Thompson Eye Clinic

Flashing Lights and Floaters

Clinic News

LASIK Research
Dr. Thompson designed a technique to improve the safety of LASIK surgery....

Research to Aid the Blind
Dr. Thompson performed research to aid in the design of a visual prosthesis for the blind...

Dr. Thompson shared insights on HealthWatch with Kelly Eckerman on KMBC-TV Channel 9 regarding an increased risk for developing eye disease for women and The Nurse's Health Study indicating an increased risk of glaucoma for those with diabetes...

Serving Our Country
Dr. Thompson presently serves in the Kansas Army National Guard and has provided eye care for our Soldiers at Fort Riley and Fort Hood...

Northwest Haiti Chrisitan Mission
In January 2005, Dr. Thompson traveled to help the blind in an impoverished, medically underserved region of the world...

Musician's Village Habitat Project
Dr. Thompson and Scott helped with construction of the Musican's Villlage in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina...

Join us for the Teri Tough 5K
Run/Walk to honor the memory of Teri Mathis Zenner, a Johnson County Social Worker who was killed while visiting a client and to support safety training for social service workers...

A Divine Run/Walk for SIDS was started by Dr. Kathy MacNaughton Hance, Dr. Kirk Hance, and Dr. Robert Thompson...

Flashing Lights or a sudden increase in floaters may be a precursor to a retinal detachment

As we mature, 50% of individuals may experience the sudden onset of flashing lights or new floaters. This often signfies a posterior vitreous detachment. People with higher degrees of near-sightedness are more likely to experience a posterior vitreal detachment. The vitreous is a jelly filled sac inside the eye that has attachments to the optic nerve and peripheral retina. The vitreous jelly in our eyes condenses as we mature. As it does so, it may cause traction on your retina. This is perceived as a flash of light. For some, this traction results in a tear in the retina. Fluid may get under the tear, resulting in a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment can result in severe and permanent loss of vision. When the retina detaches, it is pulled away from it's blood supply and starts to die. Early treatment is key to restore vision lost by repairing the retina and putting the retina back in its proper place. More severe vision loss occurs once the center of vision is affected.

To reduce your risk of severe vision loss, it is recommended that you be seen as soon as possible (within 24 to 48 hours) of the onset of these symptoms. However, if you cover one eye and notice that part of the world is missing or shaded in a dark curtain, it is likely that a retinal detachment has occurred and you should be see as soon as possible. Go to see an eye doctor or the emergency department as soon as possible. Don't drink or eat anything, as you may undergo urgent surgery to repair the retina.

Repairing a retinal detachment before your central vision is affected will reduce the risk of severe vision loss. Small retinal tears may be treated with a laser to create a scar to prevent fluid from getting under the retina and causing a retinal detachment. Being seen early for the onset of these symptoms may help prevent more severe permanent vision loss.

If you develop these symptoms, you should call Dr. Thompson or your local eye doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.


Thompson Eye Clinic
11005 W 60th Street, Suite 210
Shawnee, Kansas 66203
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