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Dr. Chan
Dr. Chan, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 356
Experience:  Board Certified in ophthalmology
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I have been having bright flashes of light when I look to either

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I have been having bright flashes of light when I look to either side since before Christmas. What could this be and what should I do about it?



Do you see any black things floating around? Do you have a headache with this? How long does it last? Does it affect your vision?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for your help. I don't see black things floating. I've had more headaches than doctor thought it was due to a sinus infection. It is a burst of light that lasts only a second. I have noticed over the last few days that I am having some fogginess in my vision, but not enough to make it hard to see. I appreciate you giving your opinion.




It sounds like you may be experiencing the beginning of a posterior vitreous detachment. There is a gel inside of your eyes. As you age, the gel breaks up and pulls away from the retina. When it does this, you will see a flash of light. Eventually, the gel pulls completely away and become black specks that float around in your vision (called floaters). This process is harmless, but can be annoying. The danger is that sometimes when the gel pulls on the retina it tears it. That can lead to a retinal detachment (which is a major problem).


It sounds like your gel is starting to detach and is tugging on the retina (producing the flashes). You should have your eyes checked to make sure the retina is OK. The whole process may take up to 6 weeks to complete.


Hope this helps.

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