Floaters and Flashes

Floaters and Flashes

Floaters and Flashes services offered in Long Beach, CA

It’s normal to have occasional floaters and flashers in your vision, but if the problem continues for more than a day or two, it’s crucial to seek treatment. At Apex Retina Institute, located in Long Beach, California, board-certified ophthalmologist Darren Knight, MD, and the team specialize in diagnosing and treating floaters and flashers. Dr. Knight can identify the source of your symptoms and make personalized care recommendations. Call Apex Retina Institute today to receive treatment for floaters and flashers, or book your appointment online.

What are floaters and flashers?

Eye floaters and flashers are squiggly lines, shapes, or camera flash-like bursts that appear in your line of vision. They occur because of changes to your vitreous –– a gel-like substance in the middle of your eye between your lens and retina. 

As you age, your vitreous shrinks and breaks up into smaller particles. When these particles pass your macula (the center of your retina), floaters and flashers appear. 

Most of the time, floaters resolve on their own and don’t require treatment. If they become increasingly apparent or affect your vision, contact Dr. Knight immediately.

What are the symptoms of floaters and flashers?

Symptoms of floaters and flashers include:

  • Squiggly lines
  • Spots
  • Spider-like shapes
  • Thread-like strands
  • Small shadowy shapes
  • Bright flashes or bursts of light

Everyone sees floaters differently. If your symptoms concern you, don’t wait to schedule an eye exam.

Who experiences floaters and flashers?

Anyone can experience floaters and flashers, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Being 50 or older
  • Having diabetes
  • Nearsightedness (trouble seeing things far away)
  • Cataract surgery

Certain eye-related conditions may increase your risk of floaters and flashers. For example, floaters and flashers are often associated with eye inflammation and swelling.

How are floaters and flashers diagnosed?

Dr. Knight reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and completes a comprehensive eye exam.

He dilates your pupils to check for underlying problems, like retinal detachments, and orders optical coherence tomography (OCT) to capture high-quality images of your eyes. Dr. Knight meticulously examines the OCT scans to pinpoint the underlying cause. 

How are floaters and flashers treated?

Treatment of floaters and flashers depends on the underlying cause and the severity of your symptoms. Often, Dr. Knight recommends taking a “wait and watch” approach. Most floaters and flashers aren’t serious and improve on their own.

If the floaters and flashers affect your vision or your symptoms continue, Dr. Knight may recommend a vitrectomy. During this procedure, he removes the vitreous from your eye and replaces it with a synthetic solution. 

Sometimes, retinal lasers are beneficial. Lasers can break up groups of floaters and keep them out of your field of vision.

Call Apex Retina Institute today to receive treatment for floaters and flashers, or book your appointment online.