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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2286
Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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I am a 56 year old female. This afternoon I started to see

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I am a 56 year old female. This afternoon I started to see light flashes in the outside corner of my left eye. I have never had this before. Should I see an opthalmologist right away or wait to see if it goes away?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 8 years ago.
You are likely experiencing a PVD or posterior vitreous detachment, common event that happens in many people.

You have a thick gel material in the middle of your eyes. Over time, it liquifies and can sometimes clump together causing floaters. As it liquifies, this gel material collapses on itself and pulls away from the wall of the eye. In the process it can stimulate the retina -- causing the flashes that you see.

It is recommend that you see your ophthalmologist to look at the retina to make sure there are not problems such as a retinal hole or tear. Call tomorrow for an appointment. In most people, there are no problems, but this exam in precautionary and allows for preventative treatment of any lesion that is found.

If you notice a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light (like a lightening 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.

Remember to press the accept button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question. Best wishes to you.
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