Flashes can occur when there is traction or tugging on the retina. This usually occurs during a posterior vitreous separation when the gel in the central cavity of the eye shrinks and pulls away from the retina. The vitreous gel may be more adherent to the retina in some locations, leading to tugging on the retina and possible flashing lights. Retinal tears and retinal detachment can be the cause of flashes, although many other retinal conditions can lead to flashes. Any patient with sudden new onset of flashes should have their retina examined to determine the cause and ensure that proper treatment is initiated.
Patients experiencing flashes will report noticing “flashes of light”. These flashes may have differing frequency and strength. Some consider them similar to lightning or the flash of a camera.
Diagnosis and Tests for Flashes
It is recommended that if you notice eye floaters and flashes that you have a retinal exam. During a dilated retinal exam, your retina will become more clear and from there, an ophthalmologist or retinal specialist will be able to understand and perform other tests to find out the cause of your floaters. Predominantly, you want to understand if the cause of your flashes is more emergent, like a Retinal Tear or Retinal Detachment.
Treating flashes will predominantly take the form of treating whatever condition may be causing the flashes such as retinal tears and retinal detachments.
Do flashes always mean there’s a larger issue?
No, while the onset of flashes and floaters are often related to a Retinal Detachment or a Retinal Tear, it is not always the case and may be due to things like migraines or aging.
Will flashes go away on their own?
Most often flashes will become smaller and less frequent, or at least less noticeable, particularly after treatment of the underlying caus
Are flashes and floaters related?
Yes, some patients will experience floaters in conjunction with flashes of light in their vision, which occur similarly from the separation of the vitreous from the retina.
Hear what patients are saying
““I’ve been going to the Retinal Consultants of Arizona for over 3 years now. If there were 10 Stars I would give ten. The staff is phenomenal as well as the Physicians. The doctors really know what they’re doing which gives me a lot of security regarding my eyes and eyesight”
““I have been going to Retinal Consutants for th past 5 years. The customer service and medical service is excellent. I reccommend Retinal Consultants for any eye medical issues.”
“The staff here make you feel comfortable and put your mind at ease.”
Other Conditions Treated at RCA
Our ophthalmologists are experienced in diagnosing and treating many retinal conditions.