Floaters and Flashes

Flashes and floaters are often a symptoms of posterior vitreous separation. Floaters are rarely visually significant and they can be removed surgically.

What is a Vitreous Separation?

Most of the eye's interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain a round shape. There are millions of fine fibers intertwined within the vitreous that are attached to the surface of the retina, the eye's light-sensitive tissue. As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks, and these fine fibers pull on the retinal surface. Usually the fibers break, allowing the vitreous to separate and shrink from the retina. This is a vitreous detachment. In most cases, a vitreous detachment is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment.

As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina that you may notice as floaters, which appear as little "cobwebs" or specks that seem to float about in your field of vision. If you try to look at these shadows they appear to quickly dart out of the way. One symptom of a vitreous detachment is a small but sudden increase in the number of new floaters. This increase in floaters may be accompanied by flashes of light (lightning streaks) in your peripheral, or side, vision. In most cases, either you will not notice a vitreous detachment, or you will find it merely annoying because of the increase in floaters.

A vitreous detachment is a common condition that usually affects people over age 50, and is very common after age 80. People who are nearsighted are also at increased risk. Those who have a vitreous detachment in one eye are likely to have one in the other, although it may not happen until years later.

Although a vitreous detachment does not threaten sight, once in a while some of the vitreous fibers pull so hard on the retina that they create a macular hole or lead to a retinal detachment. Both of these conditions are sight-threatening and should be treated immediately. If left untreated, a macular hole or detached retina can lead to permanent vision loss in the affected eye. Those who experience a sudden increase in floaters or an increase in flashes of light in peripheral vision should have an eye care professional examine their eyes as soon as possible. The only way to diagnose the cause of the problem is by a comprehensive dilated eye examination. If the vitreous detachment has led to a macular hole or detached retina, early treatment can help prevent loss of vision.

What are Floaters?

Floaters are little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. They do not follow your eye movements precisely, and usually drift when your eyes stop moving.

In most cases, floaters are part of the natural aging process and simply an annoyance. They can be distracting at first, but eventually tend to "settle" at the bottom of the eye, becoming less bothersome. They usually settle below the line of sight and do not go away completely. Most people have floaters and learn to ignore them; they are usually not noticed until they become numerous or more prominent. Floaters can become apparent when looking at something bright, such as white paper or a blue sky.

Are floaters an Emergency?

Floaters occur when the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills about 80 percent of the eye, slowly shrinks. As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina. These are floaters.

Floaters are more likely to develop as we age and are more common in people who are very nearsighted, have diabetes, or who have had a cataract operation. There are other, more serious causes of floaters, including infection, inflammation (uveitis), hemorrhaging, retinal tears, and injury to the eye.

Sometimes a section of the vitreous pulls the fine fibers away from the retina all at once, rather than gradually, causing many new floaters to appear suddenly. This is called a vitreous detachment, which in most cases is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment. However, a sudden increase in floaters, possibly accompanied by light flashes or peripheral (side) vision loss, could indicate a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment occurs when any part of the retina, the eye's light-sensitive tissue, is lifted or pulled from its normal position at the back wall of the eye. A retinal detachment is a serious condition and should always be considered an emergency. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent visual impairment within two or three days or even blindness in the eye. Those who experience a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light in peripheral vision, or a loss of peripheral vision should have an eye care professional examine their eyes as soon as possible.

For people who have floaters that are simply annoying, no treatment is recommended. On rare occasions, floaters can be so dense and numerous that they significantly affect vision. In these cases, a vitrectomy, a surgical procedure that removes floaters from the vitreous, may be needed. A vitrectomy removes the vitreous gel, along with its floating debris, from the eye. The vitreous is replaced with a salt solution. Because the vitreous is mostly water, you will not notice any change between the salt solution and the original vitreous. This operation carries significant risks to sight because of possible complications, which include retinal detachment, retinal tears, and cataract. Most eye surgeons are reluctant to recommend this surgery unless the floaters seriously interfere with vision.

Vitreous Floaters NEWS

Below are current articles from a Google News Feed on Vitreous Floaters

Eye floaters: What causes them, and what can you do?  Medical News Today

Eye floaters are specks in a person's vision. They are normal and not necessarily harmful. It is not always possible to prevent them, and they may not require ...

Cataract surgery mess: Four to undergo repeat cataract procedure today  The Hindu

Four of the 24 patients, who are living in the fear of impaired vision after they underwent cataract surgery at the State-run Minto Ophthalmic Hospital recently, will ...

A Patient’s Guide to Eye Disease  U.S. News & World Report

Learn about common eye diseases, as well as the symptoms, causes and treatment options, at U.S. News and World Report.

Advances in floater treatment  Ophthalmology Times

Now we can illuminate and clearly visualize floaters, putting effective laser treatment well within our reach, says Christopher F. Wood, MD.

Is Posterior Vitreous Detachment a Serious Eye Problem?  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Posterior vitreous detachment is quite a mouthful. (And sounds a bit scary.) Fortunately, this eye condition usually won't threaten your vision or require treatment.

What is an eye floater? Symptoms, causes, treatment and more  NBCNews.com

Most people have eye floaters that they learn to ignore, but often notice when looking at a blank wall, white paper or blue sky, according to the National Eye ...

Ophthalmic Lasers Market 2019: Research Report Overview by Top Key Players Alcon, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Ellex, Abbott, Bausch + Lomb, Topcon Corporation, IRIDEX, Lumenis, Nidek Inc. Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems AG And Others  US Trade Media

Global Ophthalmic Lasers Market report intend to inform the readers about the business foundation, its type and type of details its builds, sales and assists ...

How to live with floaters, those tiny ghosts in your eyes.  Slate

When floaters first showed up in my eyes about five years ago, I didn't think it was a medical condition; I thought it was a superpower. Honestly—my adolescent ...

Ophthalmic Lasers Market 2019 Forecast to 2024 by Market Standards, Industry Scope, Market Size with Revenue, Price, and Gross Margin  Spaceflight News

Ophthalmic Lasers Market 2019 Forecast to 2024 by Market Standards, Industry Scope, Market Size with Revenue, Price, and Gross Margin | The Premier ...

Eating pineapple clears up eye floaters: Taiw...  Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A recent study carried out in Taiwan and published in the April edition of The Journal of American Science, has found eating pineapple ...

If you see these weird dots or cobwebs in your eye, they are probably eye floaters  ABC News

They are called eye floaters and are quite common for most people due to changes in the vitreous — the gel-like substance that helps make up most of the ...

AZ Retinal Specialists open on Savage | Business  Wickenburg Sun

Wickenburg Sun Reporter. Arizona Retinal Specialists recently opened its doors. Dr. Amit Sangave specializes in the management of retinal diseases.

BLOG: Evidence supports use of YAG for floaters  Healio

Optometry Blogs | Hovanesian | Much controversy has surrounded the subject of the use of YAG lasers to treat vitreous floaters.The dogma in our specialty has ...

Mayo Clinic Q&A: What are eye floaters?  Medical Xpress

Dear Mayo Clinic: I've noticed several dark spots and cobweblike strings in my vision. Is this something to be concerned about?

Eye Floaters: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment  WebMD

WebMD explains the causes, symptoms, and treatment of eye floaters, and when to seek immediate medical attention.

Technological advances improve safety, precision of YAG vitreolysis for floaters  Healio

Ocular Surgery News | An upgrade in YAG laser technology may be a breakthrough in the management of vitreous floaters, offering a safe, effective and ...

Iatrogenic Posterior Lens Capsule Rupture and Subsequent Complications due to Nd:YAG Laser Vitreolysis for Vitreous Floaters: A Case Report  Healio

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Tri-*Service* General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China (K-HH, T-HW, Y-JC, ...

YAG laser vitreolysis improves symptomatic vitreous floaters  Healio

YAG laser vitreolysis was associated with a better improvement in vitreous floater symptoms than a sham procedure, according to study findings.Researchers ...

What should you do about those unpleasant eye floaters?  Harvard Health

For some people, debris from the vitreous in the eye may wind up floating around. These “floaters” may interfere with vision and become bothersome.…

YAG Laser Treats Symptomatic Vitreous Floaters  Medscape

YAG laser treatment of symptomatic Weiss ring floaters was superior to sham treatment in a small clinical trial.

Ophthalmic Lasers Market Outlook 2019 By Alcon, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Ellex, Abbott, Bausch + Lomb, Topcon Corporation, IRIDEX, Lumenis, Nidek Inc. Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems AG And Others  Rise Media

Global Market Study Ophthalmic Lasers Market Provide Forecast Report 2026 presents a detailed analysis of the Ophthalmic Lasers which researched industry ...

Eye Floaters: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment  Medical Daily

Eye floaters are tiny gel-like substances that disturb your vision and sometimes signals a retinal detachment.

What you can do about floaters and flashes in the eye - Harvard Health Blog  Harvard Health Publications

Floaters and flashes are a common sight for many, but they can be a warning sign of trouble, especially when they suddenly appear or become more plentiful.

Floating a new treatment: Laser for vitreous floaters  Traverse City Record Eagle

TRAVERSE CITY — Donna Griffin had cataract surgery and an astigmatism fixed downstate.

YAG photoablation effective first-line treatment for vitreous opacities  Healio

Primary Care Optometry News | A 56-year-old certified ophthalmic technician presented for a comprehensive eye examination. He was complaining of persistent ...

Ischemic Optic Neuropathy Treatment Market Foraying into Emerging Economies  Herald Space

Ischemic optic neuropathy is caused due to a small vessel infraction of the optic nerve and is a major cause of blindness or impaired vision among the inflicted.

Posterior CCC paired with vitrectomy removes PCO, vitreous floaters  Healio

Ocular Surgery News | A posterior continuous curvilinear capsulorrhexis through the pars plana coupled with a 23-gauge vitrectomy successfully managed ...

Can we zap eye floaters away? - Harvard Health Blog  Harvard Health

An experimental treatment can remove a certain type of floater with a laser, but further study is needed before it can be widely recommended.

Are These Ocular Symptoms Common or Concerning?  Medscape

Can you correctly categorize these five common ocular symptoms and determine which might potentially indicate a worrisome pathology?

Ophthalmic Lasers Market Rising the Demand from Key Operating Vendors Alcon, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Ellex, Abbott, Bausch + Lomb, Topcon Corporation, IRIDEX, Lumenis, Nidek Inc. Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems AG And Others  Rise Media

Global Ophthalmic Lasers Market report not only provides market segmentation in the most-detailed pattern but also conducts thorough analysis of patents and ...

Episode 4: Advances in floater treatment  Ophthalmology Times

Christopher F. Wood, MD, discusses the importance of learning new technologies to treat floaters.

YAG laser vitreolysis vs. pars plana vitrectomy for vitreous floaters  Healio

Ocular Surgery News | Welcome to another edition of CEDARS/ASPENS Debates. CEDARS/ASPENS is a joint society of cornea, cataract and refractive surgery ...

What Causes Eye Floaters?  News-Medical.net

Eye floaters (myodesopsias) emerge as a consequence of opacities developed in the vitreous fluid of the eye.

VIDEO: Studies show laser vitreolysis safe, effective at treating floaters  Healio

LISBON, Portugal ― At the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons meeting here, I. Paul Singh, MD, and Roxana Fulga, MD, discuss two ...

The laser beam that can get rid of those pesky eye floaters  The Conversation UK

Those annoying things that float in front of your vision can be reduced with laser therapy.

Drug for Leading Cause of Blindness Gets Priority Review  Managed Care magazine

The FDA has granted a priority review designation for RTH258 (Brolucizumab, Novartis) for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Man presents with blurry vision, flashes, floaters and redness  Healio

A 53-year-old Caucasian man presented with a 3-week history of worsening blurry vision of the left eye associated with flashes, floaters and redness. He also ...

Myopia is risk factor for multiple tears during evolution of PVD  Healio

Multiple retinal tears occurring during the evolution of posterior vitreous detachment are more frequently observed in myopic patients, are symptomatic and are ...

'Floaters' affect elders' sight  QNotes

Q. I've been noticing this thing in my eye. At first I thought it was an eyelash. Then I realized the thing was actually in my eye. One of my friends told me it's a ...

Laser Surgery for Eye Floaters, Specks Proves Safe  MD Magazine

The distractive spots floating through fields of vision may have finally met their match.

Should You Seek Help for Eye Floaters?  News-Medical.net

Floaters are shadows of the cell strands that are present in the vitreous of the eye. Though many floaters do no harm, there are some conditions in which an ...

Floaters are common as we age but may signal a more serious eye problem  Medical Xpress

Have you ever noticed the sudden appearance of a black dot in your field of vision that moves around when you move your eyes? It could also look like a cob ...

How to Get Rid of Floaters in My Eyes?  University of Utah Health Care

People may often see little moving proteins—called floaters—in their eyes. Ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Zaugg explains what floaters are, why they occur, and why ...

Annoyed by floating specks in your vision? You may soon be able to zap them away  Science Daily

Millions of people who put up with seeing annoying specks drift through their field of vision may now have a safe, high-tech solution to their problem. A study of ...

What Are Those Strange Worm Like Lines, Sparkles and Dots That Appear In Front of Our Eyes? Know Everything  LatestLY

How many times do you see those strange-looking things forming in front of your eyes after you rub them? Or if you open your eyes after tightly closing them for a ...

“After triage I was fast-tracked for immediate treatment”  AOP

Optometrist at Classic Eyes, Craig Wilcox, and the owner of BiB Ophthalmic Instruments, Tim Baker, discuss an unplanned scan that led to a sight saving referral.

Vitrectomy Systems Market – Global Industry Trend Analysis 2012 to 2017 and Forecast 2017 – 2025  TheWindReports

Vitrectomy is a surgery that includes removing vitreous gel from the middle of the eye. Vitrectomy surgery usually occurs when there is a retinal detachment or ...

Woman presents with vision loss and cough  Healio

A 45-year-old woman with no significant medical or ocular history presented to the New England Eye Center with 1 year of floaters and gradual loss of vision in ...

Should You Worry About Eye Floaters?  ConsumerReports.org

Eye floaters--those specks you may see floating across your field of vision--are usually harmless. Consumer Reports tells you when eye floaters may signal a ...

Eye floaters can usually be ignored  Beatrice Daily Sun

Dear Doctor: I know that as far as medical problems go, eye "floaters" are pretty minor. But I've just noticed some new ones, and they're really annoying.

Worsening of Untreated Retinal Detachment in Boy with Gaucher Type 3 Described in Case Report  Gaucher Disease News

A new case report describes a 14-year old boy with Gaucher type 3 and with retinal detachment in the right eye that worsened rapidly without treatment.

Ellex unveils Eye Prime diagnostic ultrasound  Insight News

ASX-listed Ellex Medical Lasers has announced the market launch of Eye Prime, the company's latest innovation in diagnostic ultrasound technology, after ...

Seeing Bugs And Worms All Over? It's OK. It's Just In Your Eye  Star2

Seeing "worms" everywhere is a common description of having "floaters" in our eye. These floaters are actually caused by age-related changes within the ...

5 Eye Problems To Never Ignore - Eye Floaters, Freckles, More  Women's Health

Noticing changes in your vision, from floaters to redness and spots, can be life-saving—and not just for your eye health. Here's your guide to symptoms to look ...

Woman suddenly loses central vision  Healio

Primary Care Optometry News | A 39-year-old Caucasian woman presented complaining of a dark spot in the central vision of her right eye that began 3 days ...

Ask Well: Floaters in the Eye  New York Times

Floaters, those small dots or cobweb-shaped patches that move or “float” through the field of vision, can be alarming and may require immediate medical ...

Review of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment Options  AJMC.com Managed Markets Network

Due to an aging population, visual impairment from neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) is increasing in the United States. Despite ...

Seeing Spots - What Is a Floater - Eye Floaters, Eye Conditions  AARP News

En español l Seeing spots in front of your eyes? Or maybe little wisps or globs that move through your field of vision? Don't be anxious. You're seeing floaters, ...

Retinal detachment: Early warning signs can save sight  WNDU-TV

Retinal detachment happens when an injury causes the retina to peel away from the wall of the eye. It can happen quickly, or a small tear can continue to ...

Floaters & Flashes: Cause for Concern?  University of Utah Health Care

Jun 21, 2016 1:00 AM. Author: Moran Eye Center. Have you ever looked up at a bright blue sky, or stared at a plain background and noticed little “floaters” ...

What Are Eye Floaters? (Video)  South Florida Reporter

Spots, flashes of light or darkness on any side of your vision could be a sign of eye floaters. Most often noticeable when looking at a plain, bright background, ...

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Report represents a comprehensive study of the Vitrectomy Systems Market. It consists of growth rate for the forecast period. The global report sums up by ...

Tiny Robots Swimming in Your Eye Could Provide Radical New Treatments  Seeker

Researchers have developed a new class of propeller-shaped nanorobots that can swim through the eyeball's dense tissue.

What are eye floaters? 5 vision symptoms you shouldn't ignore  Today.com

Considering it's a marvel of design, the human eye doesn't get a lot of respect. We wake up, we see (often with help from glasses or contacts) and move on with ...

Increasing Medical Research to Enhance Growth in Global Ischemic Optic Neuropathy Treatment Market  The Check Chronicle

Globally, increasing diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia cases has somewhere increased chances of ischemic optic neuropathy (ION) conditions.

Eye floaters: How I almost went blind in one eye  El Paso Inc.

El Paso leads the nation in diabetes, and blindness is a major side effect of the disease that impacts older Hispanics more than any other group in the United ...

FDA OKs Aflibercept (Eylea) for Diabetic Retinopathy  Medscape

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What is Asteroid Hyalosis?  News-Medical.net

Asteroid hyalosis (AH) is a degenerative eye condition characterized by the presence of asteroid bodies or calcium-fat globules in the vitreous region of the eye.

Drug and Device News July/August 2019  P&T Community

Approvals, new indications and formulations, and safety issues.

Those Random Spots in Your Vision Are Eye Floaters—Here's What to Do About Them  Reader's Digest

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Flashes and Floaters in Your Eyes: When to See the Doctor  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Take care of your eyes. Get a better understanding of those strange flashers and floaters you're seeing.

Laser treatment reduces eye floaters  Science Daily

Patients reported improvement in symptoms of eye floaters after treatment with a laser, according to a new study.

Floating black spots or flashes in your eye? Get to an eye doctor right away.  The Washington Post

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Young woman reports blurry vision in one eye, spots, floaters  Healio

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Scientists Are Working on a Way to Treat Eye Floaters With Lasers  Mental Floss

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Floater Vitrectomy

65 year old woman with 7 years of visual problems from dense vitreous opacities. She noticed them after her cataract surgery and they were immediately behind the intraocular lens.

Floater Vitrectomy

70 year old man with significantly compromised visual function for 1.5 years from a vitreous opacity in his better 20/16 eye. Video shows 25 gauge vitrectomy in high definition. Over 99 percent of symptomatic vitreous floaters will improve without any treatment within 6 to 12 months. There are significant risks to surgery for vitreous floaters which have to be weighed against the benefits. Vitrectomy almost always causes a worsening of a cataract, but since this patient had already had cataract surgery that was not a concern.