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Dr. A.S. Desai
Dr. A.S. Desai, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2436
Experience:  MS Ophthalmology with 13 years of surgical expereince
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About an hour ago I had a new floater going across my line

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About an hour ago I had a new floater going across my line of sight which made it almost impossible to read, which gradually turned into a flashing light in the periphery of my vision and has since subsided. Should I see a doctor?

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Symptoms of floaters and flashes of light can occur in different eye conditions such as retinal detachment(RD) and posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). RD is more of an ocular emergency and is characterised by a sudden bout of flashes of light and a shower of floaters along with blurring of vision in one or more quadrants of the visual field and is typically described as if a curtain or veil has fallen in the line of vision( it is painless). RD is more common in those with short sightedness(myopia), diabetic retinopathy, trauma to the eye. However it is very difficult to know if there has been a RD just based on symptoms alone. A dilated eye examination by an ophthalmologist would be confirmative.

In PVD, the thick gel at the back of the eye( called vitreous) gets detached from its surrounding retina . This results in retinal traction which results in the symptom of flashes of light and includes color distortion. Flashes of light may not be prominent in some individuals. Once the vitreous gets detached completely , it may form clumps or strands and cause symptom of floaters such as dark spots, cobweb or thread like strands in the visual field.

More often it is not a serious issue and does not require any specific treatment. A routine retina examination needs to be done by an ophthalmologist just to check for the intactness of the retina and to look for any peripheral retinal tears or holes, which if found, can be sealed by lasers.

It is better to get your eye examined by an ophthalmologist so as to confirm whether the retina is intact and free from retinal holes and tears.

Please feel free to ask follow up questions if any.

Thank you and best wishes.

It was a pleasure to have answered this question.

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Views expressed are for information purpose only and cannot substitute a visit to an ophthalmologist.

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