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For the last few days I have experienced intense flashes of

bright white light several times...
For the last few days I have experienced intense flashes of bright white light several times a day. It seems that blinking makes it happen, but intermittently. It seems to affect both eyes. I am 54 years old and require glasses for driving. Lately my close up vision has been deteriorating. Can still read a book or computer screen without glasses, but very small print is hard.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
1/7/2010
Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2,287
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
Verified
Hello,

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. Over time 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. The flashes are unrelated to your recent stye.

It is recommend 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 in 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 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 green ACCEPT button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question and feel free to ask any additional follow up questions.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thank you for the very prompt reply! Is there any supportive measures I could take to restore the gel material?
The degeneration and liquefaction of the gel is a normal occurrence and no treatment is needed. This usually has no effect on your vision.

The concern is that the gel is pulling on the retina to cause the flashes that you see. So, a dilated eye exam is important to check if there are any tears or holes in the retina.

Please remember to press the accept button if my answer has been helpful so I can receive credit for assisting you.
Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2,287
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
Verified
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Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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