Feeling disoriented is common after a car accident. But if you’re seeing spots or other visual changes after a crash, you may have developed eye floaters or a more serious problem.

Eye floaters often appear as dark shapes or transparent threads in your line of vision. These spots will move as your eyes move, eventually drifting out of your visual field.

Eye floaters occur when the vitreous gel — the clear fluid that fills most of the eye — breaks loose and clumps together, causing dark flecks that disturb normal vision. The high impact of a car accident can cause victims to develop eye floaters, which could be a symptom of a sight-threatening injury like a retinal tear or retinal detachment.

Retinal Tears vs. Retinal Detachment

The retina is the light-sensitive membrane at the back of the eye that detects what you see and sends those images to the brain. The jolt from a car crash could pull part of the retina away from where it is anchored to the eye, causing a retinal tear.

A retinal tear can progress to an emergency condition called retinal detachment. That occurs when the entire retina pulls apart from the tissue that provides its blood supply. The longer the retinal cells go without nourishment, the greater the risk of vision loss.

One challenge in diagnosing a retinal tear or retinal detachment is that both conditions are painless.

That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to eye floaters.

The sudden onset of eye floaters is the most significant indicator of retinal trauma. Other symptoms include:

  • Flashes of light in one or both eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • A gradual loss of peripheral (side) vision
  • A shadow-like appearance in the line of vision

When to See an Eye Doctor

Eye floaters may not develop immediately after a car accident. But as soon as you notice them (or a worsening of them, if you already had floaters), you should seek immediate medical care.

Doctors can diagnose retinal detachment by shining a tool with a bright light to view the back of your eye. Ultrasounds may be needed if blood accumulation prevents a clear view of the retina.

Treating retinal tears may require laser surgery or a freezing procedure (called cryotherapy) to reattach the retina to its supportive tissues. More invasive surgeries may be necessary to repair a retinal detachment depending on the severity of the condition.

Compensation for Eye Injuries After a SC Car Crash

Getting treatment for serious eye injuries isn’t cheap. According to a 2014 study in the journal Ophthalmology, the cost for repair of a detached retina ranged from $2,763 to $7,940, depending on the surgical setting and the type of procedure used.

The good news is that compensation is possible. If you suffered visual injuries in a South Carolina car accident, talk to one of the experienced car accident attorneys at the Wilson Law Group to learn about your legal rights. Our dedicated trial lawyers will review your case and demand maximum compensation for your injuries.

We represent clients throughout South Carolina, including Orangeburg, and Bamberg, and the surrounding communities.

Contact us to schedule your free case review today.


Mayo Clinic: “Eye Floaters”

National Eye Institute: “Facts About Retinal Detachment.”

Ophthalmology: “Cost-Effectiveness of Retinal Detachment Repair.”

Wilson Law Group Offices: