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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10769
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Last night (it was already dark out) and every time I moved

Customer Question

Last night (it was already dark out) and every time I moved my eyes it was as if someone was behind my house w a flashlight , moving it around randomly. And I would only "see" the beams of light when they would hit a house or the side of a car...almost everything. I had someone e me at the time and I just kept asking him (each time I would see it) if he could see it. Once I was certain he really wasn't seeing what I was seeing, I thought taking my glasses would help, thinking perhaps it was a light reflecting off my lenses and messing w my vision. I took my glasses off, and as soon as I said, "that's what it was", I started seeing them again (glasses still off). So it wasn't caused from my lenses, no one else could see them and sometimes it was as is they had 2 flashlights, swirling them around to mess with people. Should I be concerned?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
Question and answer is just one of the services I offer. I can also provide you with additional services, such as live telephone or skype consultation, at a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested.
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), a shadow/veil in the periphery of your vision, or a decrease in your vision that doesn't improve in a few minutes this can be worrisome for a retinal detachment. You would need to contact your ophthalmologist promptly in that case.
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Dr. Rick MD FACS