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Do you wear contact lenses or spectacles for short sightedness?
I wear spectacles for short sightedness, also have diabetes 2.
Ok. Apart from these flashes of light in the dark, have you experienced any floaters recently?
Are you there? My screen shows that you are typing, if so then I'll wait for your response.
Maybe the chat system is frozen.....
I have always had a few floaters. I saw my optician a few months ago when a couple of much darker ones appeared, but they disappeared a few days later. I had a full eye examination which found no problems. I 'phoned my optician when I started getting the flashes soon afterwards and she said not to worry, nothing had turned up during the examination. However, I am wondering whether flying could make the condition worse.
Alright, as the last eye exam did not reveal any retinal problem( I assume that you had a dilated eye exam too), the flashes of light could have occured due to posterior vitreous detachment(PVD).
In this condition the thick gel at the back of the eye( called vitreous) gets detached from its surrounding retina . This results in retinal traction which results in the symptom of flashes of light and includes color distortion. Flashes of light may not be prominent in some individuals. Once the vitreous gets detached completely , it may form clumps or strands and cause symptom of floaters such as dark spots, cobweb or thread like strands in the visual field. More often it is not a serious issue and does not require any specific treatment. A routine retina examination needs to be done by an ophthalmologist just to check for the intactness of the retina and to look for any peripheral retinal tears or holes, which if found, can be sealed by lasers. The only concern is that of a remote possibility of a retinal tear extending into a frank retinal detachment, which is characterised by symptoms of sudden increase of flashes or floaters and a curtain or veil falling in the field of vision. This requires urgent treatment by a retinal specialist. This is not a common feature and is more predisposed in myopic and diabetic individuals. You do not seem to be having any of these acute symptoms, so I guess it is alright for you to travel by flight. PVD can occur suddenly at anytime and is a diagnosis of exclusion and does not show any signs as such on eye examination.
I only have a dilated eye exam when I have my annual diabetic eye check. All was OK in March.
That should be fine. The concern is for peripheral retinal thinning or tears or holes which can occur in short sighted individuals. But they would have got picked up during your last dilated eye exam.
As long as the retina is fine and intact, I don't see any reason why you should not travel by air. Even if you were to be having a PVD, travel by air is permitted and will not worsen it.
Is it OK for me to wait until next March for a dilated eye exam?
If you have only symptoms of flashes of light occasionally, then yes you can wait for the annual dilated eye exam. Consider a visit to your ophthalmologist much earlier in case you ever develop new eye symptoms such as a sudden bout of shower of floaters along with persistent flashes and sudden blurring of vision ( either part or entire).
Thank you very much for your helpful advice.
You are most welcome.
Please feel free to ask follow up questions if any.
Thank you and best wishes.
It was a pleasure to have answered this question. Experts are credited only if a positive rating is given and not otherwise. So do remember to give your rating. A positive rating is what I aim for and we can continue to interact till you get a satisfactory response.A positive feedback and /or bonus are most welcome and appreciated. Views expressed are for information purpose only and cannot substitute a visit to an ophthalmologist
PS I always get the flashes when I turn my head in the dark - no problems in the daytime.
More likely to be due to PVD then.
It is constant in that as soon as it is dark I will experience the flashes when I turn my head quickly.