Fact Sheets » Flashes and Floaters
If you have 'spotty' vision or can occasionally see flashes of light, you should book an appointment with us straight away
Have you noticed any changes to your vision recently? Maybe you have become sensitive to light or continually see 'spots' in your vision?
Please remember that even the slightest change in your vision could indicate the development of a potentially harmful condition. For that reason, it's really important to seek medical advice straight away.
What are floaters and flashes?
Floaters are classed as anything that can obscure your vision. For instance, you might see spots, lines or a cobwebbing effect. Try looking at a plain surface now such as a white wall or clear sky. Do you see anything unusual?
The condition is relatively uncommon with people who have healthy eyes. However, the likelihood of developing the condition increases as you become older.
If you suffer from flashes, you will see flashes of light around the edge of your vision. This is because of the vitreous gel inside your eyeball; this 'jelly' can sometimes shrink which pulls on the retina, causing a flash to appear in your vision.
If you suddenly notice that you are suffering from the above symptoms it is crucial that you seek advice urgently. Your retina is extremely delicate, so if it is pulled too much it can sometimes tear. This is called retinal detachment and can result in partial or complete loss of vision, which is irreversible.
If you are unable to receive help from an optician, then please visit your local Accident and Emergency department as soon as possible.