Flashes of Light

Do you experience flashes of light in or vision?  Are they new or have they been there for a long time?  What is the cause of them?

Flashes may be described as a lightning streak or the sensation of seeing a shooting star in your vision. They usually only last a few seconds.


Most of the time, the flashes of light are from changes in the vitreous jelly.  This is the viscous gel that fills the back of your eye.  As you age, it will liquify. Flashes of light may be associated with new floaters in your vision.  Flashes of light can also be caused from trauma.  For example if you are hit in your eye you may see flashes.  Migraine headaches can also cause a patient to experience flashes either before, during, or after the migraine.  Sometimes you can have the visual symptoms of a migraine without the headache!  This is called an ocular migraine.

When Should I Worry?flashes of light | Alaina Kronenberg MD

You should worry about flashes if they are new.  If you suddenly see flashes of light in your vision, you should call our office for an appointment.  It is also important to call our office if you notice new floaters in your vision or feel like there is a curtain or portion of your vision missing.  It is also important to have an eye examination if you have sustained trauma to your eye. Dr. Cindy Wang or I will perform a comprehensive eye examination which will include dilating your pupils.

What Could it Mean?

If you are experiencing new flashes or floaters, we need to check your retina for a possible detached or torn retina.  You should call our office to be see as an urgent patient.   All urgent issues will be seen on the same day.

Alaina Kronenberg MD
Eye Surgery Institute
15212 Michigan Ave
Dearborn, MI 48126

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