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The most common cause of black spots in your vision is a PVD or posterior vitreous detachment, a common event that happens in many people.You have a thick gel material in the middle of your eyes. Over time as it liquefies, this gel material collapses on itself and pulls away from the wall of the eye. In the process it can stimulate the retina -- causing the flashes that you see.Even though you stated you have complete eye exams every six months I am concerned, that in your case with the long history of diabetes and the change in your ability to see the newspaper, that you could have some bleeding inside your eye and, perhaps, swelling of the center of your vision (macula). There is also the possibility that the "aura" or shadow you are seeing, if it is occurring in one eye only (cover one eye at a time and check) could be a sign of a progressive retinal detachment. If this is the case you should be seen by an ophthalmologist ASAP.
I strongly recommended that you see your ophthalmologist for a complete, dilated, exam ASAP to make sure there are no problems such as a retinal hole, tear, bleeding, macular edema or detachment. In most cases, there are no problems but it better to be safe then sorry.
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