ZocdocAnswersIs vitreous detachment always accompanied by floaters?

Question

Is vitreous detachment always accompanied by floaters?

I experienced some trauma to the head and have been seeing flashes of light in my left eye, the side I was hit on. Is vitreous detachment always accompanied by floaters?

Answer

You could be suffering from a few different problems after your trauma to the head. Vitreous detachment occurs when the vitreous humor detaches from the retina at that back of the eye. This causes certain retinal nerves to fire inappropriately which can cause flashes of light. In addition, there are retinal cells that become dislodged which can then be seen within the eye. These cells are what make up the so called floaters that we all see. When you have trauma to the eye and vitreous detachment, there is an increase in these cells which does increase the number of floaters. Retinal detachment is a related condition in which the retina tears away from the back of the eye usually in response to head trauma. Flashes of light and an increase in the number of floaters is accompanied by retinal detachment. You could have either of these problems. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist. This is a specialist of the eye that is most qualified to examine and diagnose the types of problems that you most likely have. In addition, ophthalmologists are trained to perform any necessary surgical operations that may help restore or save your vision, if it is currently at risk. Good luck.

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