Flashes and Floaters
Flashes and floaters are symptoms of the eye that commonly occur as a result of age-related changes to the vitreous gel. When we are born, the vitreous is firmly attached to the retina and is a thick, firm substance without much movement. But as we age, the vitreous becomes thinner and more watery, and tissue debris that was once secure in the firm gel can now move around inside the eye, casting shadows on the retina.
A retinal detachment is an uncommon but serious eye condition in which the retina separates from the inner lining within the eye, often associated with holes or tears. When the retina detaches, it separates from its nourishing blood supply and falls into the posterior cavity of the eye. This results in loss of vision. If not treated early, retinal detachment may lead to partial or complete loss of vision.
An epiretinal membrane, also known as macular pucker, is the formation of a thin membrane over the macula, the area of the retina that gives us clear central vision. Eyes with epiretinal membrane which are long standing may not be treated with surgery if the vision is unlikely to improve after surgery. Some epiretinal membranes may present in the early stages which are less serious. They may just be followed up by an ophthalmologist.
A macular hole is a discontinuity or break in the center portion of the retina, a part called the macula. The macula is responsible for the fine central vision used for reading or looking at distant objects. Macular hole is usually associated with ageing, but can also be caused by other eye disorders, trauma, epiretinal membrane, and retinal detachment. Most macular holes slowly enlarge, giving rise to worse central vision as time passes. However, even left untreated, macular holes almost never result in complete blindness in the eye. A small percentage may resolve spontaneously during the early stages of the condition, but more than 90% of macular holes progress if untreated.