Much like with most parts of your physical health, you don’t really know what something is until you experience it first hand. If you have never had eye floaters or flashes, then you may not have any idea what’s happening to your vision when you first experience them. However, as a normal part of aging, most people experience flashes and floaters at least a few times in their life. Let’s take a closer look at what to know about each of these conditions.
What Are Eye Flashes?
Flashes are when you experience the appearance of bright lights at the edge of your vision. These are caused by tension between the vitreous gel (the jelly-like substance on your eye) and the retina (the layer of eye tissue that sends messages to your brain). When the vitreous gel rubs or pulls on the retina, the retina gets stimulated and sends brain signals that are interpreted as bright flashes of sudden light. As we age, we experience flashes on a more frequent basis.
What Are Floaters?
If you have ever had a floater in your eye, you know how bizarre it can be. Floaters are when you get small spots in your vision and are typically caused by the onset of age. Similar to eye flashes, eye floaters are also caused by the vitreous in your eye. With most floaters, the vitreous becomes softer and more liquidy which makes fibers clump in the vitreous and create little shadows or floaters in your retina.
How Are They Treated?
As previously mentioned, both of these eye conditions are typically caused by age and should clear up on their own. But if you get a sudden onset of the flashes or floaters, make sure to schedule an appointment at our Eye and Lasik Center office right away. In some instances, they may be signs of more serious conditions like a retinal tear, retinal detachment, or posterior vitreous detachment.