Do you ever notice small specks or threadlike shapes moving in your field of vision? You might think it’s dirt on your eye or glasses, but these pesky annoyances are most likely floaters.
The eye is filled with a gel that helps keep its round shape. Sometimes, it can clump up in areas and cast shadows on the retina (the neural tissue of the eye). Not to worry though, floaters for the most part are harmless. In general, they subside over time, but if they don’t, there are potential laser treatments. (and no, unfortunately there are no vitamins or exercises that will get rid of them). Your optometrist can guide you through your options to discuss what is best for your eye health.
Flashes and floaters, however, can also be a tell-tale sign that there may be damage in the eye that needs to be treated urgently. Sometimes the gel can pull and tug on the retina, which becomes more common with age. This can seem quite alarming as it might create a sudden increase of floaters and flashes. Symptoms such as this could be related to a retinal detachment or tear, which is vision-threatening if not treated in a timely manner. Only a dilated eye exam, along with the help of digital imaging, can help rule out a retinal detachment or tear.
If there is one take-away from this, please remember: If you experience an increase of floaters or flashes, or a curtain/veil across your vision, see your optometrist as soon as possible. Here at our office, we will do our best to fit you in immediately, as your vision and well-being are our top priority.
Written by: Sandy Aziz & Dr. Natalia Fong
Image Credit: Dmytro Soroka