Dr. Shalu Pal

  • "If you want quality and wonderful service, please go to Dr. Shalu Pal! The patience, care, and true concern that Dr. Pal has for her clients is wonderful. "

    --Seleena J
  • " I was pleasantly surprised by finding a hidden gem within Dr. Pal's office"

  • "Finally a doctor who is extremely knowledgeable, patient and explains things clearly. She is a wonderful human being who really takes the time to care for your needs. The office has a wonderful atmosphere and the staff are just as helpful as Dr. Pal. "

  • "I couldn't ask for a better Optometrist. She is a delight to deal with, very patient, helpful and extremely knowledgeable. She was very good with my kids who can be very fussy at times.. And who could ask for a more beautiful location. Highly Recommend! "

    --Natalie M.
  • "My wife and I, highly recommend Dr. Pal. The staff, the service, the merchandise, are all top notch. They really make you feel welcomed. It has been several years since I have been able to see this well !!! You and your staff are the best !!!! "

    --Steve and Maria L.
  • "We barely go to optometrists so when we do, we should look for the best! I am super pleased I chose Dr. Pal\'s office. They were helpful from beginning to end, from booking on the phone to my actual visit. Dr. Pal was very detailed and went in-depth about my eye health. She is very patient and made me feel calm. The optician helped me pick a great pair of glasses, they were genuinely friendly which is a huge bonus."

    --Ahmad S
  • "I have been going to Dr. Pal for several years now. My most recent visit on June 6, 2016 was the best experience there that I have ever had. Firstly, the women on the desk were friendly and efficient - a very good prelude to my examination. Dr. Pal, herself, was, as usual, very thorough and encouraging in her examination. And she puts you at ease before we get into the eyes examination by discussing other things in life. That helps to ease any stress I may have. And they now have a man in the office who does that difficult examination (name of which I do not know!). He is so patient and encouraging and made the exam not so difficult for me this time. After all that, I saw Dr. Pal again before I left and she told me my eyes were good! Even had the news been not so good, I believe that I would be able to handle it because I truly believe that Dr. Pal and her staff would have taken good care of me. I will always go back to Dr. Pal and members of her team because I truly believe"

    --A. Howlett
  • " I have been to a few appointments at Dr. Pal\'s office over the last year for dry eye issues and every time it has been a very positive experience. The 3 receptionists at the front desk are warm and friendly. They are attentive and provide a very high level of customer service. I appreciate that they call me by name and remembered conversations we had at previous visits. I find Dr. Pal to be an excellent practitioner who is very thorough with her exams, has a lovely personality and takes the time to answer any and all questions that may arise. I am happy with the computer glasses I purchased and value the honest opinions I received from the staff when selecting frames. It was refreshing to have multiple opinions on styles and I felt they truly wanted me to walk out with a frame that was best suited to me. I highly recommend Dr. Pal \'s office! As a health care practitioner myself, I think all health care experiences should be this personilzed and friendly!"

    --A. Mclean
Flashes, Floaters and Spots


Flashes, Floaters and Spots


Occasionally, as we look at the sky or at a blank wall, we notice small spots that look like grey particles, floating in the visual field; they can be shapes such as loops, lines or cobwebs and they seem to move somewhat with the eyes.

Sometimes we are aware of short flashes of light as well. Both floaters and flashes are usually benign and are more annoying than serious. However, a sudden onset of floaters or flashes of light can be signs of something more serious; we will discuss what and when to report to your eyecare practitioner later on.


Diagram shows vitreous humour with strands and clumps, causing floaters.

Floaters are actually shadows cast onto the retina by irregularities and strands found in the vitreous humour, the thick, gelatin-like substance that fills the major part of the eye and keeps it from collapsing.

A developing fetus has a network of blood vessels that nourish the crystalline lens inside the eye, but before birth, this disintegrates and mostly disappears. In many cases, the spots we see floating around are remnants of this network, small bits of tissue that didn’t dissolve. Also, floaters can increase with age, because the usually transparent vitreous tends to lose its smoothness and can become lumpier with time; the connective tissue within the vitreous body can also become more obvious as well.

These small bits of leftover tissue and the clumps and strands that have become more visible over time are normal, although they can become annoying if they manage to float into the direct line of vision.

People who might notice floaters include

  • Myopes (people who are nearsighted)
  • People who are pregnant
  • People who have had cataract extraction surgery
  • People with a history of other eye surgery
  • Those with a history of iritis or iridocyclitis (episodes of inflammation in the eye)
  • Athletes or others who have had head injuries or impacts
  • Those with a history of other head and/or neck injuries, as in automobile crashes
  • Those with a history of circulatory problems, such as diabetes
  • People who suffer from migraine headaches


Like floaters, flashes are usually benign as well, but they can signal that something more serious is occurring, such as tearing of the retinal tissue or a retinal detachment.

(Illustration of retinal detachment shows retina separating from its backing and falling downward; this type of detachment would cause sparks of light to appear in the lower visual field.)

When something stimulates the nerve cells of the retina to respond, they do so by sending a signal to the brain that there is light; this is the only way these cells can respond to any such stimulus, even if there is no light at all. These can be perceived as discreet small pinpricks of light, or can be described as “a shower of sparks,” or a “sparkling curtain.”

People who have migraine headaches sometimes experience flashes and floaters, but these differ somewhat from those that may signal more serious problems, in that they may appear to twinkle, change colors or expand in size over 15 to 20 minutes before disappearing and the headache begins.

Flashes of light, particularly if they seem to be located in the lower part of the field of view can be a sign of retinal detachment; if you experience this, see an eyecare practitioner as soon as possible, as this is a sight-threatening emergency. (The flashes appear to be in the lower field of view because the upper retina perceives vision opposite to its location.) As the retinal nerve cells are pulled away from their backing, they cause flashes of light as they separate. A sudden onset of new flashes or new floaters that lasts longer than 15 minutes requires immediate attention. A small retinal tear can progress into a full detachment over time; if the cells are no longer attached to their source of nutrition, they will die and cause permanent vision loss in the area of the detachment.

Vitreous Detachment

The vitreous humour, sometimes referred to as the vitreous body, is firmly attached to the retina and other structures in the back of the eye; with age, these attachments become weaker and it is not unusual for the vitreous to detach itself, especially around the head of the optic nerve. This is known as a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) and is not itself serious, except that it must be checked and a more serious retinal detachment ruled out. A PVD is painless and does not cause any effect on the vision. A PVD may cause separate floaters or even one that is shaped like a ring or part of a ring.


If the floaters are bothersome, it may help to look quickly up and down and from side to side to allow the floaters to drift away from the visual axis where they are more noticeable.

There is no surgical procedure to remove floaters, but they do often fade over time, probably because they eventually sink to the bottom part of the eye. Brief flashes caused by a PVD should settle down within a few weeks to a few months without disturbing the vision further.

New Symptoms: See Your Eyecare Practitioner

Any new-onset flashes or floaters, or a sudden increase in their location or number is a sign that needs to be evaluated by an eyecare practitioner without delay, to rule out retinal detachment. 'A detached retina is a sight-threatening emergency and is time-sensitive;' the longer the cells go without their nutritional support, the less likely it is that they will survive. The detached portion of the retina can sometimes be re-attached with surgery, which at the least should stabilize the damage and prevent further progression.

Most flashes and floaters are not serious, however, and require no treatment at all; the key to knowing which is which depends on being aware of the state of your normal vision. If you have never experienced any flashes or floaters, and suddenly there is a significant number of them, that requires checking. This is particularly true if there has been a fall, a blow to the head, or perhaps even a minor fender-bender in the car.

If you are not sure if your situation is serious, just call and ask; much better to be over-cautious than to risk vision loss.

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