Flashes and Floaters

Flashes and floaters are a common symptom, and can cause much anxiety. Luckily, most patients who experience flashes and floaters will have a condition called a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), a natural aging change of the vitreous gel inside of the eye. As we age, the gel inside of the eye transforms from a solid gel to a liquefied, clumpy gel which peels away from the retina. This process causes flashes and floaters, and often times does not cause any significant damage to the retina. However, 10% of the time, a PVD will lead to a retinal tear, which must be treated emergently to prevent retinal detachment and blindness. Therefore, any patient experiencing flashes and floaters should present to the retina clinic urgently for evaluation.