Floaters are bits of flotsam and jetsam that move across your field of vision. Floaters are actual blobs of cells or gel that move around in the eye’s interior fluid, called the “vitreous.”
Flashes can cause streaks of light when the gel tugs at the retina of the eye within the vitreous. This is what happens when you “see stars” after being hit in or near the eye.
Although, it’s normal to experience floaters and flashes as you age, it is important to see an ophthalmologist right away if you notice the sudden onset of either. If it is a new experience for you, in order to make certain it is not anything more serious, you must seek out professional help.
Posterior Vitreous Detachment (or PVD) is a condition in which the membrane that separates the vitreous gel from the rest of the eye is detached from the retina. This condition is relatively common in seniors, with over 75% of adults aged 65 or older developing it. The primary symptoms include a noted increase in the number of floaters and the occurrence of flashes. Unless there is a retinal tear (which requires repair), PVD can resolve on its own.
If you are over the age of 65 and have noticed an increase in flashes and/or floaters in your field of vision, you may be dealing with PVD. Set up an appointment with Ophthalmic Specialists of Michigan to have your eyes examined and determine the best course of action.