WHAT ARE Flashes and Floaters?
For those who have ever noticed a floating shadow or bright flash in their vision, these phenomenons are called floaters and flashes respectively. While these occurrences are not always an indication of a more serious problem, patients who notice them should definitely confide in our team at Chu Vision Institute. Led by world-renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu, our staff of eye doctors is highly trained at detecting flashes and floaters and determining when intervention with treatment is necessary. Although floaters are not sight-threatening, floaters can affect your quality of vision and disrupt your ability to perform your daily activities. Thankfully, our team performs laser floater removal and can help manage the occurrence of your eye flashes with advanced techniques. Contact our team in Bloomington, MN to schedule your eye exam today.
"Bare with my lengthy review but if you’re like me, I wanted to know what others true thoughts were and I scoured as many reviews as possible to make sure I was making the best decision for me and my eyes. I am SO, SO thankful for Dr. Chu and Dr. Heckman’s expertise and honesty. I decided it was time to get Lasik and went in for my consultation. From check-in to my latest follow up, everyone at the Chu Vision Institute was friendly, warm, and helpful. Due to some past corneal scarring, Dr. Chu recommended that I get Lasik on one eye and PRK (ASA) on the other. I was extremely nervous about PRK because of the slightly longer recovery time and I really just wanted to wake up and have 20/20 vision like my friends who have had Lasik. The day of my procedure, they made sure I had all my questions and concerns answered before they let me in to have my surgery. That was extremely comforting to me and Dr. Heckman explained why PRK was recommended over Lasik. Simply put, I wouldn’t have had a good outcome if Dr. Chu had performed Lasik on both eyes. Both procedures went well and Dr. Chu confirmed his right decision during the procedure which took all of maybe 10 minutes for both eyes. As instructed, I went home and rested and could literally see 20/20 the next day with my Lasik eye. The PRK eye takes a little longer to heal but can already see better! (I was worried my blurry eye would affect my vision, but it did not). Recovery has been great and will continue to get better in the next few weeks. Now my husband wants to get his eyes done. Chu Vision Institute has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy with my results!"- E.M. / Google / Oct 20, 2020
"I had cataracts removed from both eyes. Dr. Chu and his staff were wonderful to work with. From the exam to the surgical procedure and recovery, everyone was very professional and pleasant . I had a perfect outcome and would highly recommend the Chu vision Clinic."- B.S. / Google / Oct 02, 2020
"I’ve been going to Chu vision for about three years now and and I’ve had excellent service each and every time. They follow me yearly for my dry eye condition. They are extremely thorough and take the time to answer all my questions. Highly recommend them."- C.S. / Google / Jul 31, 2020
"Exceptional. I felt like family as soon as I walked through the front door. Staff was extremely knowledgeable and friendly and my LASIK procedure went flawlessly. Like most folks, I did extensive research for months before my consult (word of mouth and online) I highly recommend Chu Vision for your procedure."- C.M. / Google / Mar 19, 2020
"I want to thank everyone at Chu Vision for the remarkable care we received recently. The clinic has an immaculate protocol to prevent Covid exposure for all of its patients. One might think that all the masks would prevent a warm, caring environment but not at Chu Vision! To a person, everyone was warm and welcoming. Dr. Chu was terrific and extremely thorough. The clinic was able to assess my husband’s acute vision change using a remarkable variety of tests and tools. What would have taken weeks at another clinic took only hours at Chu Vision. We won’t ever go anywhere else. Thank you so very much!"- K.D. / Yelp / Jul 13, 2020
When to see a doctor
Even though flashes and floaters can be common in people of many ages, these phenomenons can become even more prominent with age. Noticing some floaters or experiencing an occasional flash is not usually a sign of a larger problem, but it could indicate a bigger issue if you have any of the following:
- Persistent light flashes
- Limited or loss of peripheral vision
- Worsening overall vision
- "Shaded" vision that resembles a cloud concealing the sun
- A large increase in the presence of floaters
It's widely believed that an increased prevalence of floaters and flashes develops as a result of the natural aging process. As men and women grow older, the vitreous fluid in the eyes begins to shrink and thicken, taking on a clump-like appearance. These clumps then case shadows inside of the retina, which are the floaters we see. Shrinking vitreous fluid also has a hand in the occurrence of flashes as well. Some eye surgeries could also cause patients to notice more floaters in their vision, but this is typically not a major concern. Individuals with severe nearsightedness (myopia) could also be at a greater risk to see flashes and floaters, as well as people with uncontrolled diabetes.
At your appointment in our Bloomington, MN office, Dr. Chu or a member of his team will meet with you to figure out the probable cause of your flashes or floaters. Once we have assessed your condition, we will work with you to determine if treatment is required. Floaters are not always a cause for worry; however, the problem may become so prominent that it can get in the way of a patient's vision. At Chu Vision Institute, we're excited to perform laser floater removal via a process called vitreolysis, a nonsurgical approach to completely eradicate floaters. This new technique is remarkable because floaters no longer have to be removed via major surgery alone. Instead, this simple outpatient procedure only takes about 30 minutes and is performed with mild topical anesthesia, maintaining the patient's comfort throughout their appointment.
Repair and relief
Although flashes and floaters don't always mean something more serious is going on with your eyes, we understand how frustrating they can be. To get the guidance and information you need, reach out to our team in Bloomington, MN at Chu Vision Institute and schedule your comprehensive eye exam. Our ophthalmologists and optometrists will evaluate your overall eye health, make sure your retina is in good shape, and create a personalized treatment plan if intervention is needed.