Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. Are you able to chat?
Doctor DanB : Flashing lights can be due to traction on the retina from the vitreous jelly (occupies most of the volume of the back of the eye and is connected to the retina). Some people with new onset flashing in their vision have developed spots in their vision that are new also (or they have been there for awhile) and that tend to follow your eye movements, floating behind and then catching up to the same position they occupied before then your symptoms sound consistent with what are called vitreous floaters. These floating spots or "bugs" as some people call them, are tiny pieces of the vitreous jelly that occupies a large amount of the volume of the back of the eye. But this traction on the retina can happen even in the absence of floaters and can result in an intermittent sparkle, flash or other lighted phenomena. Most often this happens when the eyes are moved quickly, or when you change lighting environments (going from light to dark or dark to light) or reading. This vitreous jelly, when we're born, is the consistency of a jello jiggler (thick jello). As we age it liquifies and becomes more fibrous bands and water. Because of this liquification and the resultant fibrous bands that are left, there becomes more points of traction that the jelly exerts on the back of the eye where it is attached. As we move our eyes in different directions and as our pupils change shape, or even as we rub our eyes, some of these bands can become unattached from the back of the eye and a piece of it floats around, attached still to the rest of the jelly. It is this traction of the vitreous jelly on the retina that can produce these flashes. These flashes tend to be small, like starbursts and are usually intermittent; they can also appear larger as an arcing or encircling light. One of the most important things to understand about floaters is that the process of a new floater happening can rarely lead to a retinal detachment, so it is important to know the 4 signs of a possible retinal detachment. These are: 1. sudden increase in or new floaters, 2. flashing or arcing lights that are persistent and not going away, 3. a shade/shadow/spot in your vision that you can't see light through, or 4. a large drop in your vision which doesn't improve after a few minutes. For any of these symptoms you must see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. People who have had prior eye surgery or trauma, or who have had prior problems with the retina such as retinal thinning, holes, breaks or tears are at the most risk for this happening. I recommend doing your best to see your ophthalmologist as soon as you are able to have a complete eye exam to determine if there is any problem with the retina; If any of these four signs I described above happens then you need to see one emergently.
Doctor DanB : Does this make sense? Does this information help address your concerns? Do you have any other concerns or questions about this topic? It appears as though you are not in the chat room currently. I am happy to be able to help you today. I will also be happy to answer any other questions until you have the information you need. If you would like to ask further questions or clarification regarding anything I've said, please let me know and I will be happy to address your concerns. Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers. Please rate your encounter with me by providing feedback; any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied. My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor. Thanks for your inquiry!
Customer: Thanks that does help a lot, of the above four symptoms I do not have any, my vision is normal, and also this is the first time this has occurred.
Doctor DanB : That's good you're not having those 4 symptoms. I suggest just getting in to see your eye doctor as soon as you are able.
Customer: Ok thank you.
Doctor DanB : My pleasure. Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers. Please rate your encounter with me by providing feedback; any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied.