Flashes/Floaters

Floaters appear as semi-translucent, small specks or strands in one’s vision. The jelly-like substance in the back of the eye, called the vitreous, can clump together to create these floaters. Sometimes the vitreous can detach from the back tissue of the eye called the retina. This is called a vitreous detachment. When there is pulling or traction on the retina, some people can experience flashes of light in their vision. Any new onset floaters, flashes of light in one’s vision and/or new areas of darkness or missing vision requires prompt examination by an eye doctor to rule out a retinal detachment. Early diagnosis of these disorders is important for minimizing risk of vision loss.

Did you know?

You are more at risk for retinal detachments if you are highly nearsighted, have had any history of ocular trauma, have had a retinal detachment already in one of your eyes, or have a family member who has had a retinal detachment. Treatment for retinal detachments include laser treatments to the back of the eye or the placement of a “buckle” onto the eye.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get a retinal exam?

You should have a dilated retinal exam on a regular basis – preferably every year at your periodic eye check-up. Because retinal exams can reveal so many disorders and diseases, patients of all ages – including school-age children – should have a retinal exam each year.

What should I expect during my Dallas retinal exam?

Prior to your exam, your eye doctor will put drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils. He or she will then peer into the back of your eye using a special instrument called an ophthalmoscope. Through this device, your eye doctor will be able to view the blood vessels and tissues that make up the retina.

What happens after my retinal exam is over?

Following your exam, you may experience some vision blurring or sensitivity to light due to your dilated pupil. Side effects are only temporary, however, and you should be able to return to your normal routine soon after leaving the office. If your Dallas eye doctor finds anything unusual or abnormal during your retinal exam, you may need additional screenings.