Flashes, Floaters, & Cataracts | FAQs

21 October 2018
 Categories: , Blog


As you age, there are a lot of health issues that can come about, but one thing that is often unexpected is changes in the eyes. The retina and vitreous fluids of the eye change with age, which means you can have a lot of visual issues that are different than the typical eye problems that can come about for people who are younger. Flashes, floaters, and cataracts are just three examples of the common problems aging adults have with their vision, but they are some of the most common. Take a look at some of the most common questions about flashes, floaters, and cataracts and the answers you should know as an aging adult. 

What exactly are flashes and floaters?

Flashes and floaters are almost exactly what they sound like; you will see these flashes and floaters in your vision that make it seem like you have something in your eye, but you don't. These things you are seeing actually lie on the internal parts of the eye. Strands of vitreous material that breaks loose can create shadows on the retina, which explains the floaters. If the strands are pushing against the retinal nerves, it can generate flashes of light. 

Are flashes and floaters early signs of cataracts?

On the contrary, cataracts can usually come along with problems with flashes and floaters, specifically if you have already had surgery for the problem. Just because you have issues with flashes and floaters, it does not always mean that you will eventually develop cataracts and need cataract surgery. Most of the time, floaters and flashers are nothing more than a nuisance, and you will get used to them over time to such an extent that you will barely ever notice they are there. 

Can you have problems with flashes, floaters, and cataracts all at once?

It is definitely possible to develop all three of these problems at one time. Typically, flashes and floaters can be an issue after you have had surgery to remove cataracts because the implanted lenses used can affect the vitreous fluids in the eyes. Where cataracts will create a permanently blurred spot in your vision, floaters and flashes tend to move around to different areas of your vision and gradually become less noticeable. In rare cases, floaters are so large that they create a permanent blockage in the vision and have to be surgically removed to restore vision. 

If you suspect you may be dealing with any of the eye problems above, make an appointment at a clinic like Olympia Eye Clinic, Inc., P.S.


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