Flashes - Floaters

Flashes and Floaters

Flashes of Light

What is it ?

It is a symptom in which patient sees Flashes of light in some portion of his visual field. Flashes are seen more commonly in dark as in late evening, night or in early morning.

What is it importance ?

Flashes are a premonitory symptom of impending or early retinal detachment. Retinal detachment is one of the serious diseases of the eye. It is important to consult your eye surgeon immediately if you notice Flashes. Rarely could itbe because of certain changes in vitreous ( Liquid of Eye ) condensation. But again, this vitreous condensation may also lead to retinal detachment. The site of visible flashes gives clue to part of retinal, which is diseased usually, it is in the side opposite to where the retinal detachment is impending or has occurred.

Why these flashes are seen ?

These Flashes of Light are seen because of movements and stretching of the retinal during detachment. This gives some sensations to the retinal receptors and gives rise to the sensation of Flashes.

What to do if you see flashes ?

Immediately consult your eye surgeon to find out the cause of Flashes. If retinal detachment has occurred, it may need to be repaired surgically. If not, regular follow up is necessary to check if retinal detachment develops later.


What is it?

Floaters ( or Muscqe Volatantis as Ophthalmologists Say ) are seeing of flying black particles in front of the eye. Typically, they appear as some mosquitoes flying in front of the eye. They are usually visible in moderate light and not seen in very dark light. They may vary in number and may occasionally disappear.

Why floaters develop?

Floaters are because of some particles in the jelly of the eye called vitreous. Conditions like high myopia ( near sightedness ), ageing and vitreous detachment may give rise to Floaters. Rarely, serious eye diseases like retinal holes, vitreous hemorrhage etc. may also give rise to Floaters.

What is its importance?

In Some cases it could be an early symptom of serious eye disease.

What to do if you see floaters?

Your eye should be examined in detail at least once, because you may have a retinal problem. Majority of patients don’t need any treatment except follow - ups. Very rarely, there may be a retinal hole or vitreous hemorrhage and you may need to undergo treatment for that.

Advice to the patient seeing Floaters. ( Aftereye check up )

Try to ignore them. They will settle down with passage of time. Keep the track of number of Floaters. If the number suddenly increases or their shape drastically alters, then consult your eye surgeon immediately.