When Should You See an Ophthalmologist for Floaters and Flashes?

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Floaters and flashes are common visual disturbances that can be concerning. While they may occur occasionally and not typically cause significant issues, persistent or sudden onset floaters and flashes should be evaluated by an experienced ophthalmologist to ensure there are no underlying issues that may compromise your vision, eye health, or overall health. In this blog from the knowledgeable team at Eye Specialists of Napa Valley, you’ll find helpful information regarding when it may be necessary to see a member of our team for floaters and flashes in Napa, CA.

What are floaters in the eye?

Floaters are small specks, spots, or web shapes that appear in your field of vision. They are technically caused by tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, which is the gel-like substance that fills the eye. Flashes, on the other hand, are often described by patients as brief flickers or flashes of light that occur in the peripheral vision. Floaters and flashes can vary in frequency and intensity and may understandably be alarming, particularly when they come on suddenly or for the first time.

Do I need to see an ophthalmologist for floaters?

While floaters and flashes are not always a cause for concern, they should be checked out by an ophthalmologist to prevent worsening symptoms and to evaluate for a more serious condition, like increased eye pressure, a torn retina, or eye bleeding. Certain cases of floaters or flashes may warrant more immediate attention, such as:

  • Sudden onset: If you experience a sudden increase in the number of floaters, accompanied by flashes of light, it may indicate a retinal tear or detachment. Immediate intervention is critical in this case to prevent further complications.
  • Significant changes in floaters or flashes: If you notice a significant change in the size, shape, or density of your floaters — or if the flashes become more frequent or intense — it is important to schedule an exam with your ophthalmologist. These changes may be signs of a potentially serious eye condition that can worsen if left untreated.
  • Loss of peripheral vision: A sudden loss of peripheral vision or a shadow across your field of vision could also be a sign of retinal detachment, which is a serious condition and can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated.

What can an ophthalmologist do about floaters and flashes?

At Eye Specialists of Napa Valley, our dedicated team is committed to providing exceptional eye care services to help protect your vision and restore your comfort. We utilize state-of-the-art tools, treatments, and technologies to diagnose and manage various eye conditions, including floaters and flashes. During your comprehensive eye exam and consultation for floaters and flashes, we will thoroughly assess your visual health, and perform a detailed evaluation of the retina. We will take the time to listen to your concerns, answer any questions you may have, and develop a personalized treatment plan based on the findings of your exam to alleviate your frustrating symptoms and prevent worsening conditions.

Protect your vision with a comprehensive eye exam in Napa, CA

Many people agree that our vision is one of our most valuable assets. If you are experiencing floaters, flashes, or other vision changes in Napa, CA, schedule a consultation with our expert team of ophthalmologists at Eye Specialists of Napa Valley today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.