Managing the symptoms of PVD

If you notice floaters and flashes of light in your vision, you should get your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (hospital eye doctor). If they diagnose you with PVD, you’ll probably find that your symptoms will change over time.

Floaters can be in different shapes and sizes from small dots to larger cloud shaped spots or long strands. Some people can have lots of small floaters in their vision, while others may have just one or two larger ones.

Most floaters are small and may move around quite quickly in your vision, sometimes disappearing altogether. Some larger floaters may be more noticeable and distracting because they get in the way when you're looking at something. This can be frustrating and make tasks such as reading more difficult.

However, PVD on its own does not cause any permanent loss of vision. Your brain will gradually learn to ignore the floaters and in time, you should see just as well as you did before your PVD began.

Some useful tips that might help you cope with floaters

  • If you have a particularly large floater, try moving your eyes gently round in circles. This moves the vitreous inside your eyes and can sometimes move the floater away from your direct field of vision, making you less aware of it.
  • Wear any glasses you need to see what you’re doing. When your vision is clearer, you’re more likely to be able to concentrate on what you’re doing, rather than on the floaters.
  • Wear sunglasses in bright conditions. When light comes into your eye, you notice your floaters because they cast shadows on the retina at the back of your eye. Tinted lenses reduce the amount of light entering your eyes, so the floaters cast a fainter shadow on your retina and are less noticeable.
  • Reduce the brightness on your computer screen if floaters are distracting you.