Eye Floaters & Flashes

Eye Floaters & Flashes

Ophthalmology Services

What are Eye Floaters & Flashes?

Floaters are little clumps of cells or a gel-like substance that have solidified to look like tiny dots, specks, lines, or circles in the field of vision. With age, the vitreous fluid which is a clear gel that fills the spaces that are between the retina and the lens, begin shrinking with the eye.

As the vitreous fluid shrinks, it also creates floaters. Floaters drift through the vitreous fluid and often pass in front of the retina which allows the patient to see them. Floaters are common and are a natural part of aging.

What are Eye Floaters & Flashes?

Floaters are little clumps of cells or a gel-like substance that have solidified to look like tiny dots, specks, lines, or circles in the field of vision. With age, the vitreous fluid which is a clear gel that fills the spaces that are between the retina and the lens, begin shrinking with the eye.

As the vitreous fluid shrinks, it also creates floaters. Floaters drift through the vitreous fluid and often pass in front of the retina which allows the patient to see them. Floaters are common and are a natural part of aging.

Floaters can be annoying as they appear in the patient’s vision as little nuisances, however, floaters that accompany aging need not be treated.

Flashes can resemble lighting streaks or flashing lights in the patient’s field of vision. Flashes occur when the vitreous fluid rubs or pulls on the retina and is a usual outcome with age. Aside from age, flashes can also happen after a migraine and these sorts of flashes can take place for up to 20 minutes.

Flashes caused by a migraine can either occur in both or just one eye at a time and the flashes of light can appear as jagged lines or even resemble that of a heat wave. Flashes tend to be normal especially for those 50 years and above as well as those who often suffer from migraines.

Despite the above, constant and repetitive experience of floaters and flashes can indicate potential signs of severe eye conditions such as retinal detachment or retinal tears. These conditions can seriously damage a patient’s eyesight.

A person can experience floaters and flashes together or each condition on their own. Those experiencing signs of floaters and flashes should seek medical advice and have their eyes regularly checked to ensure they have no other vision issues diagnosed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Eye Floaters and Flashes Fade Away Over Time?

Eye floaters do not fade away with time, however, they do become less noticeable. After some time, the eye floaters will sink into the vitreous fluid and settle at the bottom of the eye. Once this happens, they become unnoticeable, and the patient may assume that the floaters are gone.

Over the long-haul, your brain will start ignoring the floaters being in your field of vision, making it seem like they were never there in the first place. Flashes on the other hand will almost always go away completely in a few months. Flashes that are caused by migraines can be treated by treating the root of the condition, which is the migraine.

When Should I Take Eye Floaters and Flashes as a Serious Vision Issue?

While most eye floaters and flashes are not linked to a serious condition, there are some determining factors to look out for:

  • You begin to experience frequent flashes
  • You notice a grey blurry area in your field of vision
  • You notice a lot of floaters in your field of vision
  • You notice an odd shadow that persistently appears in your peripheral (side) vision

The determining factors may be symptoms of a retinal detachment or a tear on the retina. You begin experiencing the signs mentioned above when the retina pulls away from the back of the eye. Signs as such require medical treatment before more damage is done.

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What Can I Do To Reduce Or Stop the Bothersome Floaters and Flashes?

As floaters and flashes are not considered an emergency unless linked to a severe eye condition, treating them through surgery is impracticable as the risks outweigh the benefits.

However, adjusting your field of vision in which the floaters are out of your sight may help you in getting used to them and in time. Getting enough rest helps in preventing stress and migraine which can help with the flashes. Protecting your eyes from harsh light and lubricating your eyes with hyaluronic eye drops can help you cope with floaters and flashes as well.

Prioritising Eye Health at SJMC

It is important to pay attention to the signs that arise as they may be an indication of a serious eye issue. Always consult a medical professional to ensure that your eye health is not affected by any conditions that could be damaging your vision.

At Eyecentric by Subang Jaya Medical Centre(SJMC), we prioritise each patient and thoroughly observe their eyes during regular eye check-ups, ensuring their eye health is at peak condition. If a patient is experiencing eye floaters and flashes that may be linked to a severe eye condition, our highly skilled ophthalmologists and eye surgeons have the expertise to not only treat the condition but to also prevent the condition from recurring.

Meet our Specialist

Dr Ronald Arun Das

Designation
Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreo Retinal Surgeon
Specialty
Ophthalmology






Dr V. Ulagantheran Viswanathan

Designation
Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreo Retinal Surgeon
Specialty
Ophthalmology