The retina is the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. Light rays are focused onto the retina through the cornea, pupil and lens. The retina converts the light rays into electrical impulses that travel through the optic nerve to the brain, where they are interpreted as the images we see. The middle of the eye is filled with a clear gel called vitreous that is attached to the retina. There are a number of common conditions of the retina that can seriously affect your sight.
FLASHES AND FLOATERS
Flashes are due to the vitreous jelly traction on the retina causing the impression of a small flash of light, often in the peripheral vision. Floaters are due to debris in the vitreous jelly that may float across the visual axis and cause the patient to see an image such as a fine line, a “blob”, or a ‘cobweb” which may move.
What are the consequences of flashes and floaters? They are usually benign, but one in ten patients with these symptoms may have a retinal tear, which requires treatment. Flashes and floaters may often persist for months or even years.
The following symptoms should be watched out for as they may indicate progression of the problems and development of a “retinal tear” or “retinal detachment”, they are:
1. Floaters which become much larger
2. Loss of vision
3. The impression of a curtain coming down, coming up or moving sideways
If these occur, you should contact insight Eye clinic on 020-46743977 as soon as possible to make another appointment. Please let the staff know of your condition.
You may be required to attend for a follow-up, usually within a few weeks. This is important as your symptoms may progress and you may develop a tear in the retina over the subsequent weeks.