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Bordering Cedar Park & North Austin, minutes from Lakeline Mall. NW Corner of El Salido Pkwy & 620, behind AutoZone.
Bordering Cedar Park & North Austin, minutes from Lakeline Mall. NW Corner of El Salido Pkwy & 620, behind AutoZone.
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Are Floaters and Flashes Dangerous?

You’ve likely experienced occasional visual “floaters” or flashes and may have wondered what they were and if they’re a cause for concern. They look like tiny lines, shapes, shadows, or specks that appear to be drifting in the visual field. More often than not, seeing floaters is a normal occurrence and does not indicate a problem with ocular or visual health. However, when floaters become more frequent and are accompanied by flashes of light, that can indicate a more serious problem.

Eye flashes resemble star-like specks or strands of light that either flash or flicker in one’s field of vision. They can either be a single burst in one visual zone, or can be several flashes throughout a wider area. Flashes can sometimes be missed as they most often appear in the side or peripheral vision.

Floaters & Flashes Eye Care in Cedar Park, Texas

If you suddenly, or with increasing frequency, experience flashes or floaters, call Lakeline Vision Source and schedule an eye exam with Dr. Eric Hammond, OD right away to rule out any serious eye conditions.

What Causes Floaters?

The vitreous in the eye is a clear gel that fills most of the eyeball and resembles raw egg-white. Within the vitreous are small lumps of protein that drift around and move with the motion of your eyes. When these tiny lumps of protein cast shadows on the retina — the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye — the shadows appear as floaters.

As we age, the vitreous shrinks, creating more strands of protein. This is why the appearance of floaters may increase with time. Floaters tend to be more prevalent in nearsighted people and diabetics, and occur more frequently following cataract surgery or an eye injury.

If seeing floaters becomes bothersome, try moving your eyes up and down or side to side to gently relocate the floaters away from your visual field.

What Causes Flashes?

Flashes result from the retinal nerve cells being moved or tugged on. As the vitreous shrinks over time, it can tug at the retina, causing you to “see stars” or bursts of light. The process of the vitreous separating from the retina is called “posterior vitreous detachment” (PVD) and usually isn’t dangerous.

In about 16% of cases, PVD causes tiny tears in the retina that can lead to retinal detachment — a sight-threatening condition that causes irreversible blindness if left untreated.

Other possible causes of flashes are eye trauma or migraine headaches.

When To Call Your Optometrist About Floaters

If you experience any of the following symptoms, promptly make an appointment with an eye doctor near you for emergency eye care.

Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

  • A sudden onset of floaters accompanied by flashes (which can be any shape or size)
  • An increase of floaters accompanied by a darkening of one side of the visual field
  • Shadows in the peripheral vision
  • Any time flashes are seen

In many cases, seeing floaters is no cause for concern; however the above symptoms could indicate retinal detachment—which, if left untreated, could cause a permanent loss of sight or even blindness.

If the receptionists pick up the phone and hear the main concern is floaters or flashes, they will try to squeeze in the appointment within 24 hours. Expect the pupils to be dilated during your eye exam, so the eye doctor can get a really good look at the peripheral retina to diagnose or rule out a retinal tear or other serious condition, as opposed to a non-vision-threatening condition such as uncomplicated posterior vitreous detachment (quite common) or ocular migraine.

Please contact Lakeline Vision Source in Cedar Park at 512-918-3937 with any further questions, or to schedule an eye doctor’s appointment.

10 Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes

Doctor-approved by our center for eye care in Cedar Park

A good tube of mascara is a makeup essential. But if you have sensitive eyes, your beautiful lush lashes can come at the price of having red eyes and swollen, itchy eyelids. If you suffer from dry eyes, are sensitive to preservatives, suffer from allergies, or wear contact lenses, you are more likely to be sensitive to eye makeup, particularly mascara.

What symptoms can be caused by your mascara?

According to our eye care specialist in Cedar Park, signs that you’re having a bad reaction to your mascara can appear both around and in your eyes. Some people will suffer from flaky, dry eyelids or watery, red eyes. Usually, the eyes and surrounding tissues become inflamed, which can lead to stinging and/or itching. Also, many people develop infections at the eyelash line due to certain ingredients in mascara.

What mascaras are recommended for sensitive eyes?

Our eye care team in Cedar Park has compiled the following list of 10 mascaras that are gentle to the eyes, while still giving you those dreamy, high-volume lashes.

  1. Lancôme Hypnôse Waterproof Mascara: Smudge-free with no flaking all day long, this mascara will coat and curl every lash perfectly. Filled with provitamin B5, you’ll enjoy a high-volume finish without a brittle feel.
  2. INIKA Long Lash Vegan Mascara: Infuse your lashes with deep conditioning elements such as vitamin E and magnolia bark extract. This vegan, organic, and cruelty-free mascara will give you a vibrant look without causing any irritation to even the most delicate peepers.
  3. MAC Extended Play Lash Mascara: Ophthalmologist tested, this intense carbon black mascara is ideal for super-delicate eyes. It’s also smudge-resistant, flake-proof, volumizing, defining, and lengthening to boot. In addition, the tiny brush bristles coat even your thinnest, shortest eyelashes evenly.
  4. Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara: Made from totally natural ingredients, like shea butter, beeswax carnauba wax, and keratin, this mascara lengthens, curls, conditions, and lifts your lashes.
  5. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Volume Mascara: Specially formulated sensitive eyes and people who wear contact lenses, this richly pigmented mascara coats each and every lash. You can have full volume without irritating your eyes or weighing down your eyelashes.
  6. Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer: Before applying this budget-friendly mascara, you apply a primer to lengthen lashes in advance. Then you can enhance your look even further with deep color.
  7. Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara: While this product can get pricey, it gives you thick dramatic eyelashes and contains specialized peptides to stimulate further lash growth.
  8. Crunchi Lashes For Days Mascara: With all natural ingredients, such as green tea fibers, a swipe of this wand will upgrade your lashes, shaping and lengthening them with no itchy side effects.
  9. Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula: Many long-time wearers of Clinique makeup swear by the irritation-free effects of this mascara. Even though it’s waterproof, ophthalmologists have determined that it’s safe for contact lens wearers and people with sensitive eyes. Plus, it will stay in place all day without running or smudging into raccoon eyes.
  10. Neutrogena Healthy Lengths Mascara: Clump-free, lash-lengthening, and gentle on sensitive eyes, what more could you ask for in a mascara?

Even with the best mascara – don’t neglect eye hygiene!

In addition to choosing the right hypoallergenic, ophthalmologist-tested mascara, good eye hygiene is critical for avoiding uncomfortable symptoms. Make sure that when you remove your eye makeup, you don’t leave old mascara to build up along your lash line. Also, remember to switch to a fresh tube of mascara every three months, because bacteria can breed in the bottle – leading to eye infections. A helpful tip from our Cedar Park eye care team is to record the date you opened the mascara directly on the tube with a permanent marker.


At Lakeline Vision Source, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 512-918-3937 or book an appointment online to see one of our Cedar Park eye doctors.

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Eye Floaters & Flashes: When Are They a Problem?

Guidelines From our Center for Eye Care in Cedar Park

For many people, the sight of squiggly threads or cloudy specks floating across their vision is a normal occurrence. Flashes of light that appear like flickering or gliding sparks are also common. If you’ve had these floaters and flashes for a while, you probably got used to them and barely even notice their presence. But once in a while, when they travel across the white page you’re reading, you may wonder about them. What are eye floaters and flashes, and are they ever a sign that you need to find immediate eye care near you?

Introducing flashes and floaters

To understand what these visions are, you need a basic comprehension of what’s going on inside your eye. Our Cedar Park eye care specialist explains:

Your eyeball is filled with vitreous humor, a clear and stable gel (like an egg white). When light enters your eye, it through the lens to reach the retina. This journey passes through the vitreous gel. Once light gets to your retina, the light-sensitive cells capture the image and send it to your brain via your optic nerve.

As you age, the vitreous humor shrinks and the texture changes to become stringier. This transformation can cause clusters of cells or bits of protein to form in the vitreous humor – known as floaters. When you see a floater, you are actually seeing the shadow of these clusters on your retina. That’s why when you move your eye (and the vitreous gel within it), the floater also moves. If you ever try to zoom in on your floaters and look at them head-on, they will seem to glide away. But when you stop moving your eyeball, they’ll simply drift around slowly.

Flashes – which are harmless – occur when the vitreous gel tugs or bumps against your retina. They can also be accompanied by headaches, dizziness and nausea, which are also common signs of a binocular vision dysfunction. We specialize in precise diagnosis at our optometrist’s office for eye care in Cedar Park, and we’ll perform a comprehensive eye exam to identify your specific problem.

Does everyone see flashes and floaters?

Not quite everyone, but a lot of people do! Our eye doctor diagnoses these specks all the time, especially in patients above the age of 60. And about two-thirds of the elderly population above 80 years of age has them. Floaters tend to be more common in people with nearsightedness, diabetes, and those who had an eye injury or cataract surgery.

When are floaters and flashes a medical concern?

While the majority of flashes and floaters are harmless and do not need any treatment, sometimes they are a warning sign of a sight-threatening eye condition. In particular, it is important to seek emergency eye care near you when a bunch of new floaters comes on suddenly.

As the vitreous gel shrinks, it can tug against the retina and detach from it. This occurrence, called a posterior vitreous detachment, is relatively common and doesn’t damage vision. However, in about one in six people, it leads to a retinal tear. Once you have a retinal tear, the fluid from inside your eye may leak through the tear – causing the retina to separate from the supportive tissues around it. Retinal detachment is painless, yet it requires immediate medical attention.

If you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Seeing a bunch of new floaters appear suddenly, with or without flashes in the same eye
  • Peripheral vision loss
  • Gradual shading of your vision, similar to a curtain being pulled across your field of view
  • Quick blurring of your central vision

Don’t delay – visit Lakeline Vision Source for an urgent eye exam near you!

Is there a treatment for benign flashes and floaters?

Usually, people tolerate these little visions without too much of a problem and get used to having them around. However, some people are extremely bothered by floaters and flashes and feel that they interfere with their ability to read. In that case, there is a type of laser treatment – but it has not yet been studied extensively, and the risks of the surgery may be greater than the disruptions caused by floaters.

When your floaters annoy you, our Cedar Park eye care specialist recommends moving your eyes up and down, right and left. This simple action can shift the floater out of sight temporarily, providing relief.

If you’re concerned about your flashes and floaters, our eye doctor will perform a thorough eye exam near you to inspect your vision and ocular health to verify that there’s no reason for urgent medical treatment. At Lakeline Vision Source, we offer treatment for many eye conditions, including for binocular vision dysfunction and vision misalignments. Call your leading provider of eye care in Cedar Park to book an appointment.


At Lakeline Vision Source, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 512-918-3937 or book an appointment online to see one of our Cedar Park eye doctors.

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