you have eye floaters.
Floaters are gel-like solidified substances in your vitreous humor or vitreous within your eye. They occur when the vitreous begins shrinking, and the floaters begin drifting slowly through it. You see them because they move and pass in front of your macula. They can be annoying, but you will not notice them over time.
Below are some of the symptoms that may show you have eye floaters:
Strings or small shapes that later settle down and then drift out of your vision line
Spots that you can notice when looking at a plain and bright background like a white wall or blue sky
Spots that move fast from your visual field when you look at them
Small shapes in your visual field that move as you move your eyes
Flashes and floaters occur when the vitreous or the gel-like substance on your eye begins shrinking as you age.
Flashes look like cameras or lightning flashes or floaters like small shapes in your field of vision. Floaters require no treatment and commonly occur. But if you get many flashes or floaters, it could indicate a severe problem, such as retinal detachment.
Most times, eye flashes or floaters are not a reason to worry. But if you get warning signs such as eye pain, recent eye injury, or eye surgery, you need to see a doctor. Partial or complete vision loss, sudden floaters, or repeated light flashes are warning signs. Waiting for a few hours or days without seeking help can lead to a permanent loss of sight.
Patients who have no warning signs but begin seeing floaters and flashes should still see a doctor. Delaying for a few days is not harmful but seeking medical help through an eye examination is appropriate.
For more about the causes of flashes and floaters, visit Optical Masters at our office in Monaco or Federal, Denver, Colorado. You can also call (720) 807-7300 or (720) 807-7600 to book an appointment today.