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Ask Dr. A.S. Desai Your Own Question
Dr. A.S. Desai
Dr. A.S. Desai, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2398
Experience:  MS Ophthalmology with 13 years of surgical expereince
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tonight when driving home I noticed when blinking , flashing

Customer Question

tonight when driving home I noticed when blinking , flashing lights in the corner of my right eye when I turned to the left. I have no pain and have never had this experience before. I still have after one hour and I am worried I do not want to go blind.Please help!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. A.S. Desai replied 5 years ago.

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If you have experienced flashes of light continously for this one hour then it is better to verify the vision in the right eye. If the vision in the right eye is kind of foggy as if you were looking through a curtain or veil ( could be only part of the visual field too say one quadrant or more), then it could be indicative of a retinal detachment( RD ).

Any irritation to the retina is expressed in the form of flashes of light. There can be a number of conditions of the eye wherein flashes of light is an important symptom such as RD, posterior vitreous detachment ( PVD), ocular migraine.

The presentation is different in each of these cases though. PVD is a condition in which the thick gel at the back of the eye gets detached from its retinal attachment as a result of aging. During this the retina gets irritated or kind of stretched and gives rise to the symptom of flashes of light. Once the vitreous gets detached , it gets clumped and gives rise to the symptom of floaters ( wavy line/cobwebs/black strings). It is otherwise a harmless condition which needs no further treatment except for the fact that very rarely it may induce tiny peripheral retinal tears. Now these retinal tears can be detected by a dilated eye exam and if found they can be safely sealed with lasers. If left alone the retinal tears have a remote tendency to get converted into a frank retinal detachment. The visual acuity remains more or less good except when obscured by a large floater.

A retinal detachment is characterised by a sudden onset of flashes of light and foggy vision . It is more common in short sighted persons, in diabetes mellitus , following eye injury. It is an ocular emergency and requires urgent retinal surgery for better prognosis.

If the flashes of light have persisted with or without visual defect, I suggest you get a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist at the earliest so that something as serious as RD is not missed out. If the dilated eye exam comes out as normal then the episode can be considered as PVD .

Thank you and best wishes

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Views expressed are for information purpose only and cannot substitute a visit to an ophthalmologist
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