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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10788
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Why am I seeing streaks of light

Customer Question

Why am I seeing streaks of light?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I can help you today.

Dr. Rick :

Are these streaks of light in one eye only?

Dr. Rick :

I see you are offline. We can use the Q&A system to answer your question.

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
You are likely experiencing 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.

It is recommended that you see your ophthalmologist to look at the retina to make sure there are no problems such as a retinal hole or tear. In most cases, there are no problems, but this exam in precautionary and allows for preventative treatment of any lesions that are found.

If you notice a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light (like a lightening storm), or a shadow/veil in the periphery of your vision, this can be worrisome for a retinal detachment. You would need to contact your ophthalmologist promptly in that case.

I hope that this information was helpful for you. Please, allow me get credit for my time and effort in assisting you and press the ACCEPT button for this assist. I will be glad to answer additional questions until you are satisfied. Thank you very much.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Will the flashes go away and is there danger in the gel collapsing from the wall of the eye?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
Now, I can get to your question....must be Gremlins in the system again :)

The gel will just "float" in the middle of the back of your eye and cause no problems
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Will the flashes stop after the gel has pulled away and approximately how long will that take?
Thank you for your answers!
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
Yes, the flashes will stop after the vitreous pulls away from the retina. Until that happens, however, you have a small chance of getting a hole in your retina like I discussed above.

How long will it take? I've seen it take a day. I've seen it take weeks, sometimes even a month.

I don't just stop answering just because you've hit the pretty green button :o)
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you so much!
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
My pleasure