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Flashes and Floaters

Seeing Spots, Strings, and Flashes?

Learn All About Flashes and Floaters

Inform yourself about what causes flashes and floaters and how to treat them with the help from our eye center in Wahiawa, Hawaii, and Waipahu, Hawaii. Flashes, or the sensation of bright lights in the peripheral vision that are not really present, and floaters, or seeing something floating in the vision, such as strings or dots, are common as we get older. Hawaiian Eye Center can teach you all about how the vitreous gel, which fills the inside of our eyes, changes as we age and pulls on the retina, which develops flashes and floaters.

What to Do When Flashes & Floaters Start?

When flashes and floaters occur as a new symptom, especially when both occur together, get in to see the eye doctor immediately! Though it could be nothing serious, this combination of symptoms is commonly the first sign of a serious problem inside of the eye. Changes in the vitreous gel cause pulling or tearing of the delicate retina tissue and can lead to a serious condition known as retinal detachment. If it is caught early, a retinal detachment can usually be easily repaired with a laser. If it progresses to involve more of the retina, however, it can be difficult to repair and can result in permanent loss of vision and even blindness.

If you have floaters and the doctor has told you your eyes are ok, you may continue to see the floaters for months. Generally, there is nothing that can be done to improve the symptoms of floaters, but they tend to bother you less as time goes on. It can take 6 months to a year or longer before you don’t notice them anymore.

It is important to go to your eye physician to check whenever the symptoms of flashes or floaters change. New floaters, especially a large number of them, a change in the pattern of flashes, and any loss of vision, peripheral or central, requires a prompt examination by a qualified doctor.