Do You See Flashes and Floaters?
Are you seeing things? Maybe it’s mostly when you’re looking into bright light or at something white? If so, you might be experiencing flashes and floaters. In general, these might not be something to worry about but if they’re persistent or seem to be happening more often, there might be a bigger problem.
Let’s take a look at what flashes and floaters are and when you should see a doctor about them.
What Are Flashes and Floaters?
A floater is usually a piece of debris that’s found its way inside your eye. This debris might only be noticeable when you’re looking at something really bright or white but some people might see them in other situations as well. Flashes usually come on with floaters and are reminiscent of a camera flash when you close your eyes.
What Causes Them?
Both flashes and floaters can be caused by a variety of things. The most common reason being a detachment from the vitreous part inside the retina of your eye. Retinal tears or detachments are another common cause. This usually happens as a result of trauma to the eye, eye surgery, as well as being near-sighted. Other causes of flashes and floaters include hemorrhages, infections, and inflammation. A less common but more serious cause can be eye tumors, but those are fairly rare.
When Should I See an Ophthalmologist?
If you’ve been seeing floaters in your vision for years and years and haven’t noticed them changing or increasing, then you’re probably fine with putting off a trip to the ophthalmologist. However, if you see floaters a lot or see them with flashes, it might be time to schedule an eye exam.
While flashes tend to be more common than floaters, they can still be a precursor to more serious eye issues. Irritation on the retina can be a sign that a tear is forming, which may mean you need surgery.
Most of the time, flashes and floaters are harmless and may sometimes even go away on their own. If you have questions about this issue, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with us by calling (619) 425-7755.