Why Do We Blink?

Blinking is an involuntary reflex that your body does automatically. This means that you don’t even have to think about blinking, your brain simply knows that it’s time to blink and therefore actions it.  Well, it did until you read this, so you’re likely now manually blinking. Sorry!

Blinking is an extremely critical bodily function and many people don’t even know the full reasoning behind why almost every creature with eyes, bar fish, snakes and some lizards, have to blink.

Why do we blink?

We blink because of the need to clean and moisten the eye. Small dust particles are common in the air and often land on the surface of the eye. A salty secretion, from the tear glands, is swept over the eye when you blink. This effectively flushes your eyes whilst also lubricating the exposed portion of your eyeball. It prevents any alien substances from affecting your vision in the short and long term.

The number of times we blink depends on several factors including the amount of light, temperature, humidity, smoke and cleanliness of a room. All of these factors change how lubricated and clear our eyes are.

When there is too much moisture in your eyes, the excess ‘tears’ drain through the tear ducts. The tear ducts are tiny holes in the corner of our eyes which lead to our nasal passages. This is the reason your nose gets runny on a windy day or when you cry.

Less known reasons why we blink

People tend to blink more when they’re nervous. This could be why many people can tell when others are lying or in an uncomfortable situation. Scientists found that when Air Force Pilots were in ‘friendly’ territory they found that blinks were far more frequent and lasted longer than when they were in an ‘enemy’ territory.

If someone is tired then they tend to blink more frequently and for longer than someone who is well-rested. Both of these imply that a person’s emotional state affects blinking.

Research has also shown that we tend to blink less when we are focused on a task. When we’re watching tv or reading we are prone to blinking less. On average people blink 3 times a minute when focusing, which is much below the healthy limit.

You likely need to blink more!

It is likely that when you’re sitting watching TV or playing video games you are blinking far below the healthy amount. This can have damaging effects on your eyes, especially if they’re for long periods. If focus on it, then you can get yourself into a habit of blinking more frequently.

One exercise that is great at keeping your eyes fresh is to close them, pause a moment, squeeze your eyelids, and then open them again. We also always recommend the 20-20-20 rule to help people’s vision. For every 20 minutes, you spend focused on a task you should spend 20 seconds looking at something that is 20 feet away. This keeps your eyes from focusing on a single thing for too long. To keep your eyes healthy you should be following the 20-20-20 rule and ALSO doing blinking exercises. For more info on the 20-20-20 rule click here.

People who wear contact lenses should also be blinking more, to avoid drying the lenses.

Does eye strain cause headaches?

Need Any Help?

If you feel as though you don’t blink enough or suffer from dry eyes then you might want to consider getting a professional examination of your eyes.

We’re an award-winning local opticians based in Hailsham, East Sussex, so if you’re in the area and want an eye test, or have any questions about the health of your eyes, then please call in and see us!

If you’d like to book an appointment with us, click here, or call us on 01323 442 062.

 

 

Do VR Headsets Damage Vision?

In the last few years, VR headsets and the introduction of the innovative technology of virtual reality have been taking over. If you’re anything like us you are concerned about wearing one of these headsets for long durations and whether or not these VR headsets damage to vision.

What is VR

VR (Virtual reality) is a computer-simulated experience that can be similar or completely different to the real world. VR is an extremely versatile tool and is now often seen being  used in education, entertainment and business. However, new applications are regularly emerging due to advancements in technology. Essentially through the use of sensory stimulation this technology ‘tricks’ the eyes and brain to perceive the virtual environment to be reality.

VR headsets damage vision

VR’s effects on your eyes

Due to the recent introduction of VR headsets, the effects long term are still to be discovered. However, studies have found that staring too long at a VR screen can lead to eye strain and fatigue. This comes back to the fact that we tend to blink much less when using a device with a digital screen.

Motion sickness is also extremely common among early VR headsets. This has led to trouble focusing with your eyes, headaches, lightheadedness, nausea and even vomiting. However, as the refresh rates and pixel density increased the hazy image that we saw was dramatically improved.

The issue isn’t with the screens being so close to the eyes; as you might have thought. Instead, it’s that we’re not allowing the muscles in our eyes to relax, causing us to strain them.

What Oculus says about VR headsets and vision

Oculus, the largest manufacturer of VR technology states in its handbook that 1 in 4000 may suffer from”dizziness, seizures, eye or muscle twitching.” It recommends to users suffering with these symptoms, to discontinue using the headset and see a doctor.

Oculus also said that the reaction is more common in children and young people. They recommend that anyone experiencing these symptoms should take off the headset and visit a doctor.

What we recommend

Here at Focus Medical Eye Centre, we recommend that you take regular breaks when you’re using the headset for extended periods of time. In many blogs, we talk about the 20-20-20 rule, which you can read about here. It describes an excellent method that helps prevent eye strain whilst using digital screens.

If you have suffered from eye strain or have developed a new condition since using a VR headset we do recommend that you seek advice directly from a professional.

We’re an award-winning local opticians based in Hailsham, East Sussex, so if you’re in the area and want an eye test, or have any questions about the health of your eyes, then please call in and see us!

If you’d like to book an appointment with us, click here, or call us on 01323 442 062.

 

 

 

 

Can Glasses Cause Headaches?

Headaches are something that all of us will have experienced at some stage in our life. With so many common causes such as cold/flu, stress, or even bad posture, it’s no surprise that so many of us regularly get them.

Eye strain is another reason why you might get a headache and can be caused by spending too long looking at a computer screen or reading. If you’re supposed to wear glasses, eye strain can occur when you’re not wearing your glasses, because your eye muscles are working harder to focus. But can wearing glasses cause headaches?

can wearing glasses cause headaches

Can Wearing Glasses Cause Headaches?

The answer is yes, if your eyes are still working particularly hard whilst wearing your glasses, you can still be straining your eyes and causing a headache. It could be a sign that your prescription is perhaps too strong or too weak. If you haven’t been to the opticians in a while, it might be worth paying us a visit to make sure your prescription is up-to-date. Be sure to mention the headaches to your optometrist.

However, if you’ve recently started wearing your glasses, or your prescription has changed a lot, it might be that you’ll experience eye-strain related headaches in the first few days or weeks of wearing your glasses. This is because your eyes are having to adapt and the muscles are forced to work differently.

To combat this, it might be worth ‘breaking in’ your new glasses, like a pair of new shoes! Wear your new glasses as much as you can and your eyes will soon adjust. To help relieve your eyes in this initial stage, you might also want to rest your eyes for a few minutes a day by taking your glasses off for a short time.

What if my headaches don’t go away?

If you’re still experiencing headaches from your new glasses, be sure to book an appointment with your optician to get it looked at again. It might be that your prescription isn’t quite right and might need updating. At different ages, our prescriptions can change fairly quickly so you need to be aware of this and act accordingly. At the end of the day, your glasses are supposed to help with your vision and well being, so if you believe your glasses are causing a problem, it’s best to book an appointment with an optician.

If you’re looking to book an appointment with an optician; get in touch with us at Focus Medical Eye Centre today. To book an appointment with us, call 01323 442062 or email info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk. You can also fill in a contact form here.

What is the 20-20-20 rule?

The 20-20-20 rule is a method that is said to prevent eye strain from looking at digital screens for extended periods of time. We have spoken quite a bit about this ‘rule’ in many previous blogs but we thought we’d take this opportunity to explain in detail how it actually helps.

What Causes Eye Strain?

There are many factors that can affect the strain your eyes are under. Here are just a few examples:

  • If you have prolonged time on a single task then your eyes can get tired after continual focus. This applies to both digital and physical tasks.
    Sitting too close or too far from a screen.
  • If the environment you are in is too bright or dim then your eyes may become tired and strained. A good way to test if a room is not lit properly is if you have to squint to see what you’re doing.
  • Finally, if you have existing poor vision or recently were given a new prescription of eyewear then it’s likely that your headaches could be due to your eyes working in a new way.

20-20-20 rule

New Prescriptions

Headaches can occur when wearing new prescription eyeglasses. Usually, these go away in a day or so as your brain and eyes adjust. It’s important to remember that wearing accurately prescribed glasses are going to be incredibly helpful for your vision in the long run.

Wearing new glasses changes how your eyes function. You essentially have to wait for the muscles to catch up and adapt to the new frames. These headaches are not permanent and will disappear as soon as your eyes have adjusted. However, you should get in contact with your doctor if this is not the case and your headaches don’t dissipate within a week. Or you are showing any of the following symptoms:

  • sudden vision changes
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • severe eye pain

Normally, however, all that is needed is a slight adjustment to the frame or lens of the glasses to make them more comfortable to use.

20-20-20 rule

What Is The 20-20-20 Rule?

The 20-20-20 rule refers to when you take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away after 20 minutes of screen time. Sounds nice and easy, which it is!

If you’re going to try the 20-20-20 rule then you need to think about how many screens we expose ourselves to. It’s much more time than you might initially think. Every digital screen that you look at is classed as screen time. This includes the TV, phones, laptops, tablets and computer monitors.

Every 20 minutes you spend looking at any of these screens you need to take a 20-second break looking at something 20 feet away. It can be something as little as looking out the window across the street.

Why 20 Seconds?

The reason you need 20 seconds is that that’s how long your eyes take to relax. This prevents your eyes from being focused at a single distance for too long which can cause strain in your eyes.

How To Remind Yourself

There are many ways you can do this. Eventually, it will become a habit and you won’t even have to think about it. However, until that day there are many alternatives. You can set a timer on your phone that will pop up every 20 minutes. There are also free apps such as ‘relax your eyes’ or ‘Donald Korb Blink Training’ that can help. The apps are as easy as clicking start when you begin looking at a screen. The app handles everything else and reminds you.

What The Research Says About The 20-20-20 Rule

There is no research that the screens we spend hours looking at each day are necessarily damaging our eyesight. It can cause an unpleasant feeling of strain and tiredness.

Blinking is a very important action for our eyes. It helps keep our eyes lubricated, prevents irritation as well as tiredness. The frequency at which humans blink is around 15 times a minute. This number is significantly decreased to a half or sometimes a third when we stare at screens.

In a study published by the Nepalese Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers examined computer use and its effects on the eyes of university students in Malaysia. Almost 90 percent of the 795 students had symptoms of CVS after just two continuous hours of computer usage.

Taking frequent breaks to look at faraway objects during screen time significantly lessened their eye strain symptoms. In other words, the 20-20-20 rule works.

Need Any Help?

If you’re starting to find it difficult to look at a digital screen for long periods, then you might want to consider getting a professional examination on your eyes. Getting glasses for use with your computer might help to relax and protect the health of your eyes.

We’re an award-winning local opticians based in Hailsham, East Sussex, so if you’re in the area and want an eye test, or have any questions about the health of your eyes, then please call in and see us!

If you’d like to book an appointment with us, click here, or call us on 01323 442 062.

Are Designer Glasses Worth It?

If you ask anyone who wears glasses the question ‘are designer glasses worth it’ the vast majority will give a similar sort of response. If you intend on keeping your glasses for an extended period then, of course, designer or luxury brands are a must-have. Cheaply made off-brand glasses simply won’t always last the test of time.

Over recent years, styles and trends in fashion have led to larger more clumsy looking frames being pushed out of the limelight. With more sleek and minimalist frames taking centre stage. Whatever your style is, however, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking to suit your aesthetic here at Focus Medical Eye Centre.

Why Are Designer Glasses Worth It?

The important thing to understand is that you’re not just paying a premium price for a brands name or logo to be printed onto the frame. The higher price tag ensures that there has been better craftsmanship in the design, higher quality materials used that have been constructed in a more superior way. You’ll find that these typically last longer and are more durable. Furthermore, you’ll often find that these brands come with a warranty – which is usually uncommon with cheaper brands.

Lindberg Designer Frames

How It Makes You Feel

Of course, we all want to look good. A beautiful new pair of Hugo Boss, Lindberg or Ray-Ban glasses can make a face more interesting, add depth as well as making you feel great whilst wearing them. This makes designer glasses worth it in itself. The confident feeling you get when your wear a new pair of designer glasses is priceless.

Putting It Into Perspective

If a pair of glasses cost you £500 and you can make them last only four years that equates to £125 a year. This is only just over £10 per month to look and see great. Obviously you do need to take into consideration if your prescription changes though!Glasses are most definitely a worthwhile investment – you most probably use them every waking hour of your life. When you compare this figure to other monthly expenses then you’ll quickly realise how much value you should be placing on your spectacles.

Hugo Boss Glasses, Henry Cavill

Form And Function

By their nature, designers focus not on just aesthetics, but also the engineering of these products. Many options are taken into consideration with quality designers including how they sit on the face, comfort around the ears for example. These highly engineered glasses are of noticeable better quality, particularly when they are worn for extended periods of time.

Here at Focus Medical Eye Centre, we help you every step of the way with choosing your next frames. We ensure that your glasses suit your face shape, lifestyle and are most importantly comfortable.

New Maui Jim Frames

Lens Quality

With the higher price tag comes better quality lenses from trusted names like Essilor. This means that you are always confident in the fact that you have the best technology; with the peace of mind of a warranty and excellent after-sales services.

Glasses and Designer Frames from Focus Medical Eye Centre

As an award-winning local optician based in Hailsham, East Sussex, we’ll make sure you get the right treatment for your eyes. This post may be asking whether designer glasses worth it and we definitely agree they are. However not everyone can afford these price tags so we have also carefully chosen other ranges of high quality frames that will also treat you well but won’t break the bank. We’ve got an extensive range of both classic and designer frames, so you’re sure to find a pair of specs that will suit you down to the ground.

To book an appointment with us, click here, or call us on 01323 442 062.

How blue light can affect your eyes

Eye strain is always such a big topic, with all the hours spent on different devices. If you ever have felt any eye strain whilst working on a digital screen, then you may have heard about ‘blue light’ and scared yourself by doing a quick Google Search. Maybe even coming across the increasingly popular blue light glasses, due to their bold claims of being a protective shield for your eyes. But do they really work?

What is blue light?

First off, blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum; which is a fancy way of saying what the human eye can see. It has the shortest wavelength and operates at the highest energy. We are exposed to this light from many sources; the biggest being the sun. however, many man-made sources have caused blue light to gain its notoriety due to its link to digital screens.

Some of the most notable blue light emitters are bulbs, LEDs, flat-screen LED televisions, computer monitors, smartphones and tablet screens. With all of these devices becoming more and more popular the amount of blue light we are exposing our eyes to is going up. The amount of time people spend using these devices and the proximity of these screens to the eyes has also caused some concern about the potential long-term effects of this light on eye health.

Asian office worker having an eyes tired after overwork

Does it damage your eyes?

Some experts have suggested that too much exposure to this light can damage the light-sensitive cells in the retina. Whilst there is little research to support this, the short wavelength of the light makes it very easy to penetrate the eyes.

However, a study by O’Hagan JB, Khazova M & Price LL found that the level of blue light we expose ourselves to from screens is significantly lower than from that of natural daylight – and neither levels approach eye safety limits.

What are blue light glasses and do they work?

Blue light glasses contain lenses that are designed to reduce the amount of blue light that reaches the eye. This prevents the waves from actually penetrating the eye. There is also a setting on your PC that can help reduce blue light and make your eyes a little more comfortable when working on a screen.

However, there is no research backing that these lenses can protect eye health at all. Essentially, there is no scientifically proven benefit to wearing these glasses.

It is just maybe more about ensuring a bit more eye comfort.

Are they effective against eye strain?

Eye strain is not necessarily caused by the blue light emitted by the screen. It is more likely that your eyes are straining to have to concentrate on a single screen for too long. Your eyes are having to constantly refocus when you’re looking at a screen, which can be fatiguing. Other factors such as the distance you sit from your screen or if the environment you are in is too dark; can affect eye strain. Many factors have an effect on how much your eyes strain; some that blue light glasses will be ineffective at preventing. 

Other solutions 

For tips on preventing eye strain whilst using a digital screen, we highly recommend you read our blog on whether eye strain causes headaches, the last paragraph covers how to prevent this. 

Need Any Help?

If you’re starting to find it difficult to look at a digital screen for long periods, then you might want to consider getting a professional examination on your eyes. Getting glasses for use with your computer might help to relax and protect the health of your eyes.

We are an award-winning local opticians based in Hailsham, East Sussex, so if you’re in the area and want an eye test, or have any questions about the health of your eyes, then please call in and see us!

If you’d like to book an appointment with us, click here, or call us on 01323 442 062.

Does eye strain cause headaches?

If you’ve ever wondered to yourself “what’s giving me all these headaches?” and you suffer from eye strain then that could be the very cause. 

What causes eye strain headaches?

There are many factors that can affect the strain your eyes are under. Here are just a few examples:

  • If you have prolonged time on a single task then your eyes can get tired after continual focus. This applies to both digital and physical tasks.
  • Sitting too close or too far from a screen.
  • If the environment you are in is too bright or dim then your eyes may become tired and strained. A good way to test if a room is not lit properly is if you have to squint to see what you’re doing.
  • Finally, if you have existing poor vision or recently were given a new prescription of eyewear then it’s likely that your headaches could be due to your eyes working in a new way.

Does eye strain cause headaches?

New Prescriptions

Headaches can occur when wearing new prescription eyeglasses. Usually, these go away in a day or so as your brain and eyes adjust. It’s important to remember that wearing accurately prescribed glasses are going to be incredibly helpful for your vision in the long run.

Wearing new glasses changes how your eyes function. You essentially have to wait for the muscles to catch up and adapt to the new frames. These headaches are not permanent and will disappear as soon as your eyes have adjusted. However, you should get in contact with your doctor if this is not the case and your headaches don’t dissipate within a week. Or you are showing any of the following symptoms:

  • sudden vision changes
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • severe eye pain

Normally, however, all that is needed is a slight adjustment to the frame or lens of the glasses to make them more comfortable to use.

How to Prevent Eye Strain

The majority of methods to prevent or reduce eye strain are simple lifestyle adjustments that are easy to make. For example, it can be as easy as sitting in a dimly lit room as opposed to a dark one whilst watching TV. Alternatively, you could sit further away from your digital screen. One of the easiest and most effective things you can do is take breaks. Taking a 20-second break, looking at something 20 feet away for every 20 minutes of work is considered the golden rule.

If you are currently experiencing headaches and you’re not sure why then a good first step would be to get your eyes tested. This could lead to you discovering that all you need is to have a prescription update.

Does eye strain cause headaches?

Getting your eyes tested at Focus Medical Eye Centre

We have a large selection of high-quality spectacle frames to choose from. If you’re looking to get your eyes tested, even if you’re not experiencing headaches; get in touch with us at Focus Medical Eye Centre today. To book an appointment with us, call 01323 442062 or email info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk. Alternatively, you can fill in a contact form here.

 

How to Find the Perfect Frames for You

We understand that finding the perfect frames can be a tricky thing to do. After all, they often completely change the way we look. It can seem like an impossible task when stood in the opticians to pick a pair that really suits you. Which is why we’ve written this list to make the process on how to find the perfect frames for you a little easier. 

Did you know that the biggest thing to take into account when picking glasses is your head shape? This could be the reason why nothing looks ‘right’ on you, you’re just looking at the wrong style. In total, there are around seven common head shapes, all with frames that are better suited to each shape. 

Which Head Shape Have I Got?

The easiest way to figure out your head shape is to ask your optician next time you’re looking to buy or replace your spectacles or follow our easy to use guide. Simply stand in front of a mirror with your hair out of your face and compare it to the shapes below.

Round Head Shape

perfect frames for round head shapeIn round head shapes typically all features are uniformly shaped. The face is shorter with a wide forehead, often with full cheeks and a wide chin. Rectangular Frames help to give some contour and make the face look narrower, which is what we’re looking for. We can help you find the happy medium between frames that aren’t too thin but also aren’t too heavy looking. Round or oval frames should be avoided as they make the face appear rounder.

 

Oval Head Shape

perfect frames for oval head shape

In oval faces, it is typical for all features to be balanced. A narrow chin and forehead with pronounced cheeks. If you have this face shape then you’re in luck because any style, no matter the shape or boldness, will suit this face shape. However, It is recommended that extremely narrow frames are avoided simply due to it making the face look longer. 

 

 

Square Head Shape

perfect frames for square head shape

Typically in square head shapes, all features are equally broad and angular. Square faces are often extremely angular, with most of that coming from the jaw. What’s recommended is anything that softens the more angular face, so round or oval glasses are perfect. Glasses with large boxy frames are not advocated as it emphasises the features and makes the face appear more angular. 

 

Rectangle Head Shape

perfect frames for rectangle head shape

Rectangular faces generally have a strong jawline and a deeper forehead. Similarly to the square head shape, boxy frames are not recommended due to them making your angular features look more pronounced. Your head shape is better suited to round or oval glasses that complement your angular features and make your face look more balanced.   

 

 

Triangle Head Shape

Triangle-shaped faces have a broad forehead and very strong cheekbones that narrow to a small chin. Again almost any frame will suit this head shape, so lucky you! However, we think that frame styles that are wider at the bottom look that much better, so a rounded square frame style is perfect for you. We would recommend avoiding anything too narrow as it could make your face appear longer. 

 

Heart Head Shape

perfect frame for heart head shape

The typical features of the heart-shaped face are a broad forehead, pronounced cheekbones and a narrow, tapering chin. A similar shape to the triangle but with less defined cheekbones. Again, almost every style suits this face but your goal is to choose frames that will provide contrast to your face. We’d recommend an oval or round frame to bring your features into balance. We would suggest that you avoid bright colours and extremely wide frames as they underline your face shape

 

Diamond Head Shape

perfect frame for diamond head shape

Diamond-shaped faces are nicely balanced, being narrow at the eye line and jawline then having contrasting broad cheekbones that may be high and dramatic. There are multiple options for this face shape oval or rounder frames will soften the angles of your face whereas more rectangular frames will highly contrast your facial features. One tip we can offer to help you find your perfect frames with this head type is to look for glasses that are wider or angle towards the top. 

 

 

Choosing Spectacles at Focus Medical Eye Centre

We have a large selection of high-quality spectacle frames to choose from. Therefore, if you’re looking to find the perfect frames to suit you, get in touch with Focus Medical Eye Centre today. To book an appointment with us, call 01323 442062 or email info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk.

Sunglasses are not just for Summer….

During the summer months, the obvious way of protecting your eyes is to wear sunglasses. However, even when it is cold and the sun still shines, harmful UV rays will still be able to damage your eyesight.


winter sunglasses

Why should I wear Sunglasses in the Winter Sun?

UV Rays become intensified in the winter, often brighter than summer – although the temperature is lower. This is because the sun sits lower in the sky – doubling the risk of exposure. You might also notice if it’s recently been raining (as it so often does in our country!), the sun reflects off the surfaces such as roads and pavements. This intensifies the suns glare on your eyes and therefore increases your risk of exposure.

At certain times of the days, when the sun is very low, having a good quality pair of sunglasses will ensure driving is more comfortable and also make it much safer for you.

On top of this, if we’re lucky enough to get a dusting of snow on the ground, the snow reflects light even more. That’s why you should wear sunglasses or goggles if you ever go skiing.

Polarised Vs Non-Polarised

Polarised lenses enhance colour perception, improve visual comfort and provide optimal UV protection to your eyes. Compared to non-polarised glasses, polarised glasses make it much easier to see in bright light conditions. Whilst non-polarised glasses still provide adequate UV protection, they won’t be able to reduce glare from standing water or snow.

If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, particularly in wintery conditions like snow, it’s advisable to have polarised lenses as they will give you the best protection from the sun’s glare. You can find out more about polarised lenses here.


Prescription Sunglasses at Focus Medical Eye Centre

We have a large selection of high quality sunglasses to choose from. We are also stockists of Maui Jim, Cocoa Mint and Ray Ban sunglasses. Therefore if you’re looking for a new pair of sunglasses to get you through the winter sun, get in touch with Focus Medical Eye Centre today. We can also fit prescription lenses to sunglasses so you can enjoy enhanced UV protection coupled with better vision. To book an appointment with us, call 01323 442062 or email info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk.

 

What is a Posterior Vitreous Detachment?

A Posterior Vitreous Detachment or PVD is where the vitreous gel (the jelly inside your eye) shrinks with age and peels away from the retina. Although this is a benign condition, patients often experience flashing lights and floaters in their vision as this happens.

When young, the vitreous gel attached firmly to the back of the eye. As we age, this gel becomes thinner and more of a liquid consistency and then can peel away from the back of the eye. It is also much more common in people who are short sighted, due to the shape of the eyeball. The main symptom of a PVD is quick flashes of light in your peripheral vision. Sometimes they can be so quick that you may think it is your imagination. Then very occasionally they can be right in your sightline and can appear like little sparkles or fireworks. You may notice the flashes when you move your eyes quickly or when you move from dark into light conditions. They don’t last for a set amount of time; they may only last a day, but can also keep returning for a longer period of time.

What is a Posterior Vitreous Detachment?

Commonly with PVD you may also experience floaters, which form as the gel collapses in the back of the eye. Floaters are actually strands and knots that form from old cells in the vitreous gel which clump together. This causes shadows on the retina as light bounces off them which are perceived as little black spots or strands in your vision. You may only see these for a while, until the brain gets used to them being there, or if they disperse.

What to do

If you suspect you have had a PVD you must still see your Optometrist. This is because the main symptoms of flashing lights and floaters are also the main symptoms reported with a retinal tear or retinal detachment. Your Optometrist will be able to check your eyes to make sure the retina is not damaged. If you did have a retinal tear or detachment this is a much more serious condition and would need prompt referral to the hospital for treatment.

Focus Medical Eye Centre has the Optomap ultra wide-field retinal scanner which helps them to fully assess your eyes. This special technology allows them to image up to 90% of your retina which makes detecting small retinal tears or detachments much easier which otherwise could be missed.

If you have experienced new onset flashing lights or floaters please do not hesitate to contact our team on 01323 442062.

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