In Focus Eyecare
120 Vidal St N Sarnia ON N7T 5X5 (519) 336-4113
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In Focus Eyecare
43 Main St E Grand Bend ON N0M 1T0 (519) 238-6086
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In Focus Eyecare
1206 Lakeshore Rd Sarnia ON N7S 2L2 (519) 542-3937
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Sarnia - Lakeshore / (519) 542-3937
Sarnia - Vidal Street / (519) 336-4113
Grand Bend / (519) 238-6086

Flashes & Floaters

Figuring Out Flashes & Floaters

Sometimes the human body seems to work in mysterious ways, and the human eye is no exception. While most of us have experienced the strange experience of random floating shapes or flashes of light in our vision, we usually brush them off as strange and carry on with our day. But what if flashes and floaters are your body’s way of telling you something is wrong?

Understanding what causes these types of phenomena is the first step in taking a proactive approach to eye health. If you have questions about flashes and floaters or just general eye health questions, come see us. We’re happy to put any and all concerns you may have to rest.

When Are Flashes & Floaters a Problem?

As a general rule, any time your vision changes suddenly, you should see your optometrist as soon as possible. If you’re experiencing flashes or veils that come in waves or patterns, something is most likely wrong, and you should seek immediate emergency care.

Floaters can be many sizes and shapes. Any change in the number of or frequency of your floaters could indicate a problem. If you experience waves of flashes in conjunction with what appears to be a downward shower of floaters, your retina may be detaching and will need immediate medical attention.

Retinal Detachment

The retina (the lining on the back of your eye) is extremely sensitive and is a crucial part of the visual system; detecting light, and sending messages to the brain.

When the retina tears or detaches, it can be a vision-threatening problem. While it can be fixed, the longer the retina is detached, the less likely your vision is to be fully restored. If you think you’re experiencing retinal detachment, don’t wait; get medical help right away.

More Information about Flashes and Floaters

Because the retina is so sensitive, it’s easily stimulated. Usually light stimulates it, causing it to send messages through the optic nerve to the brain, where it’s interpreted as an image. When something jerks, jostles, or touches the retina, it’s stimulated to do the same thing; sending an impulse through the optic nerve, which your brain then interprets as a flash of light. This can happen from a blow to the head, a sudden stop, or just the vitreous retreating due to age. Any new flashes can be a sign of a retinal tear and needs urgent attention. Call us immediately or seek emergency care.

You should always get medical help after a head injury, as an undiagnosed concussion can lead to serious problems.

The inside of your eye is filled with a substance called the vitreous. When you’re born, the vitreous is like a gel. But as you age, the vitreous dissolves into more of a liquid. Commonly, the dissolution process doesn’t happen evenly, leaving pieces of vitreous gel floating in the liquid. The little floating shapes you see may simply be shadows of the floating pieces of gel.

Alternatively and more seriously, a new floater could be a piece of retina that has broken away, leaving a retinal hole in its place. Retinal holes can progress to retinal detachments which can be blinding. Retinal holes can be stabilized to prevent progression with lasers. If you have new floaters, call our office immediately or seek emergency care.

Come See How We’re Making Eye Care Better

Visit one of our three In Focus Eyecare locations today.

Sarnia - Lakeshore Road

1206 Lakeshore Road
Sarnia, ON N7S 2L2

Contact Number

Phone: (519) 542-EYES (3937)
Fax: (519) 542-2800

Hours

Monday:
Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday:
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed
Closed

Sarnia - Vidal Street

120 Vidal St. N
Sarnia, ON N7T 5X5

Contact Number

Phone: (519) 336-4113
Fax: (519) 336-1639

Hours

Monday:
Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday:
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed
Closed
Closed

Grand Bend

43 Main Street East
Grand Bend, ON N0M 1T0

Contact Number

Phone: (519) 238-6086
Fax: (519) 238-6068

Hours

Monday:
Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday:
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed
Closed

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