Fight For Sight
4 Parnell Street
Waterford
Ireland
P: +353 (0)51 878088 F: +353 (0)51 878606
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Floaters / Flashes

Description of Floaters / Flashes

In the normal eye, positioned behind the natural lens and in front of the retina lies a transparent gelatinous substance called the vitreous gel. This jelly-like substance fills the entire back part of the eye and supports the retina.The retina is a very thin layer of neural tissue, which operates like the film in a camera and is essential for sight. Whereas the vitreous gel normally adheres to the retina, it may, for no apparent reason, shrink in size, detaching itself from the retina or sometimes pulling the retina from its attachment to the back of the eye.

Symptoms of Floaters / Flashes

Floaters consist of dots, circles, lines, clouds and cobwebs resembling spiders suddenly noticed in front of the sight and seen especially in bright light or against a bright white background.The floaters consist of the gel which is detached from the retina or can form from degeneration in the gel itself. Flashes of light, most often seen in the dark and out of the corner of the affected eye are usually significant of an associated tear in the underling retina. If not attended to, this may lead to a full scale retinal detachment and complete loss of sight.

Treatment of Floaters / Flashes

Immediate referral to an ophthalmologist who is specially qualified to examine this part of the eye is essential for floaters or flashes. Whereas floaters tend to dissipate with no serious complications, a retinal tear associated with floaters requires immediate laser surgical treatment.The presence of an early retinal detachment may require more advanced surgery.