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Flashes and Floaters

Vitreo-Retinal Surgeons & Specialists located in Austin, Round Rock, Marble Falls, and
Lakeway, TX

Flashes and Floaters

Flashes and Floaters

If you see specks or have cloudy vision that interferes with your quality of life, it may be time to see a retinal specialist for an eye evaluation. The highly skilled opthamologists at Retina Consultants of Austin, with offices in Austin, Lakeway, Marble Falls, and Round Rock, Texas, offer comprehensive eye exams to determine the underlying cause of your flashes and floaters. Call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about treatment options.

Flashes and Floaters Q & A

What are flashes and floaters?

Eye flashes can appear as sparkles, flashes of light, or fireworks. But people with eye floaters experience spots, dots, or cobwebs. When you look at them directly, they tend to move or dart away. 

Flashes and floaters develop as a result of the natural aging process, when your vitreous (jelly-like material inside your eye) shrinks and becomes string-like. 

The vitreous contains fibers that attach to your retina. When these fibers pull away from your retina, it will cast images on your retina (floaters) or cause flashes. 

If you notice an increase in flashes or floaters, you should contact the providers at Retina Consultants of Austin.

What are the symptoms of flashes and floaters?

Symptoms of flashes include:

  • Shadows in your side vision (peripheral)
  • Vision loss in your central vision 
  • Seeing gradual shading from one side like a curtain or veil 

Symptoms of floaters include:

  • Spots or strings that are very noticeable on a white background 
  • Strings that dart away when you look directly
  • Shapes that drift out of your line of vision

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek a prompt evaluation and treatment at Retina Consultants of Austin. A noticeable decline in visual acuity may be a potentially serious eye problem.

What causes flashes and floaters?

People experience flashes and floaters more as they age. But some eye conditions might cause flashes and floaters to develop, including: 

  • Bleeding in the eye
  • Inflammation at the back of your eye
  • Undergoing eye surgery
  • Retinal tear 
  • Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD)

You might also experience floaters and flashes due to specific medications you’re taking. 

How are flashes and floaters diagnosed?

To diagnose flashes and floaters, your Retina Consultants of Austin provider conducts a comprehensive eye screening. They use visual acuity tests and pupil dilation. By dilating the pupils, it makes it easier for your provider to see the retina and vitreous.

Your provider might also help determine whether you have retinal tear or retinal detachment, which may be the cause of your flashes or floaters. 

How are flashes and floaters treated?

Treatment of flashes and floaters depends on the root cause of your condition and the effect it has on your daily life. If your condition is due to diabetes, inflammation, or bleeding, your provider creates a personalized eye care plan to treat the underlying problem.

If flashes and floaters impair your vision, you might need laser photocoagulation, cryopexy, or vitrectomy (vitreous surgery). 

The providers at Retina Consultants of Austin are committed to preserving eyesight and can schedule you in the same day.

Call Retina Consultants of Austin or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about  treatment for flashes and floaters.