Why Do I See Flashes of Light in the Corner of my Eye?

LASIK & Cataract Surgeons serving Gurnee, River Forest & Chicago

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Your eyes play a major role in connecting you to the world around you and the people you love. When you experience vision disturbances like flashers or floaters, it is natural to worry. An eye exam with one of Kirk Eye Center’s experienced doctors is the best way to find out if your concern is warranted.

Kirk Eye Center has served patients in the Chicago area for over 50 years. Our doctors are patient-oriented and highly-skilled. We take the time to gather all relevant information and do a thorough exam, so we can accurately diagnose and treat our patients.

Seeing Flashes of Light

woman having eye examStreaks of light that appear briefly in your visual field are known as flashers. Some patients compare these flashes to lightning or shooting stars.

It is not uncommon to see occasional flashes of light, and in many cases, there may be no cause for concern. However if you experience frequent, persistent, or increasing occurrences of eye flashers, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.  

Why Do I See Flashes of Light in my Eye?

Eye flashers are associated with the vitreous humor inside your eye. Vitreous humor is a gel-like substance that fills the majority of your eyeball. This gel allows light to enter the eye via the lens, and it is connected to the retina. If vitreous gel bumps or pulls on the retina, you may see flashes of light in the corner of your eye. The following conditions can result in flashers:

  • Aging - As you get older, the vitreous can shrink or change, causing flashes of light. Your likelihood of seeing flashes of light increases with age.
     
  • Pressure on the retina - Rubbing your eyes too hard or getting hit in the eye can cause the vitreous to bump the retina, causing eye flashers.
     
  • Migraine – Vision disturbances can be caused by a migraine. Shimmering lights, dots, sparkles, and flashes of light may occur as part of a migraine.

Are Eye Flashes Serious?

Given how important your vision is, it’s understandable that your first thought after seeing a flash of light in your eye would be to wonder if your vision is at risk.  While many instances of eye flashers are considered normal, in some cases, they are caused by a serious condition with your retina.

Retinal Tear or Detachment

In rare cases, the vitreous can pull the retina hard enough to tear it, peeling it from its position at the back of your eye. Flashers can occur as the result of a torn or detached retina.

Sudden onset of new eye flashers, persistent flashers, a floater shower, and flashes of light accompanied by blurry vision are all indications that you should see one of our qualified doctors as soon as possible. Retina surgery or other interventions may be needed to prevent blindness.

Schedule an Eye Exam in Gurnee, Illinois

The doctors at Kirk Eye Center have the technology, the facilities, and the experience to determine whether your eye flashers are serious. Early intervention is key to preserving your vision and eye health. Call us today at 708-771-3334 to schedule an appointment at our Gurnee or River Forest locations.

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