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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11161
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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What can cause light flashes in your eyes Just received a

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What can cause light flashes in your eyes? Just received a text from my daughter and she said she had what was like light strobes in her eyes for 30 minutes and her eyes hurt.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

The most a common cause of flashes of light like you daughter has described, in a young and otherwise healthy young woman, followed by discomfort, is an ocular migraine.

Dr. Rick :

A typical migraine headache starts with shimmering lights, often times they surround a blurry area or have dots or jaggedly lines associated with them. They tend to progressively increase in intensity and sometimes march across the visual field causing difficulty with reading. Many times this is then accompanied by nausea, irritability, sensitivity to bright lights and/or loud noises. After the onset of the lights (called scintillating scotomas), the headache typically starts and the light show tends to progressively go away.


Many people can have this migraine phenomenon without the headache; it is called an acephalgic migraine. Some people even start having these late in life, or may have had a few much earlier in life that behaved differently and haven't had any for decades and then begin to have them; this is not uncommon. A family history of migraines is often present as well.


This is nothing to worry about. It is not a sign of a more serious underlying condition, brain tumor or anything like that. If the episodes become so frequent that they are bothersome there are medicines that can be used to decrease their frequency or stop an episode once it has started.


 

Dr. Rick :

Hi. Welcome to chat.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Customer:

Is there anything she can do to prevent them? Is it caused by eye fatigue or the need for glasses? She has a stigmatism but other than that has perfect vision.

Customer:

Has your answer been sent to my e-mail so I can forward to her?

Dr. Rick :

No. It is not caused by need for glasses or eye fatigue. I've personally suffered from this issue since I was in my 20's and found that chugging a pepsi (for the caffeine content) usually nips mine in the bud. Also her doctor can give her medicine to take on the first sign of the flashing lights that can, many times stop it. If these events become so frequent as to make her daily life miserable then she can take medicine on a daily basis to decrease the frequency of the events.

Dr. Rick :

No. This is not sent to your email, however, you can right click, hit copy all, then open a word processor program, hit paste. You then can save, print or email this like any text document.

Dr. Rick :

My first event like your daughters happened at about her same age.....

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)


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Customer:

Thanks very much. That is reassuring.

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Give my best to your daughter and tell her not to woory

Dr. Rick :

worry....

Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.
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