Impression of floaters against a blue sky

Flashes are often perceived as bright flashes of light in the peripheral vision. They are often noticed in the early evening or in areas of low ambient light. Patients may describe them looking a like lightning flashes or a camera flash in the corner of the vision.

Floaters are often perceived as small black shapes that move slowly in the visual field. Some patients describe floaters as appearing like little insects or a spider’s web in the vision. Flashes and floaters are often due to the vitreous jelly in the eye physically separating from the retina at the back of the eye. This is known as a Posterior Vitreous Detachment, or PVD.

retinal tear

An untreated retinal tear can lead to sudden blindness from a macula-off retinal detachment

Occasionally a PVD can cause small breaks or tears in the retina. If this is the case, they need to be urgently assessed and treated by one of our team of eye surgeons.

If not treated, fluid can enter through the tear and underneath the retina, causing a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment is a serious surgical emergency, and can cause loss of vision. If you have had recent onset of floaters, flashes or a curtain obstructing your vision, or a recent change in your symptoms, please contact our office for an urgent appointment.