Eye Floaters/Flashes?

Hi all,

Has anyone ever experienced mild floaters in the sunlight, like at the beach, that have gone away? I was experiencing this a month ago and it resolved. Additionally, I’ve been noticing a flash of light every few days that lasts just a second. I will be making an appointment with the ophthalmologist but I’m just not sure whether to chalk this up to T1D or to something else?

Other details:
I have had T1D for 16 years. My A1C has always been in the 6.5-8.6 range, with most years falling around a 7.6. I’m always striving to improve my control and this year my A1c has been 7.1 or below. I get annual eye exams.

I don’t know about light flashes but I have had friends without diabetes say they experience “floaters” from time to time. I get them occasionally but they’re not spontaneous - it usually happens when I rub my eye, but even then not every time. Some things happen independent of diabetes but since it can affect our vision you might see if tightening things up helps. I’m sure you know your opth will be looking at a number of things that may determine whether diabetes is the cause. I wish you the best - keep us posted!

Hi @JB530 a retina specialist is a subcategory of ophthalmology. If your exam doesn’t include a thorough check of the blood vessels in the back of your eye I urge you to ask for a referral. My exams include either an excruciating white light exam or a combination of fluorescene injection and a black light radiation scan. These are the only way a doctor can assess blood flow to your retina. Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

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Hi Jillian @JB530, my thought is that you do not put-off, or unduly delay, a consultation and full examination of your entire eye with/by a fully equipped ophthalmologist. You are correct in thinking that only people with less-than-good glucose control develop “diabetic eye problems”; many people with effective glucose management have been diagnosed with rhinoplasty in its various forms.

It is true, that the bright sun on a beach can cause the appearance of flashes and floaters even in healthy eyes - I’d notice black floaters on pristine ski-slopes. But if I was in your place now, I would have my eyes thoroughly checked.

It is very important that everyone with diabetes have qa complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist at least once a year.

Thank you all for the support and information. It is truly appreciated! I was able to get an appointment for early next week and I am going to make sure I am fully evaluated. I will report back!

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Hey @Joe, There are some other retinal scans including an OCT and another I cannot remember the name of. My retinal surgeon has both of them done as part of my diabetic retinal exam every 6 - 12 months. Some of my exams are good earning me a 12 month break between exams. Other times if there is something bothersome, the next exam is as soon as 3 to 6 months out.

My retinal surgeon reviews the images with me as a part of the exam in addition to slit lamp and the “Bright White” light exam.

Depending on where @JB530 is located, a referral to an ophthalmologist or a retinal surgeon (highly specialized ophthalmologist) would be a good call.

I agree @987jaj. There are photo and other scanning equipment and I don’t know the names of the machines. I only get the fluorescent injection one 1x per year now but I see the specialist every 6 months. The important thing is the right exam and yes, the right doctors.

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Ahh @987jaj, there are many more than “both scans” available for diagnostics for retinopathy. And of the many different technologies there isn’t any way I could anticipate which device is appropriate for an individual case; that is why I strongly suggest seeing the “best trained” ophthalmologist available. Insist on an eye specialist who stays abreast of diagnostic, treatment, and management of eye conditions.

The first retinal scans done on my eyes, 1965, before and during my LASER treatments wa done with a 35mm Kodak film camera mounted on a desk tri-pod; many, and constant changes since then.

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Hi all. I wanted to post an update in case anyone else came here looking for the same information.

I got an extensive eye exam today. My ophthalmology team sees no damage to my eyes from diabetes, and doesn’t think it’s related to T1D at all. They believe that my retina is being tugged, putting me at risk for a retina tear. I have a follow-up in two weeks.

Thank you all for the information and support.


Thank you for the update. I’m so glad it’s not a diabetes thing. My aunt’s retina detached - I don’t know if she had symptoms she chose to ignore or what. I’m glad you liked into things quickly and hope all goes well with treatments.

The retina specialist I just visited referred to them as floaters and I shouldn’t be concerned. It sure bothers me every time I try to line up a putt, but so be it.

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@JB530: I am not diabetic (my husband is), but I had that very thing happen to me! Turned out it’s not abnormal for my age (64) and it was caused by the vitreous sac inside the eye to become partially detached, which tugs on my retina (causing the flashes). I have an enormous floater in my central vision, which has become worse over the last three years because it can blur my vision. I also wear contacts for nearsightedness. I still have flashes when I look to the left, then forward quickly. I am being monitored, but there is nothing really safe that can be done. Surgery often does not fix the problem. I was told it will probably happen in my other eye too. :frowning:

Make an appointment with your ophthalmologist NOW as in immediately. And when you call the doc office tell them you need immediate evaluation as you are experiencing floaters and flashes of light. It doesn’t matter if it is due to t1d or not. Do not delay.

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