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Seeing Flashes of Light

Experiencing flashes of light in your vision can be a sign of a serious problem. Many afflicted people describe it as seeing stars or streaks of light. This light originates inside of your eye and does not come from an external source. If you experience this condition, you need to seek treatment. At H. Arnold Papernick OD in Mount Pleasant, PA, our optometrist can diagnose your condition and provide the proper treatment.

What Causes Flashes in the Eyes?

There are several causes of seeing light flashes. First, any changes to the vitreous, or the jelly-like material inside the eye, can affect the retina. Another cause is experiencing an accident that impacts the eye. Even rubbing the eyes too hard can cause problems. Both causes are the result of force on the eyes. Generally, the light flashes are sudden and go away quickly. Any flashes that remain in your vision could be the result of a migraine or other condition. Migraine sufferers report that the flashes they see look wavy and happen even when they are not having a headache. Those who have cataracts may see light around streetlights and other light sources. 

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Symptoms of Light Flashes

There are a few other symptoms that people seeing flashes experience.  These include:

  • • Distorted or wavy vision with or without a migraine
  • • Seeing star-like rays around lights
  • • Halos around streetlights and other light sources

When to Seek Treatment

If you suddenly start seeing flashes of light, you need to see our optometrist immediately. This is particularly important if you also have floaters or any other changes to your vision. These can be symptoms of a serious problem. For instance, visual changes could indicate that the retina is torn and has become detached. If not diagnosed and treated quickly, you could lose your vision. While some people do experience occasional light flashes as they age, repeated flashes should be addressed quickly. Occasional flashes that are the result of aging don’t cause damage to the eyes. An eye exam with our optometrist will determine that source of the problem.  

Other Causes of Flashes of Light

Beyond detached or torn retinas and migraines, there are a number of other conditions that can cause people to experience light flashes. These include:

  • • Vitreomacular traction
  • • Choroidal neovascular membranes
  • • Posterior vitreous detachment
  • • Histoplasmosis

Schedule an Appointment with Our Eye Doctor

Experiencing flashes of light can be a symptom of several serious health conditions. If you start seeing these flashes frequently, you need to see your eye doctor in Mt. Pleasant, PA. At H. Arnold Papernick OD, we can diagnose your condition with an eye exam and give you treatment. Our team is committed to helping patients maintain the best eye health and vision. Our optometrist can detect eye issues early, which can prevent them from worsening. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call us today.