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Eye flashes or photopsia can be caused by many conditions. Although flashes are harmless, they might indicate some serious eye issue which needs to be addressed immediately. Medical attention should be taken when flashes cause loss of vision and also small spots seem to float from one side to the other, thereby hindering the vision
Migraines and very severe recurrent form of headaches which last for few hours to many days can cause visual symptoms. The light flashes look like zigzag lines, geometric patterns and sparkles when they occur with a migraine. Flashes might affect one eye or both and occur in the peripheral area of the vision. Light flashes sometimes also occur due to an ophthalmic migraine, migraine without a headache.
Posterior Vitreous Detachment
The jelly-like substance or the vitreous fluid fill the center of the eye and also gives it shape, is attached to the retina. With age and over time there is shrinking of the vitreous and it begins to detach from the retina. This is known as posterior vitreous detachment. In this, the vitreous tugs or pulls on the retina, while the retina gets detached and stimulates it thus causing flashes to occur.
There is no known treatment for posterior vitreous detachment, through regular monitoring of the eye through eye checkups are helpful. Symptoms of this are similar to those of retinal detachment (condition in which there is permanent vision loss).
Eye flashes and floaters may cause retinal detatchment. Retinal tear and detachment also cause light flashes in the eye. This needs to be treated promptly. In the case of permanent vision loss, there is a detachment of retina at the back of the eye, especially if the detachment takes place over the macula which is the main focus of the vision on the retina. When the retina detaches from the eye, it loses the main source of nutrients. As there are photosensitive cells in the retina which are responsible for vision, the results of the retinal tear are severe.
Retinal damage occurs after trauma or as a complication from diabetes or posterior vitreous detachment. Vitreous gel tends to seep under the retina from the small crevices and holes formed by the retinal thinning. This, in turn, raises the sections and disconnects it from the eye. This can be corrected by laser treatment, cryopexy or eye surgery.
A trauma like a hard blow on the head can lead the person to experience flashes of light. Also, some medications can lead to toxic levels, like Digitalis can cause flashes of light. The symptoms of eye flashes also occur with macular degeneration, which is an age-related disease and in this, the vision reduces gradually.
Some of the common conditions that affect the cornea are as below :
1) Injuries - In case of a minor injury and scratch the cornea has the capability to heal on its own. But in case of deeper injuries there might be corneal scarring, leading to a haze in the cornea along with impaired vision. In case of deep injury you could experience pain in the eye, sensitivity, reduced vision, inflammation of the eye, headache, vomiting and nausea.
2) Allergies - The common allergies that affect the eye are related to pollen, especially in the warm and dry weather. Symptoms are burning sensation, redness of the eye, itching, and watery discharge. These symptoms can be reduced by antihistamine decongestant eye drops. Rain and cold weather also improve the symptoms.
3) Keratitis - This is the inflammation of the cornea. Though infection is a common cause of keratitis, non-infectious keratitis is due to minor injuries and wearing the contact lenses for too long. Infectious keratitis is mainly due to parasites, fungi, viruses and bacteria. These can be treated with antibacterial eye drops.
4) Dry Eye - This is a condition where the eye produces less tears and is unable to keep the surface of the eye lubricated. The symptoms of this are scratchy feeling due to the dryness of the eye, along with a burning and stinging sensation of the eye.
Some common diseases affecting the cornea are as below :
1) Herpes Zoster - This is basically the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus. This virus also causes chickenpox and if you have had chicken pox then the virus can live in the nerve cells and become activated later in life. The virus might travel through the nerves to the cornea, affecting the cornea.
2) Iridocorneal endothelial syndrome - This is more common in women aged 30-50 years. It has three features: glaucoma, swelling of the cornea, and changes of the iris.
3) Pterygium - This is the pinkish, triangular tissue growth, which occurs on the cornea. This might grow slowly throughout life. This is commonly seen in sunny weather in adults aged between 20-40 years.
Treatment options for corneal disorders are as below :
2) Anterior lamellar keratoplasty and endothelial lamellar keratoplasty - This procedure removes the damaged or diseased endothelial tissue which is then replaced by the healthy tissue from a donor.
3) Corneal Transplant Surgery - This removes the damaged part of the cornea and then it is replaced by the healthy tissue through a donor.
4) Artificial Cornea - Keratoprosthesis is usually known as the artificial cornea. This is an option for people who have not had a successful tissue implant.
Hi, I am suffering from chalazion. I have been suggested for surgery as warm water compression did not yield any result. I want to know does it affect our eyes and vision?
From last month I am feeling eye ache and burn with a little head ache while using phone even on low brightness then I stop using it for two days all ok now for five days I feel head ache daily in morning around 10 am and unconsciousness laziness like my head and eyes are filled with a gel. I am eating good I have belly infection too I think it is due to gas. What is it? Even after a running 12 min and exercise I feel sudden weakness (chhakar) for a little moment after that some undigested food come out via vomiting for one or three time.
Dear sir/mam first I am so thankful for giving us a great platform for consultation. Sir/mam. please suggest me for my eyes and cheeks care, my eyes having pain as well as feeling of tired eyes every time. Even m not using phone or pc. Due to this big bugs observed with dark circle. Also my cheeks goes underside below the eyes. Sir/mam I am using spectacles. please suggest me sir.
Hi Sir, I am a 15 years old girl. Today was my paper. When I was coming home in a matador (mini bus), suddenly I was not able to see anything. Darkness appeared in front of my eyes. However. I was able to think. Why it happened?
My daughter have eye redness and eyebrows pain and pain over cheek is this inflammation or what she is 10 years.
From this evening my left eye got a red dot at it's white place. Maybe it's blood or what I don't know but it's paining. I washed it with water but still it's not getting any better. Hope you would give fine advice for this.
Ever noticed spots or strands that ‘float’ into your line of vision. These are known as floaters. In most cases, they do not affect your vision, but can cause a lot of discomfort. Thus, in most cases they do not require treatment unless they affect your vision significantly. Floaters are more likely to stand out when looking at bright objects or something like a clear blue sky. Moving your eyes can shift the fluid in your eyes and move these floaters out of your line of sight.
Dust particles entering and irritating the eye should not be confused with floaters. Floaters can be described as flecks of a protein called collagen. These flecks can be seen when they are loosened from the back of the eye known as the vitreous. This can happen at any age but is more likely to affect people between the ages of 50 and 75. Being near sighted or suffering from cataract also increases your risk of seeing floaters. In rare cases, it can also be triggered by a disease in the eye, an injury to the eye, tumors or crystal deposits in the back of the eye.
Noticing the odd floater is not something to worry about. However, if you notice a sudden increase in the number and frequency of floaters in your eye, see flashes of light, have pain in the eyes or experience a loss of side vision, consult a doctor immediately. This could also be a sign of a more serious condition like a detached retina that requires immediate medical attention. Excessive floaters can be removed through a surgery known as a vitrectomy or laser vitreolysis. A vitrectomy involves the removal of vitreous gel from the middle of the eye and replacing it with silicone oil or a gas bubble. The surgery last 2 or 3 hours, but you may require an overnight stay in the hospital.
Floaters can be associated with retinal detachment so dilated retinal examination is neccessary.