As you get older, you may tend to develop some issues with your eyesight. Some of these developments can be relatively harmless, while others may require you to seek advice from a professional optometrist. If you've noticed some strange sensations recently or appear to have something floating around in your eye, is this something that you should be worried about?
Floaters are not unusual and can certainly become more commonplace with the onset of age. They can appear like thin strands of hair or tiny spots that seem to be floating in the very front of your eye. These floaters are effectively tiny pieces of the vitreous, which is a jellylike substance located in the middle of the eyeball. Sometimes they will break away and appear in your vision out of nowhere, and they may be especially obvious if you are looking at a white surface.
Over time, you will get used to the presence of these floaters and will not notice them at all. However, if you suddenly notice a large number of these floaters, then you should talk with your optometrist as soon as possible. This may be a sign of a detachment along the outside of the retina, and you may need to be treated as soon as possible.
On the other hand, you may notice a flash around the periphery of your vision, especially when you move from a bright room into a dark area. These flashes can come and go and are typically nothing to worry about, but once again, this signifies that the retina has been momentarily stretched. Stretching can happen when the gel within the eye starts to break down with advancing age, and it is somewhat predictable. Here again, if you notice a lot of flashing in a short space of time or even a dark shadow around the edge of your eye, you should get in touch with your optometrist too.
Ordinarily, you don't need to worry too much about flashes or floaters, but you should schedule a regular visit your optometrist in any case. If you are very shortsighted, then you may be at more risk of a retinal detachment and the expert will be able to look at the back of your eye to determine its condition. If any action is needed, they will be able to advise you what to do next.