Eye Floaters & Flashes Specialist

Kim Doan, MD -  - Ophthalmologist

Advanced Eyecare of Orange County

Kim Doan, MD

Ophthalmologist & Eye Surgeon located in Newport Beach, CA & Huntington Beach, CA

There it is again — that little grey speck floating across your vision. Everyone has floaters or flashes of light in their field of vision occasionally. However, if the amount of floaters or flashes increases significantly, contact Advanced Eyecare of Orange County, in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, California, as it could be a sign of retinal damage. Board-certified ophthalmologist, Kim Doan, MD, and her team diagnose the condition causing your floaters and flashes and provide state-of-the-art, customized treatment. Call Advanced Eyecare of Orange County or make an appointment online today.

Eye Floaters & Flashes Q & A

What are floaters and flashes?

Floaters and flashes are visual phenomena caused by changes in your eyes. 

Floaters 

Floaters are the gray or translucent specks that float across your field of vision. They’re more visible when you’re looking at a plain background like a clear sky, blank wall, or even the white background of your Word document. 

When the vitreous fluid in your eye starts to thicken or shrink, the cells stick together and are suspended in your eyeball. When light passes through your eye, it casts shadows of the clumps of cells onto your retina, and you see floaters.

Flashes

Flashes occur when the vitreous gel pulls or rubs on your retina. You may see a single sparkle or a lightning streak or flash. Flashes become more common as you age and your vitreous fluid changes texture.

When should I talk to an eye doctor about floaters and flashes?

You should make an appointment at Advanced Eyecare of Orange County if you have a sudden increase of floaters or if it looks like a shower of floaters is obstructing your vision. Similarly, if you suddenly start to see a lot of flashes or if they persistently appear in your vision, schedule an exam. A sudden change in your vision or increase in floaters or flashes is a warning sign of issues like retinal detachment.

What causes floaters and flashes?

As mentioned, floaters and flashes occur naturally as the vitreous gel in your eyeballs changes with age. However, retinal detachment or a sudden release of blood from your retinal blood vessels can also cause floaters and flashes. 

Your risk of floaters and flashes, as well as retinal detachment, increases if you’re severely nearsighted. Other risk factors include uveitis and intraocular surgery.

How are the causes of floaters and flashes treated?

The team at Advanced Eyecare of Orange County offers customized treatments depending on the cause of your floaters and flashes. During your comprehensive eye exam, your ophthalmologist looks for retinal damage and changes to your vitreous gel. If your floaters and flashes are due to the aging process, they may recommend waiting and watching for future changes. Your doctor can provide specific advice on what symptoms indicate a vision emergency.

However, if you have retina damage, your doctor may recommend laser surgery to repair your retina or vitreoretinal surgery to restore and preserve your vision.

Call Advanced Eyecare of Orange County or make an appointment online today for comprehensive eye exams and treatment for the conditions that cause floaters and flashes.