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Flashes & Floaters

Floaters consist of small gel particles that are caused when part of the vitreous (gel-like substance in the back of the eye) breaks free. As we age, the gel tends to liquefy which typically causes an increase in the number of floaters a person may see. The whole vitreous may detach from the retina which is a common occurrence in that half of the population will have this occur by age 80. Associated eye flashes that are noticed when new floaters appear could be an indication of a more serious condition. This could mean the vitreous has pulled part of the retina away resulting in a retinal break, tear, or detachment. Should you notice a sudden increase in floaters that may or may not be associated with flashing lights, we recommend you be seen promptly by an eye care provider to rule out a retinal complication. There are no treatment options for vitreous floaters or a vitreous detachment. There is a number of different treatment options if the retina is involved, and treatment should occur in a very timely manner without delay.

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