Quick As a Flash: What to Know About Eye Flashes

Flashers You want to see everything in a flash but the last thing that you want to see are flashes. If you have started to experience flashes and floaters, you may be wondering what on earth is going on with your vision. Before you start freaking out and thinking you’re going blind, let’s take a closer look at some of the basics of flashes and floaters.

What Are Floaters?

Have you ever stared into a bright light and seen little dots floating before eyes? If so, then those are floaters. Floaters are caused when the vitreous gel thickens and pulls away from our retina which causes small specks or clouds to move in front of your vision. Generally, floaters are caused by age and will settle on their own in a matter of weeks or months. If they don’t clear up naturally on their own, we may remove them surgically. If you happen to notice more floaters or a sudden onset of them, contact our office right away because it could be indicative of a more serious problem.

What Are Flashes?

Flashes are brief sensations of light or the appearance of light at the edge of the vision that are caused by tension between the retina and the vitreous gel. When the vitreous gel rubs or pulls on the retina, it sends signals to the brain that are then interpreted as flashes of light. Even though flashes are more common as we age if you notice the sudden appearance of light flashes you should see your ophthalmologist immediately because it could mean that you have a tear in your retina.

Even though both floaters and flashes are fairly common among adults as they start to age, they can be a little bit worrisome. If you have floaters or flashes and they aren’t going away, contact our office right away and we will get you in for an eye exam. To learn more about these and other eye issues, contact us at our Shelburne Falls office and call us at (413) 625-2370.


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