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Flashes and floaters in your vision

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If you see floaters, specks, or lines in your vision, should you be concerned?

One of the biggest questions our optometrists receive is about floaters. Often times patients are concerned that they are experiencing something uncommon or dangerous. Floaters are very common and in most cases you should not be concerned, however in some cases when other symptoms are present an emergency eye exam should be scheduled right away. Below our eye doctor explains what symptoms might indicate the need to schedule an eye exam immediately.

What are floaters?

Normally the tissue inside your eye, or gel inside your eye is clear. Floaters happen when a little tissue break-loose. Most of the time it’s called PVD, Posterior Vitreous Detachment. And that is when the tissue that holds the lens in place break-loose. Our eyes have a lot of them; you can lose a few. And they float around inside your eye. So, what you see is a little piece of tissue floating around. If you look at a white surface you could see it.

Are Floaters Dangerous?

Most of the time, this is nothing of concern. Most patients will experience floaters, or specks, or strings in their vision, which is especially common as we age. Where it becomes more serious is if you continue to see increasing floaters. Or if you are seeing a lot of flashes where the tissue is hitting against the retina. Another symptom that should be looked at right away is if you experience darkness or a curtain coming over your vision. This could be an early sign of a retinal detachment and to prevent complications from retinal detachment it is imperative to schedule an emergency eye exam right away. Suspected retinal detachment should receive treatment with a shot and get repaired as quickly as you can.

If you have occasional floaters but not additional signs that indicate an eye emergency, what should you do?

Most of the time, it is very very common to have floaters. And as you mature, as you get older, it becomes more common. Our optometrist Dr. Eric white always likes to say

“If you have a couple little floaters, look at it as a positive. This way that you are never bored. Because if you are bored, you can actually look at the floater and kinda just follow it.”

Since floaters are very common, it is nothing to worry about unless its starts to increase or you have additional symptoms listed above. If that does starts to happen, call our optometry office to schedule an emergency eye exam day or night. Complete Family Vision Care is located across from National University in San Diego. Our Optometrists Dr. Eric White and Dr. Joe Mannen have extensive experience with caring for the health of your eyes and we see patients of all ages.