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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11267
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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at night I get a flash in my right eye when I turn my head

Resolved Question:

at night I get a flash in my right eye when I turn my head from one side to the other, especially when I am driving. As long as I am looking straight ahead it doesn't happen.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

It sounds like you are experiencing a posterior vitreous detachment.

Customer:

what is that??

Dr. Rick :

This is a common event that occurs in many people

Dr. Rick :

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?

Customer:

it looks like a fish hook

Dr. Rick :

Yes. It can take on all sorts of shapes. This is not unusual.

Customer:

is it treatable

Dr. Rick :

In time the vitreous separates from the retina and, as such, stops pulling on it. When this occurs the flashes will stop. How long does this take? Hard to tell as it is different in every patient.

Dr. Rick :

As long as there is no retinal hole, tear or detachment, no treatment is needed and the flashes resolve on their own.

Customer:

ok I have an appointment but not until jan 26

Dr. Rick :

It is important that you see an ophthalmologist to be evaluated for this issue as an extended retinal exam is beyond the training and ability of an optometrist.

Customer:

ok will do thank you..

Dr. Rick :

You should be fine until the 26th.....just make sure to watch for the symptoms of retinal involvement that I outlined above.

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Have a good evening.

Dr. Rick :

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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
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