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How do contact lenses affect floaters or flashes of light?

Gary S. Hirshfield, MD
Ophthalmology
Contact lenses do not affect floaters.  Most floaters are inside the eye and are caused by the vitreous jelly detached from the retina.  This is usually not a serious condition but should be checked by an Eye M.D.  Flashes can occur if the vitreous is tugging on the retina or from other causes.  Contact lenses are on the surface of the eye and do not have anything to do with floaters and flashes.  However, many people who use contacts use them for nearsightedness and people who are nearsighted are more likely to have vitreous floaters. 
Contacts do not cause floaters to become larger, although you might become more aware of them with visual improvement. Contacts also do not cause flashes. If you have flashes and/or an increase or change in floaters, especially suddenly, this may be a sign of a more serious problem within the eye, having nothing to do with the contacts. You should have a dilated eye exam by a Eye M.D. (ophthalmologist) to be certain that you don't have problems within the eye.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.