Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Eye floaters and flashes of light linked to retinal tear, detachment

New study calls for urgent assessment to avoid potential blindness

Suddenly seeing floaters or flashes of light may indicate a serious eye problem that – if untreated – could lead to blindness, a new study shows.

Researchers from Queen's University and Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston have discovered that one in seven patients with this symptom will have a retinal tear or detachment.

"If we detect a tear and laser it, we can save people from potentially going blind," says senior author of the study Dr. Sanjay Sharma, a professor of Ophthalmology and Epidemiology at Queen's and head of the Unit for Cost-Effective Ocular Health Policy at HDH. "But if fluid gets in under the retina and causes it to detach, it may be too late."

Because retinal tears can be extremely difficult to see, high-tech equipment and a thorough peripheral retinal examination are required to detect them, he adds.

The research, to be published online Tuesday Nov. 24 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is partially funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

To perform their study, the team analyzed nearly 200 articles published in the peer-reviewed literature. They then performed a meta-analysis of 17 articles, and noted that a retinal tear occurred in 14 per cent of the cases of new onset floaters associated with an age-related change in the eye's jelly.

"If new floaters are associated with visual loss, a defect in the visual field, or the presence of blood or 'tobacco dust' in the eye jelly, the risk of retinal tear is significantly higher," says Dr. Sharma. "Since retinal tear can lead to detachment in up to 50 per cent of cases, new floaters and flashes is a medical condition that needs urgent assessment."

Also on the team, from Queen's and Hotel Dieu Hospital, are Drs. Hussein Hollands, Anya Brox, David Almeida, and research assistant Davin Johnson. Dr. David Simel is from Duke University.

Nancy Dorrance | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>