Flashes and Floaters

Floaters are small specks in the vision that drift with your eyes as they move. They are sometimes associated with brief flashes of light that are more noticeable in the dark. They may look like shadows, threads, or cobwebs, and they usually occur when the clear vitreous gel separates from the back of the eye, a common age-related finding. If you have noticed the recent onset of flashes and floaters, a thorough eye exam is important to look for the possibility of retinal tears or retinal detachment.


There is no treatment needed if the Physician does not see a retinal tear or detachment during your exam. Close follow up exams are warranted. You will be instructed on how to correctly monitor your peripheral vision and report back before your next appointment if you notice any changes in symptoms. Usually there is a 6 week relatively higher risk period for tear or detachment following a new Vitreous separation. If there is a tear or detachment of the retina detected, the treatments can range from an in office procedure to needing surgery in the operating room.


What to expect

Your Physician will carefully check your peripheral retina by resting your exam chair back and using an indirect ophthalmoscope. This exam may involve a degree of pushing on the side of the eye to bring all areas into view.