Eye floaters look like black or gray specks, strings or cobwebs that drift about when you move your eyes. Most eye floaters are caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance inside your eyes begins to break down. When this happens, microscopic fibers clump together and cast tiny shadows on your retina, which you see as floaters. Flashes are caused when these clumps pull on your retina causing flashing lights. While it may seem as if these gel-like clumps are on the surface of your eye, they are actually located inside your eye. When patients experience a large floater in the center of their vision it can be a sign of a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). PVD is caused by the gel-like substance detaching from the retina and flowing freely within the eye. PVD, floaters, and flashes are not a sign of vision loss but they can be a precursor to retinal detachment. If you are experiencing these symptoms please call our office to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Sherman immediately.
Your retina is located at the back of your eye and is responsible for relaying messages to the brain via the optic nerve. It is a crucial part of your eye and if it is damaged you can experience permanent vision loss. A retinal detachment is when the retina becomes detached from the surrounding tissue. Sometimes the retina doesn’t fulling detach but just pulls away slighting and this is called a retinal tear or break. If caught early retinal detachments can be treated and permanent vision loss can be avoided.
At Physician Eye Care Associates, Dr. Sherman performs comprehensive eye exams when patients present with floaters, flashes, and signs of PVD. He will perform tests and take photographs to examine the retina for tears, breaks, or detachment. Based on his findings he will put together a treatment plan to restore vision and alleviate symptoms.
As long as the retina is not torn or detached there is no treatment for floaters & flashes as they pose no threat to your vision. If you are experiencing a floater you can move your eye around to clear the gel like substance out of your view. If you have a retinal tear, break, or detachment, Dr. Sherman will perform laser surgery immediately.