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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11310
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I see a brilliant light ( almost like a lightning strike)

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I see a brilliant white light ( almost like a lightning strike) out the side of my right eye. It is driving me crazy! It started yesterday. I see it with my eyes open and with my eyes closed.
I see it in a room with light and in a completely dark room.
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Customer:

yes

Dr. Rick :

How is your vision in that eye?

Customer:

I can see fine

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Good news. I think you are going to be ok.

Dr. Rick :

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), 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.


Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

Are you still there?

Customer:

yes thank you I notice just a slight change in my vision in that right eye

Customer:

I also have a headache.

Dr. Rick :

Just to be sure. Is this light like a shimmering multicolored haze that expands for a bit, lasts 20 minutes to an hour and then suddenly goes away or is it, like you said, a lightning bolt off in your side vision that lasts an instant?

Customer:

It is a series of lightning bolt flashes. It has continued for some time. It is always bright white.

Dr. Rick :

Ok. That is constant with a PVD. I only wanted to clarify that since you mentioned the headache......

Dr. Rick :

At this point I don't think the headache is related to your visual symptoms.

Customer:

ok Will call the doctor tomorrow. No emergency, right?

Dr. Rick :

No. This is not an emergency.

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Take care.

Dr. Rick :

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Customer:

Thanks, ***** ***** good night.

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