If flashes of light or floaters occur suddenly or in great numbers, or if you are not sure what to do, do not wait for vision loss to occur before you call your doctor. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to the emergency room. Although these symptoms do not cause pain and may seem harmless, getting an eye exam and quick treatment can send you home relieved or, if there is a problem, can save your vision.
By Alia Hoyt
When I was 15 years old, I walked right into a wall because I hadn’t put my contacts in yet that morning. Two broken toes later, my mother waggled a reproachful finger at me and said again that I should’ve eaten more carrots growing up. As it turns out, although carrots are high in plant carotenoids that produce vitamin A -- which is helpful for maintaining eye health at any age -- they are actually not at the top of the ocular superstar food list. Read on to see which foods are mo...
Taking a wait-and-see approach, called watchful waiting, is not an option if you have new or sudden flashes or floaters, darkness over part of your visual field, or a new loss of vision that does not go away. Sudden, rapid vision loss is a medical emergency.
Who to see
If you have symptoms that suggest that you might have or are at immediate risk for a retinal detachment, call your doctor immediately. If you do not have an eye doctor (ophthalmologist), call your regular doctor. Based on your symptoms, risk factors, and medical history, your doctor may refer you to an eye doctor for an immediate exam and possible treatment.
Treatment for retinal tears and detachments is often done by an eye doctor who specializes in retinal detachments.