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I am seeing flashes of light on the left side of the left

eye, like a lightning bolt...
I am seeing flashes of light on the left side of the left eye, like a lightning bolt. It continues even with my eyes closed. It is similar to the bright light preceeding a migrain, but I have not had a headache. This started 24 hours ago. Should I see my regular doctor (potential illness) or my eye doctor (infection, eye disease)? I am traveling and will not see either for 3 weeks. Should I seek emergency help?
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
4/27/2009
Dr. Stevens
Dr. Stevens, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 1,404
Experience: Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Verified

Hello there

is the flashing light just the same as in a migraine? is it a brief spark of light or more of a continuous brightness? Are there any new floaters?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Have had migraines in past but they were a constant light in the center field of vision in both eyes. This situation is spasmodic, like top-to-bottom zig-zag lines, in only left eye & on the side towards the temple. Went outside in the sun and noticed old floaters (like lint threads) plus new floaters in clusters of very tiny dots. Have not had a migraine in 6 months. Am 61 yrs old, female, history of breast cancer, mild heart (valve) disease, thyroid, and family history of heart disease and glaucoma.

Hello again

I suspect there is something else going on, perhaps something simple as a vitreous separation but possibly something more serious such as a torn retina. This should be evaluated on an urgent basis. I think it is appropriate to get follow up within 24 hours for something like this. I suspect it will be hard to get evaluated this evening by an eye doctor and ER docs really do not have the skills to properly decipher what is happening. I would suggest calling local eye docs to see if they can accomodate you first thing in the morning. I wish you well, Dr. Stevens

Dr. Stevens
Dr. Stevens, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 1,404
Experience: Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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Thanks for keeping me up to date in the feedback you left, I am glad things were OK, I wish you well, Dr. Stevens
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Dr. Stevens
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Dr. Stevens, Ophthalmologist
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Satisfied Customers: 1,404
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