What Causes The Flashing Lights?
As the gel comes away from the retina, the tractional pull on the retinal tissue causes the flashing lights in the eye. Once the traction has ceased, the flashing lights normally subside.
Why Do I Need My Eye Examined If I Have New Onset Floaters and/or Flashing Lights?
The vitreous detachment may tear the retina. If a hole or tear develops in the retina, then there is an increased risk of there being a retinal detachment. A detached retina can cause loss of vision, and requires a surgical operation to put the retina back in the right place. Thus, it is very important that you have your eye examined urgently on the onset of symptoms. There are other less common reasons for floaters – eg. bleeding into the gel in the back of the eye from a blood vessel (usually in diabetic patients).
Should I be Worried About Floaters?
Most floaters are innocuous and there is no need to worry. However, if you have had new onset of floaters, then you need to have your eyes examined by an Optometrist as a matter of urgency. *THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IF YOU ARE SHORT SIGHTED.
By seeing an Optometrist early, if there is a problem, it can be diagnosed and treated before it progresses into something more serious.