Floaters & Flashes

Eye floaters are spots in your vision. They often look like black or gray specks, blobs, strings or cobwebs. When you move your eyes, the floaters will move along with you. They are most obvious when you are looking at something with a white background. Flashes often occur with floaters, and they are exactly what they sound like, a flash of light. There are a few different causes of floaters and flashes, and the professionals at Arvada Optometric Center can determine the cause.


What Causes Floaters and Flashes?

There are a few different causes of flashes and floaters. These include:

  • Age-related changes to the eye: The vitreous is a jelly-like substance inside your eye that helps it maintain its round shape. As you get older, the vitreous can liquefy partially, which causes it to pull away from the surface of the eyeball. As the vitreous liquefies, it can block light from passing through the eye, causing you to see floaters.
  • Inflammation in the back of the eye: Any inflammation in the back of the eye can cause floaters and flashes. Inflammatory diseases are the most common cause, followed by infection.
  • Bleeding in the eye: Bleeding into the vitreous can cause floaters. You can bleed in the vitreous as a result of hypertension, blocked blood vessels, diabetes and eye injury. You will be able to see the blood cells, but they will look like floaters.
  • Retinal tears: A retinal tear can cause floaters. When the vitreous is sagging too much, it can force a retinal tear. If it is not treated, the retina can detach. A retinal tear can also occur during an accident or a blow to the eye.
  • Eye surgeries or medications: Certain eye surgeries and medications can cause complications that can cause floaters or flashes.

Who Is At Risk For Floaters and Flashes?

Anyone can experience the issues that can cause floaters and flashes, but they are at a greater risk.

  • Anyone over 50
  • Anyone who is nearsighted
  • Anyone who has had a previous eye trauma
  • A complication from cataract surgery
  • Anyone with diabetic retinopathy
  • Eye inflammation

How are Floaters Diagnosed?

When you mention floaters during your annual eye exam, your optometrist will dilate your eyes to get a good look at your vitreous. This will give them an idea of what is causing the floaters and flashes, so that a treatment plan can be created.

If you are experiencing floaters or flashes, it is not something you should ignore. As soon as the issue begins, you should contact Arvada Optometric Center. Our eye doctor will examine your eyes to determine the cause of the problem. We will create an eye care treatment plan to treat the issue, which should stop the floaters and the flashes. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today