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Floaters and Flashes

Eye floaters can appear in your field of vision at any time. They can look like cobwebs, strings or clumps that move across your eyes. They are caused when part of the gel inside your eye (vitreous) breaks loose and floats away from the back of the eye (retina), casting a shadow over your vision. Floaters are not actually on your eyes, but rather within your vitreous.

This phenomenon is not usually a medical emergency. However, if you suddenly have a large number of floaters or if you experience flashes of light in your vision (like seeing stars), it could mean that part of your vitreous gel is pulling on or breaking away from your retina. It could also signify that you have a retinal tear or detachment which is a serious condition that can lead to permanent vision loss.

If floaters are interfering with your vision, schedule an eye exam right away. We may recommend laser vitreolysis to break the floaters apart and dissolve them. This is typically only recommended for older patients that have floaters located a safe distance from the retina.

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