As we grow older, it is common to experience flashes. Flashes of light that occur in ones vision is worth noting. Although sometimes harmless, sometimes these can also be the beginning of a serious eye problem. If the flash occurs off to side (periphery) in your vision, begin to check it out by taking your glasses off to see if it is a reflection from the edge of the frames, or the edge of the lens. If the flash is still occuring check to see if it is in both eyes or just one.
What causes flashing lights?
You may have experienced flashes if you have ever been hit in the eye and seen "stars." When the vitreous gel shrinks, it tugs on the retina which creates the sensation of flashing lights and is called a Vitreous Detachment. This may also occur after a blow to the eye and can appear randomly for several weeks or months. A sudden appearance of flashes may indicate a torn retina so to differentiate this from a vitreous detachment a visit to the optometrist or ophthalmologist is recommended.The flashes of light can appear off and on for several weeks or months. If you notice the sudden appearance of light flashes, you should visit your eye doctor immediately to see if the retina has been torn.
Sometimes the flashes are the result of a Retinal Detachment. Examination for this condition is extremely important as soon as possible.
The EyeCyclopedia is a collection of eye care terminology created by
practicing optometrists and ophthalmologists. The information provided is not intended
to be a substitute for regular medical care or to diagnose or treat
any medical condition, and should be used only as a supplemental source of information.
Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your eye health.