Clarity Eye Group – Floaters, Flashes, Retinal Detachment
Orange County, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Westminster, Long Beach, Seal Beach
Flashes and Floaters
The eye conditions commonly known as flashes and floaters result in small, floating spots and bright flashes of light appearing in the field of vision. They are most often caused by age-related changes in the thickness of gelatin-like material, called vitreous, that fills the back of the eye. As we grow older, the gel-like material inside the eye becomes watery, and tiny clumps of tissue that were once suspended in the vitreous can now float in the eye, casting shadows on the retina which are seen as floating shapes.
By age 50, the vitreous has become so watery that the clumps of tissue have more ability to move around. This enables individuals to experience larger, more bothersome floaters and even flashes of light caused by a separation from the vitreous gel from the retina. While the condition can be alarming to those experiencing it, flashes and floaters are most often harmless and require no treatment.
Sometimes the vitreous becomes too loose, and pulls from its attachment to the retina. If the retina is weak, it will tear, and vitreous fluid can accumulate behind it, which can detach the retina from the back of the eye. If not detected early, more fluid can accumulate in the back of the retina, leading to further retinal detachment and severe vision loss. Treatments such as cryotherapy and laser therapy can help repair and seal retinal tears before it leads to severe retinal detachment.