Understanding Flashers and Floaters
Our eyes are filled with a jelly-like material called the vitreous. Throughout much of our life, the vitreous remains attached to the retina, which is the nerve tissue that lines the back wall of our eye. As we age, the vitreous can start to pull away from the retina. This is called a posterior vitreous detachment.
Floaters are caused by clumps of gel that start to form in the eye as the gel condenses during a posterior vitreous detachment. You may perceive them as ‘spots’ or ‘strands’ in your vision. Flashes of light are caused by the vitreous tugging on the retina as the gel continues to peel away.
Besides aging, flashes and floaters are also associated with nearsightedness and injuries to the eye