What causes light flashes in the eye?

Written by sarah dewitt ince
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What causes light flashes in the eye?
If flashes of light are continual, see a doctor (eye image by Pali A from Fotolia.com)

The All About Vision Website says light flashes, also called spots or floaters, are not cause for alarm because they are harmless. This flashes are usually caused by undissolved gel particles in your line of vision. The gel particles break off from the back portion of the eyeball. Eye flashes are normal on occasion, but if you see several flashes of light at once, this could indicate that the retina is detaching from the back of your eye, called retinal tear detachment.

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Head Injury

A head injury is a major cause of light flashes. A blow to the head or injury from a car accident can cause the retina to tear, resulting in flashes of light. If the retina does not tear, flashes can come from other injuries to the eye. A person with a head injury may also feel a hot sensation in the eyes as well.

Vitreous Hemorrhage

Vitreous haemorrhage, also called bleeding, is another cause of light flashes in the eye. This bleeding is often the result of an injury or other factors such as diabetes, inflammation or nearsightedness. A person who is nearsighted is not able to see clearly far away. Everything looks clear close up within a short distance, but these people often have difficulty seeing road signs or other objects that are far away. Eye infections or cataract surgery can cause inflammation. In addition, the YAG eye laser surgery can also caused haemorrhage, leading to flashes of light.

Migraine Headaches

The Aging Eye Website says migraines can also cause flashes of light. Migraines are severe often debilitating headaches that can happen at any age. Flashes of light can come and go with the pain causing torment to the person suffering a migraine.

The flashes are a result of spasms of blood vessels in the brain. This can also cause visual impairment and dizziness halting a person's day, forcing him to rest and recuperate. Flashes can appear as streaks or balls of light. Migraine headaches usually affect women and teen girls, but anyone at any age can suffer from this type of headache. Medications or shots to induce sleep can help combat migraines in addition to reducing stress. Sometimes migraines are caused by an underlying medical condition so if you have been suffering, seek medical treatment for a proper diagnosis.

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