Eye flashes of light

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I'm worried about these flashes. I have been to the optometrist and the neurologist. I'm worried about tumors and aneurysms due to these flashes. I have an MRI scheduled for next week. Has anyone has these flashes go away on their own? The neurologist says it's just an eye problems. Please help.

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  • Posted

    Please do not worry yourself over those flashes of light. They can be due to normal retinal changes as we get older, and they often go away on their own. Although this usually happens starting in our 50's, sometimes it can happen a lot earlier.

    I had flashes, and a few weeks later ended up having a retinal tear repaired, but it is a simple procedure done right in the ophthalmologist's office. I have no issues anymore. 

    You say you saw an optometrist, but have you ween an ophthalmologist? They are better equipped to see what is going on. Those light flashes are WAY more likely to be something that is either easily fixed, or will go away on their own, than something like a tumor or aneurysm. Of course it is natural to fear the worst, and most of us are guilty of that. But please know that a few months from now this will probably be resolved and you will not even remember how worried you were.

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    • Posted

      I tried to see an opthalmologist but was told I should just go back to the optometrist I already saw because they have the same equipment. I'm still keeping an eye on my vision in case. I guess they keep the opthalmologist for when something happens the. You can ha e an appointment with them. I'll try not to worry but that is extremely hard at this moment.

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    • Posted

      I have had flashes for 10 years aND have seen 3 retinal specialists a total of 15 times and all have found nothing wrong. They all say vitreous traction and none can offer help. This has destroyed my life. Any advice would he appreciated.
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  • Posted

    Did your optometrist use the scleral depression tool? This is a small spoon-like tool that they put between your orbital bone and your eyeball, and they have you look in different directions while they manipulate/push your eyeball around so they can see your entire retina all the way out to the edges. It is uncomfortable, but worth having done. If your optometrist did this, you can probably trust what he/she says. If not, you need to demand to see an ophthalmologist. 

    When I first had my flashes, I called the ask-a-nurse, she sent me to the emergency room, because in rare cases it can mean your retina is detaching. I went to the emergency room, and the doc sent me immediately to an emergency OPHTHALMOLOGIST. The ophthalmologist used the scleral depression tool, and didn't see any retinal tears but did see some lattice degeneration so he referred me to another ophthalmologist who is also a retina specialist. I needed to be watched, and I did end up having a tear a few weeks later which was promptly fixed. There was a bit of blurriness afterwards but all has cleared up now and is fine. 

    So basically I stick to my original advice, demand to see an ophthalmologist, unless of course the optometrist did use the scleral depression too. If he/she did, you'd definitely remember!  

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    • Posted

      He didn't use that tool. I tried to see an opthalmologist but I was told I would just be getting g a second opinion from another optometrist. Maybe I can get a referral from my doctor to the opthalmologist.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kim,

     not sure how old you are, but I am 60 and I spent the last year and 1/2 with flashing in one eye.  Opthomologists are the way to go.  I would make an appointment any way.

    For me, it turned out to be a vitreous detachment, the separation of the vitreous sac that holds the fluid behind your eyes.  Very common in 50 and up.  No treatment and not serious.  Finally, after that year and 1/2 the flashing has subsided.  I am told my other eye should not be far behind from happening.

    guess my point is, flashing could be from many things, not just the worst option.  Please see an opthomoligist and I think you will feel better mentally... good luck!  Linda 

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    • Posted

      I've had flashes after an eye injury and I can tell you thst they don't go away on their own. I have had flashes for 10 years. Been to 15 retinal docs over the years and they all see nothing. Is.there any advice on how.to live with this on this forum?

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  • Posted

    Hi again Kin, Lindalou is right about the age factor and vitreous detachment. She is also correct that an ophthalmologist is the way to go. The vitreous detachment is also what started my flashes, and they did keep close tabs on me because I also had lattice degeneration. The vitreous detachment will happen to just about everyone, some with symptoms and some without. It is a normal age related change, and although it does generally start at age 50 and above it has been known to occur in people who are in their 30's and 40's as well. 

    Please have your doctor refer you to an ophthalmologist, and do not settle for an optometrist. These things are generally nothing to worry about, and even if a retinal tear (or detachment) occurs, they are easily fixable if caught early. But it's better to be cautious.

    My new advice is this....1) Still make that appointment with an ophthalmologist, have your doc refer you if your eye center does not want to comply. 2) If the flashes suddenly get worse, or if you have a darkness (referred to as a 'curtain'wink starting to come over your eye from one side or another, go to the ER. (The curtain is indicative of a retinal detachment.)

    Again, those flashes are 'usually' nothing to worry about, but it still needs to be taken seriously. It sounds like your optometrist is not taking the situation seriously, especially since the scleral depression was not used during your exam. There is no way to see the entire retina without it!!

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    • Posted

      I have no idea what that tool is and I have no idea if he even had one to use. I will definitely follow up with an opthalmologist and watch for any changes and go to the ER if needed. Thanks so much for your advice.
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  • Posted

    I have had flashing continuously in my left eye after being punched really hard in 2007. I have had flashes all the time for 10 years. I still have them. Over the course of years I have seen about 3 different retinal specialists and they have all nothing! They said I don't need an mri as it is.a.vitreous issue and NONE.will offer treatment! I have tried dealing with it forever and it seems.as if it will never go away on its own. I finally saw a doc recently that offered surgery and even she is hesitant to fix it. My life is passing me by and I am so sick and.so.tired from the flashes thst I don't know where to turn anymore. That's my story.

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    • Posted

      I'm sorry to hear that. I was told that sometimes a time later surgery that takes 5 minutes in an opthalmologist office will fix a vitreous gel issue. Have you heard of that?

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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying. Only one eye doctor, the last one I have seen suggested surgery. I'll probably go on soon and have laser done or fov,.floater only vitrectomy..Nothing else will fix it from what I understand. I am also nearsighted in the eye thst flashes so it was.probably more.prone to injury.

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    • Posted

      I'm nearsighted too. I didn't have an eye injury mine just started about a month ago. Optometrist didn't see anything and neurologist says it is in my eye. I have an MRI tomorrow so I will see what the result are. It barely bothers me after this much time. I still worry about why it's there. It seems to move with my vision now and I don't always see it. Mostly in changes of light.

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