Gladesville Retina & Gladesville Eye Specialists

Flashes and Floaters

Posterior Vitreous Detachment

The inside of your eye is filled with a gel-like substance which helps maintain the eye's shape, known as the vitreous. The vitreous attaches onto the surface of the retina through millions of fine fibres.

As we age, the vitreous structure changes and it slowly pulls away from the retina.  
As the vitreous detaches from the retina, it pulls at the retina which can cause brief visual disturbances such as flashes of light, similar to lightning or fireworks. If this occurs it is important to see one of our retina specialists who will regularly check the retina which may tear as the vitreous detaches.This may result in a retinal detachment.

Structural changes in the vitreous associ


ated with detachment may cause opacities. These can appear as dark spots or “floaters” in the vision which, while a nuisance, usually do not impede vision.

In most cases this vitreous detachment is not sight threatening and requires no treatment. However, if the detachment leads to retinal tears or to a retinal detachment, intervention is required as these can lead to a permanent loss of vision.