J Korean Ophthalmol Soc.  2019 Dec;60(12):1198-1204. 10.3341/jkos.2019.60.12.1198.

Characters of Floaters and Flash Associated with Retinal Breaks and Peripheral Retinal Degeneration

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. yhkwon@dau.ac.kr


To investigate the relationship between peripheral retinal degeneration including retinal tear and character of floater and flash in patients with symptoms.
A retrospective review of 56 patients who visited Dong-A University Hospital with the symptoms of vitreous floaters and flash between July 2017 and March 2018 was performed using medical records. All patients completed a questionnaire detailing their symptoms include duration of symptoms, characters, floaters with flash and associated another visual symptom (e.g., headache, whiteout) had been performed full ophthalmic examination.
A total of 56 eyes were included in this study, including 22 eyes (39.3%) of retinal breaks and peripheral retinal degeneration and 34 eyes (60.7%) of no peripheral retinal degeneration. Univariated analysis showed that the onset of symptoms within 1 week, multiple floaters particularly for the number from 2 to 5, and existence of posterior vitreous detachment are meaningful factor. Laser photocoagulation was performed in patients with peripheral retinal degeneration including retinal tears requiring treatment. No additional breaks were observed in all patients during the 6-month follow-up.
Patients with floaters and flash should be thoroughly asked with regard to the onset and number of floaters, and if the onset of symptom is within one week or patients feel multiple floaters, thorough peripheral fundus examination to find peripheral retinal degeneration including retinal tears should be needed.


Peripheral retinal degeneration; Retinal breaks; Retinal tear; Vitreous floater

MeSH Terms

Follow-Up Studies
Light Coagulation
Medical Records
Retinal Degeneration*
Retinal Perforations*
Retrospective Studies
Vitreous Detachment


  • Figure 1 The characters of floaters. Questionnaire detailing their symptoms include onset, duration of symptoms, floaters with flash and associated another visual symptoms (e.g., headache, whiteout) and past medical histories had been performed. The characters of floaters were categorized by the pictures classified into four groups from the previous independent study of van Overdam et al6 (with permission of JAMA Ophthalmology).


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