Eye Flashes - Should You Be Concerned?

There are two kinds of eye flashes. There are the okay kinds and bad ones. Our staff at Vision Professionals of Leawood wants you to know the difference between the two.


Flashes – The Okay Kind

The first time you have flashes in your eyes, it is a bit unnerving. It seems almost as if you are hallucinating. Most people sometime during their lives, especially after 50 years of age, have eye flashes as a part of the normal aging process. People who are nearsighted also have an increased risk of eye flashes.

However, there still remains the question: Are your eye flashes normal? That is why you need to see your ophthalmologist in Leawood.

Normal flashes seem like little shooting stars or very little bright spots moving around a little. If they seem to stay in the same location of your vision while you turn your head, you know this is internal to your eye. When you close your eyes, they are still there.

Flashes are also often accompanied by floaters. These seem to look like dark spots floating around. Both happen when the vitreous gel around the retina of the eye starts to shrink and detaches from the retina, called vitreous detachment. The gel pulls on the retina, creating the flashes we see. When the gel is thick enough in just the right place, it casts shadows upon the retina, creating the floaters we see. Eventually, those chunks of gel dissolve into the rest of the vitreous gel in the eye.

If you have diabetes of any kind, it is very important to let your eye doctor know that. If anybody in your family tree has had diabetes, the doctor will need to know that as well.

Flashes – The Bad Kind

You should see an eye doctor, or go to an emergency room, as soon as possible any of the following occur

  • You suffer an impact on your eyeball, during which you have flashes. If the flashes continue, then go to the emergency room.
  • The flashes are very bright, with obvious vision loss afterward. In this case, you might have a macular hole or the beginnings of a retinal detachment. Both are very serious conditions!
  • If the flashes shimmer, like heat waves on a hot road, you may have other serious medical conditions.
  • You have had normal flashes and floaters in the past, but there is a sudden increase.

The Vision Professionals of Leawood can help understand your vision problems and treatment options. By having regular vision checkups, you can feel the peace of mind that only professional care can provide. You can call us at (913) 239-9446 to schedule an appointment today!

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