A floater is a small clump of gel that forms in the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid which fills the cavity inside the eye. Floaters may be seen as dots, lines, cobwebs or spiders and are most often
The appearance of floaters may cause much concern, especially if they develop suddenly. However, floaters are usually a result of the aging process. As we mature, the vitreous gel shrinks and pulls away
Sometimes, the retina may be torn as the vitreous shrinks and pulls away from the retina. A tear through a small blocked vessel in the retina may cause bleeding. Clotted blood and vitreous material may
Although annoying, floaters are usually not vision threatening and do not require treatment. Often floaters diminish and become less bothersome with time. IF a floater appears directly in the line of
Flashes appear as flashing lights or lightning streaks in the field of vision, although no light is actually flashing. Flashes are similar to the sensation of "seeing stars" when one is hit on the head.
Flashes are caused by the vitreous gel tugging on the retina. If the gel actually separates from the retina (Posterior Vitreous Detachment), flashes of light may appear periodically for several weeks.
Flashes can also occur in association with migraine headaches. A migraine is caused by a spasm of blood vessels in the visual information center of the brain. Migraine related flashes distort central
Unless they represent the symptoms of a more serious condition, flashes do not require treatment. Flashes which are a result of the vitreous pulling away from the retina will eventually stop. However