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Reasons for Flashes or Specks in Your Vision

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Floaters are specks, circles, lines, cobwebs or globs that you see in your field of vision. They appear to be floating in front of your eye, but they actually are floating inside your eye. Sometimes people try to swat at their floaters thinking there is a hair or bug in front of their eye. Many floaters are normal, but floaters can also be a sign of serious retinal conditions

Floaters or flashes in your vision may be a sign of a retinal tear or detachment. The retina is the thin tissue located on the back inner layer of your eye. If this tissue becomes damaged or begins to separate from the nourishing cell layer of your eye, this is considered a medical emergency.

Symptoms of Retinal Tear or Detachment

  • Flashes of light
  • A shadow over your vision
  • Floaters that look like cobwebs or specks

Reasons for a Retinal Tear or Detachment

Some people are just more prone to these conditions than others. If the vitreous gel inside your eye is very sticky, this may cause tugs on your retina, causing a tear and ultimately detachment.

Any type of trauma to the eye can lead to a retinal tear. If this occurs, fluid can begin to build up under the retina, leading to detachment. Another cause of these conditions is the shrinking of the vitreous gel inside the eye. This contraction can begin to tug on the retina and pull it away from the eye. In a similar situation, if you have any scar tissue on your retina due to past injuries, the scar can contract and pull on the retina.

This can all be occurring inside your eye without your knowledge. There is typically no pain associated with the early stages. This is another reason why regular eye exams are so vital to protecting your vision. Our team of experts will dilate your eyes to assess the condition of your retina. If problem areas are found, treatment can be started promptly to preserve your eyesight. 

Treatments for Retinal Tears or Detachment

The best treatment will depend on the severity of your condition. If a tear is diagnosed early, our doctors may simply monitor the area to see if it will heal on its own or they may recommend using a laser to close a tear. Other treatments include:

  • Vitrectomy: if the vitreous gel is pulling on the retina, the gel can be drained and replaced with a gas bubble
  • Scleral buckle: a flexible silicone band is permanently placed around the white of your eye (it’s invisible)
  • Pneumatic retinopexy: a gas bubble is injected into the vitreous gel

If you think you are having symptoms of a retinal detachment in Grand Rapids or Hibbing, contact us immediately to schedule an eye exam.

We’d Love to Tell You More About Retina Health

We invite you to schedule an eye exam so we can assess your vision for signs of a detached or torn retina so early treatment can be administered. During your visit to our practice, you will learn why so many people trust our team to protect their precious eyesight.

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GRAND RAPIDS

1542 Golf Course Road, Suite 201
Grand Rapids, Minnesota 55744

HIBBING

3605 Mayfair Avenue, Suite 2150
Hibbing, Minnesota 55746