Flashes and Floater
Flashes and Floater Treatment in Nigeria
You may sometimes see small specks in the form of dots, lines, circles, cobwebs or clouds moving across your field of vision. These are called Floaters. You can often see them when looking at a blank wall or blue sky. Floaters are actually tiny clumps of cells or material inside the vitreous, the clear, gel-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye.
While these objects look like they are in front of your eye, they are actually floating inside it. What you see are the shadows they cast on the retina. And they seem to move when you look in different directions. While Flashes are experienced as a lighting streak, originating within the eye, in the field of vision. These are most often noticed at night or in a dark room. You may have experienced this same sensation if you have ever been hit in the eye and seen "stars." Also, as we grow older, it is more common to experience Floaters and Flashes as the vitreous gel changes with age, gradually pulling away from the inside surface of the eye. In about half of all people, the vitreous gets separated from the retina by age 50, although many people remain ignorant about it. At first, Floaters can be annoying, but your brain slowly learns to ignore them. Majority of times, these Flashes and Floaters are harmless. However, these may also point towards more serious conditions of retina like Retinal Breaks, Retinal Detachment, Vitreous Haemorrhage, etc., which if not treated promptly, may lead to severe loss of vision. Hence it is important to not to ignore these symptoms and get a detailed retinal checkup to prevent any further serious complications.
Diagnosis and Treatment
These Floaters and Flashes may sometimes interfere with your vision. If you have symptoms of a PVD (floaters, flashes, shower of spots or gray areas approaching from the side) it is important to have a prompt and thorough retina examination. Fortunately, the great majority of PVDs do not cause a retinal tear and not all tears lead to detachment. Surgery is almost never needed for Floaters unless a retinal break or detachment has happened
A Retinal Break or Tear can be treated by a simple preventive procedure of Laser or Cryopexy, as an outpatient procedure for Floaters and Flashes Treatment. These procedures create an adhesion between the retina and the underlying tissue by forming a scar tissue. This scar tissue prevents the seepage of liquid vitreous under the retina and thus prevents retinal detachment. These preventive procedures are virtually harmless and are very effective (95%) in preventing the more serious retinal detachment.
A delay in surgery reduces the success rate and the vision gained is also limited. AELC super speciality eye hospitals in Nigeria are well equipped to deal with the problems caused by the Flashes and Floaters and specialises in Eye Flashes and Floaters Treatment.
In about half of all people, the vitreous gets separated from the retina by age 50, although many people remain ignorant about this process that has occurred in their eyes. At first, Floaters can be annoying, but your brain slowly learns to ignore them. After several months you may hardly notice them. Most of the times, the vitreous separates from the retina without any problem. However, in some people, the vitreous remains attached to parts of the retina thus causing a tear to the retina as the vitreous separates from it. There may be some bleeding into the vitreous associated with a retinal tear, which results in a new "shower" of Floaters. Tears in the retina should be repaired right away.
A Retinal Tear can gradually develop into a Retinal Detachment, which is a serious threat to vision. Retinal Tears can usually be repaired without a hospital stay, but it may take a major operation to fix a Retinal Detachment.
Certain people, such as those who are nearsighted and those who have had a cataract operation or an eye injury, have a higher risk of Retinal Tears and Retinal Detachment.
What can I do about floaters?
Floaters may sometimes interfere with your vision, especially when you are reading. If a Flaoter appears right in your line of vision, move your eye around. This makes the vitreous swirl around and moves the Floater out of the way. Looking up and down rather than from side to side causes different currents inside. What to do once Flashes or Floaters are noticed?
If you have symptoms of a PVD (floaters, flashes, shower of spots or gray areas approaching from the side) it is important to have a prompt and thorough examination of the retina so a search can be made for any Retinal Break or other pathology. Fortunately, the great majority of PVDs do not cause a Retinal Tear and not all tears lead to detachment. Surgery is almost never needed for Floaters.
What happens to the Flashes or Floaters?
Following a PVD, it is expected that the Floaters and Flashes slowly diminish over a 3 month period. Once it has been determined there is no underlying Retinal Tear or Detachment, the floaters may be considered irritating but harmless. With time most Floaters tend to become less bothersome and often disappear. If new Floaters appear in future, they need to be examined again to determine if they are harmless or are infact a symptom of the more serious Retinal Tear or Detachment.
What are the warning symptoms for Retinal Detachment or Retinal Tear?
- Floaters, especially a sudden onset of them
- Loss of field of vision
- Loss of central vision
If one experiences any of these symptoms, he/she must consult an ophthalmologist, preferably a Retinal Specialist immediately to get an appropriate Flashes and Floaters Treatment.
What to do if one has Retinal Detachment?
Once the retina detaches, it must be operated upon on an urgent basis to reattach the retina. If operated early, the results are generally quite good with significant gain in vision. A delay in surgery decreases the chances of success and the vision gained is also limited. Africa Eye Laser Centre is equipped to deal with the problems caused by the Flashes & Floaters and specializes in Eye Floaters surgery treatment.