WHAT ARE Flashes and Floaters?
A large number of individuals can experience what's usually referred to as flashes and floaters. Although this phenomenon is not typically a sign of a serious issue, patients seeing these effects should have their eyes evaluated by a professional if they've shown up suddenly or worsened. Men and women who see floaters usually notice them more commonly while facing a bright or plain white backdrop, like on a computer screen or while driving.
Floaters can appear as rings, whips, sheets, squiggles, or other patterns that seem to move as the eye does, but they're actually tiny bits of vitreous gel that have clumped together in the eye. Meanwhile, flashes are bright white disturbances in the vision that last for a split-second. At times, flashes can be more pronounced and look like flashing lights or lightning. They can take the form of arcs or small streaks and are often seen through the corner of the eye. Flashes are more noticeable in the dark so you may not notice them throughout the day. Flashes are the result of the retina being pulled on by the vitreous gel.
When you start to notice flashes or floaters hampering your vision, it's important to have your eye health and function checked by a credentialed eye surgeon or optometrist. Should your condition merit advanced treatment, Wang Vision Institute in Nashville, TN is one of the only centers in the state that currently performs laser floater removal.
"I took my mom for exam in January. The staff was great. My mom has Fuch's Dystrophy and needed cataract surgery. Had that done in March. After meeting Dr. Wang and the staff I knew we were in good hands."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Mar 19, 2020
"I took my Mom for exam in January. She has Fuch's Dystrophy and needed cataract surgery. Had cataract surgery in March. So far everything is great. After meeting Dr. Wang and staff, I knew she was in good hands."- T.M. / Yelp / Mar 18, 2020
"I had small incision lasik in October 2019 to correct astigmatism and near sidedness in both of my eyes. I am beyond satisfied with the services I received. I see way better than I ever did with contacts or glasses. Everyone I have seen at Wang Vision Institute have been so nice and personable. They were amazing at easing the anxiety I experienced when it was time for the procedure and even took a video on my phone because I asked for one! Dr. Frenkel did a great job and I have not regretted having this done with him by any means!"- A.S. / Yelp / Mar 18, 2020
"Surgery was great. Staff is very professional and thorough"- J.J. / Facebook / Mar 11, 2020
"Two months after receiving "Forever Young" lens replacement surgery from Dr. Wang, I am once again able to read fine print and see my computer screen. My experience with Wang Vision Institute was wonderful and produced a result which is life changing!"- C.Y. / Healthgrades / Mar 10, 2020
When to see a doctor
Although flashes and floaters are generally common in patients of all ages, these effects can become more prominent or noticeable as patients age. Seeing some floaters or having an occasional flash is not typically a symptom of a bigger problem. Still, experiencing any of these issues is usually a sign that you should schedule a consultation at our Nashville, TN office:
- Noticing a dramatic increase in the number of floaters
- Seeing persistent flashes of light
- Having "shaded" vision, similar to a cloud concealing the sun
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Noticing a decrease in your overall quality of vision
Flashes and Floaters Causes
We have reason to believe that floaters and flashes can be brought on by the natural aging process. As we age, the vitreous fluid in the eyes can start to shrink and thicken, producing clumps. These clumps cast shadows in the retina, which are the floaters we see. The shrinking of the vitreous fluid may lead to flashes as well. While the vitreous shrinks, it can pull away from the retina, which may cause detachment. Certain vision surgeries may also cause men and women to notice more floaters in their vision, but this is usually nothing to be concerned with. In addition to these factors, eye trauma or injury may also lead to an increase in flashes or floaters.
Patients with severe myopia (nearsightedness) can be at a greater risk to notice flashes and floaters in their field of vision, as well as those with uncontrolled diabetes.
Flashes and Floaters Treatment Options
During your visit to our Nashville, TN office, one of our skilled ophthalmologists will meet with you to determine the potential cause of your flashes or floaters. From there, we will help you decide if any treatment is necessary. In some cases, floaters are not a cause for concern; however, for some patients, the issue may get so out of hand that it dramatically obstructs their vision. At Wang Vision Institute, we are proud to offer innovative floater removal surgery with the new state-of-the-art Ellex laser. Dr. Wang was the first eye surgeon in the state of Tennessee to perform this revolutionary new treatment. Currently, Wang Vision Institute remains the only center in the state to offer laser floater removal. In the past, floaters could only be eradicated completely with major surgery.
Repair and relief
While floaters and flashes are not always an indication of a more serious eye condition, we understand how they can be troublesome or even distressing for some patients. To receive the guidance and information you need, contact our team at Wang Vision Institute in Nashville, TN and schedule a consultation with one of our highly skilled ophthalmologists. We will assess your overall eye health, ensure that your retina is in good condition, help you determine if treatment is necessary, and map out an appropriate course of action.