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Flashes refer to light appearing in small sparks or fireworks in the peripheral portion of the visual field.

Floaters are dark specks or lines when looking against a light-colored background. It is exremely common.

floaters flashes

Facts:

  • 7 out of 10 people will experience eye floaters/flashes at some point in their lives
  • Flashes can be a symptom of a retinal detachment, which can damage vision

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Causes:

With age, the back cavity of the eye (vitreous) becomes more liquefied and can contract, separating from the back wall of the eye. This separation causes a shadow on the retina appearing as a floater.

Flashes may occur as a result of adhesion of the vitreous to the retina, which stimulates the retina, causing the perception of sparks of light when no lights actually exist.

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Symptoms:

Symptoms include seeing large spots (Clouded Dots/Shapes) occasionally or flashes of light in the side view of your vision. Flashes can be a symptom of a retinal detachment, which can damage vision significantly.

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Diagnosis:

  • Eye drops to dilate and test for posterior vitreous detachment
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Treatment:

There are no found treatments or cures for Flashers and Floaters, however with time, the floater will become less apparent as the mind adjusts to its presence and tunes out the recognition of the floater.

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Related Terms:

Posterior Vitreous Detachment, Retinal Tears, Vitreous Humour, Entoptic Phenomena, Aperture
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