Annoying Visual Distractions

Flashers and Floaters

Floaters
The vitreous is a clear gel-like substance that fills the back of the eye. It gives the globe it’s shape and holds the retina in place. It is not replenished over time and it does degenerate. With time the vitreous body shrinks and pulls away from the retina. This can release cells that float across the visual pathway, casting shadows in the field of view. Floaters present as spots, dots, lines circles or cobwebs that float across your line of sight. They are frequently visible when looking at a plain background such as a blank wall or a blue sky. These floaters represent benign changes and are typically age related with most complaints starting around age forty. They are usually of little importance. But a sudden onset or increase in intensity of floaters should be evaluated by your eyecare professional.

Flashers (flashing)
The retina is a thin , transparent tissue that lines the back of the eyeball. It uses sophisticated photoreceptors that gather light and through electro-chemical reactions, turn that light into vision. A tearing of this tissue or a separation of the retina from the back of the eye can result in flashes as if a light where flashing in your peripheral field of view. This can be followed by a blocking of your peripheral vision as if a shade where being drawn across part of your field of view. This is typically associated with a detachment and a folding of the retina and requires immediate attention to avoid permanent vision loss.

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