What are Flashes and Floaters?

Flashes are flashing lights or streaks of light in your vision.  Floaters are little grey or black spots in your vision that float around.  Most flashing lights and floaters are not serious and just a part of getting older as your eye matures and the vitreous (jelly) in the eye ages.

But never ignore flashing lights and floaters as they can be a symptom of a serious eye condition, a retinal hole or tear which can lead to a retinal detachment.  A retinal detachment can make you permanently lose your vision if not treated in a timely fashion.

A retinal detachment is different than a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).  A PVD is the jelly coming loose off of the back of the retina and is usually not serious.  However, a retinal detachment is the retina coming loose off the back of the eye and it is very serious.

If you have any new floaters, flashing lights or curtains/shadows come over your vision, you need to come in for an urgent eye exam by an ophthalmologist.  Call immediately if you are having any new changes in your vision.

What are Flashes and Floaters? Eyesmart Website
What is a Detached Retina? Eyesmart Website