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Flashes and Floaters

The inside of the eye is filled with a clear jelly-like substance known as vitreous. Its main function is to maintain the eye shape and ensure the retina remains firmly pressed against the posterior wall of the eye.

As we age, the vitreous liquefies and reduces in volume, gel-like particles that appear in the vitreous can be seen as small spots, flecks or cobwebs moving across your field of vision. Although they are annoying, floaters won’t cause harm to your eye or sight, and will often fade overtime. In rare occasions when floaters are affecting a patients vision a laser procedure known as Vitreolysis can be used to vaporise the floaters into a gas, reducing the size and presence of floaters.

Flashes of light is an indication the vitreous within the eye is being pulled away from the retina, an age-related process known as a posterior vitreous detachment. This can lead to a retinal tear or detachment which require urgent treatment. A retinal tear if treated early can be lasered to prevent a retinal detachment occurring.

Symptoms of a retinal detachment include the onset of flashes and floaters followed by a dark shadow or curtain effect across one side of the visual field. It can occur gradually or have a sudden onset. It is an ocular emergency and requires urgent treatment, mostly surgical in nature.

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Dr Dana Robaei - Sydney Ophthalmologist

Dr Dana Robaei

Ophthalmic Surgeon MBBS(Hons) BSc(med) MPH PhD FRANZCO

Dr Dana Robaei is a consultant ophthalmic surgeon, with fellowship training in Cataract Surgery and Corneal Transplantation from Moorfields Eye Hospital, and Medical Retina from Sydney Eye Hospital.

She has extensively published in the national and international ophthalmic literature, and presented at international ophthalmology conferences.

She specialises in Cataract Surgery, Pterygium Surgery, Macular Degeneration and all aspects of comprehensive ophthalmology.

Dr Robaei is committed to clinical and surgical excellence, with the aim of providing the highest possible standard of care based on the latest available evidence, in combination with effective communication to patients and their referrers.

Professional Qualifications


  • Graduated from UNSW with Honours, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
  • Master of Public Health, UNSW
  • PhD in medicine (Visual impairment in Australian School Children)
  • Advances specialty training in ophthalmology and ophthalmic surgery at Sydney Eye Hospital
  • Subspecialty fellowship training in cataract surgery and corneal transplantation at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London UK
  • Clinical Senior Lecturer in ophthalmology, University of Sydney
  • Consultant Ophthalmologist, Westmead Hospital
  • Director of Forest Eye Surgery, Frenchs Forest