Flashes are due to the vitreous jelly traction on the retina giving the effect of a small flash of light, which often happens in the peripheral vision. Floaters are as a result of debris in the vitreous jelly that may float pass through the visual axis and cause the patient to see an image such as a fine line, a “blob”, or a ‘cobweb” which may move.
Flashes and floaters are usually not concerning, but one in ten patients with these symptoms may have a retinal tear, which requires treatment. Symptoms may persist for months or even years.
These types of symptoms may suggest development of a “retinal tear” or “retinal detachment”, they are:
Sudden increase in the flashes
They become persistent such as being present all day
Floaters which become much larger
Loss of vision
The impression of a curtain coming down, coming up or moving sideways
If you experience these symptoms, you should contact either your GP or Optometrist as soon as possible for them to do an examination and to refer you to Rockhampton Eye Clinic.