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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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I am seeing flashes of light in my periphreal vision when I

Resolved Question:

I am seeing flashes of light in my periphreal vision when I move my head. Is this a detached retina or a sign of a stroke? How soon do I need to see an eye doctor.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

You are not having a stroke and, most likely, your retina is not currently detaching.

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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Dr. Rick :

I guess that you have stepped away from your computer. I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)


Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.
Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
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