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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10553
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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What causes a bright light to flash in my right eye This

Resolved Question:

What causes a bright light to flash in my right eye? This just started about 12 hours ago. I just saw an opthamologist about a week ago.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

The most common cause for flashes of light in one eye is call a posterior vitreous detachment. In many cases this is accompanied by small floating dots or bugs.

Dr. Rick :

I know you were just examined by an ophthalmologist, but it may not have been present then. And, no, the exam/dilating drops would not have caused it.

Dr. Rick :

Here is some information on this condition:

Dr. Rick :

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 called the vitreous. Over time as it liquefies, this gel material collapses on itself, forms little clumps that you can see as dots, lines or bugs. As these clumps form the vitreous pulls away from the wall of the eye. In the process it can stimulate the retina -- causing the flashes that you may 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 is 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 lightning 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.


Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.

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