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.
Preventive eye care is the first line of defense against vision problems. Early detection of vision problems may offer more effective treatment options:
Have periodic eye exams (every 2-3 years for healthy patients under 50, yearly for patients over 50 or those with known health risk factors).
Know your family's history for any eye problems.
Follow a healthy lifestyle.
Eat a nutritious diet for eyesight.
Wear durable eye protection when involved in activities that could cause traumatic...
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.