December 17 , 2018 /

Floaters, flashes may be signs of more serious retinal conditions

It’s common to experience changes in eyesight over the course of life. Many people encounter floaters and flashes of light in the field of vision, and while typically not harmful to your vision, these symptoms can be a sign of a more serious condition.

As we age, the gel-like vitreous of the eye often begins to shrink. When this occurs, small clumps of cells, or floaters, may begin to form in the vitreous, appearing as small specks or cobweb-like strands in your vision. Flashes of light can also be experienced when the vitreous pulls or rubs against the retina.

While floaters and flashes are often not a serious risk to your eye health, they may be signs of an existing or potential retinal tear or detachment. When the retina is torn, fluid can leak through the tear, causing the retina to separate from its surrounding eye tissue, which can result in permanent vision loss.

If symptoms are caught early, proper treatment may prevent further damage. Retinal tears and detachments aren’t painful, so it’s important to be on the lookout for warning signs, including:

• An increase of new floaters or flashes of light
• Sharp decline in vision
• A curtain-like sensation clouding your vision

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to have a dilated eye exam to evaluate for signs of retinal tears or detachment. At Elmquist Eye Group, we understand that eye problems cannot be scheduled, and that’s why same-day appointments are available for your emergency eye care needs.

With 25 years of service to the Southwest Florida community, Elmquist Eye Group offers experienced doctors who are dedicated to patient care. Dr. E. Trevor Elmquist, Dr. Kate Wagner, Dr. Sarah Eccles-Brown and Dr. Nina Burt of Elmquist Eye Group are available to answer your questions. With three U.S. military veterans leading the practice, rest assured knowing that Elmquist Eye Group’s team stands ready to serve you with knowledge and experience right here in Southwest Florida.

For more information, visit, call 239-936-2020 or stop by an Optical Boutique location in Fort Myers or Cape Coral.

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