Flashes, floaters, retinal detachments

Flashes and floaters are common visual phenomena that many individuals experience at some point in their lives. Flashes can appear as flickering or shimmering lights in one’s field of vision, often caused by the vitreous, the gel-like substance inside the eye, pulling on the retina. Floaters, on the other hand, are small, shadowy shapes or specks that drift through the visual field, caused by tiny pieces of the vitreous that have broken loose within the eye. While flashes and floaters can be alarming, they are typically harmless and may become less noticeable over time. However, a sudden increase in these visual disturbances can be a warning sign of a more serious condition, such as retinal detachment, and should be examined by an optician or eye care professional immediately.

Retinal detachment is a serious and urgent eye condition where the retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye, pulls away from its normal position. Symptoms can include a significant increase in floaters, sudden flashes of light, and a shadow or curtain effect across the field of vision that may progress towards the center. It’s crucial for anyone experiencing these symptoms to seek immediate medical attention, as retinal detachment requires prompt treatment to prevent permanent vision loss. At Ramsden Opticians we are equipped to assess these symptoms and can refer patients to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment. Early detection and treatment are key to preserving vision and preventing more severe outcomes.

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