C-72167 - How to… Manage flashes and floaters

A part of the ageing process or an indication of retinal tear or detachment? George Winter talks to experts about how patients presenting with flashes and floaters should be managed.

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Patients often present to optometrists complaining of floaters and/or flashing lights. These concerns demand prompt examinations to exclude sight-threatening retinal damage (Pooley, 2018). 

Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is the commonest cause of flashes and floaters in middle age due to ongoing vitreous liquefaction throughout life (Pooley, 2018). Bond-Taylor et al (2017) cite a PVD prevalence as high as 24% in patients aged 50 to 59, and 87% in patients aged 80 to 89, and found a 14.5% incidence of retinal tears in patients with PVD symptoms.

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