The inside of the eye is filled with "jelly" fluid called the vitreous. As we age, two things can occur to the vitreous body:
If you see a few stable floaters here and there, this may indicate a NORMAL process of aging. Or what I like to call, "maturing with wisdom". If you see all of a sudden a lot of new floaters as well as flashing lights off to the side, this can indicate a more serious problem.
The vitreous is normally connected to the retinal layers inside your eye. As the vitreous shrinks, it can pull on the retina and this is what you notice as the flashes. Flashes only last for a few seconds and can look like lightning bolts. If the vitreous pulls too hard on the retina, it can create a hole or a tear. The hole or tear can release blood cells or pigment which might be what you are seeing floating in your vision. If fluid accumulates underneath the hole/tear, you are in threat of a retinal detachment.
Please contact our office if you are having symptoms of flashes or floaters and we can answer any concerns you may have!