Floaters are those specks or lines that sometimes drift into one’s field of vision. While typically harmless, floaters that occur suddenly and are accompanied by flashes of light or impaired vision can signal a potentially serious eye problem, particularly among older adults.
As people age, the gel-like substance in the eye, called the vitreous, begins to liquify and contract. As the vitreous contracts, it peels away from the retina. This is called a vitreous detachment. The more nearsighted the person is, the higher the chance for them to have this condition.
In most people, vitreous detachment is harmless however in some patients, as the vitreous pulls away from the retina, a retinal tear or detachment may occur. This can be vision-threatening and requires urgent medical attention.
To evaluate the condition, an eye specialist will dilate the eye to examine it and make sure there is no retinal tear or detachment. In 90 percent of cases, no problem exists and patients are reassured that the floaters and flashes will eventually go away without treatment. But it takes an examination to know that.
It’s impossible for a patient to be able to distinguish between a vitreous detachment, which is bothersome, and an associated tear or detachment ,that’s why it’s so important to see an eye specialist and have the symptoms evaluated.
At Jaysons Opticians, our specialist optometrists are trained and accredited to provide the service. For resent onset floaters or flashes appointments under the CUES scheme are covered by the NHS provided that you are registered with a Derbyshire GP.
Article written by
Mr K.Lakhani BSC MCOptom Dip Tp Ip
Take your eyes to someone you trust.