Flashes Specialist

Eye Care & Surgery

Ophthalmologists & Optometrists located in New York City, NY & The Bronx, NY

Bright streaks or bursts of light in your field of vision are eye flashes. Caused by the pressure against the retina, flashes can be a sign of retinal damage, which may lead to vision loss if left untreated. For top-quality eye care and treatment for eye flashes, visit the team at Eye Care & Surgery, with two New York City locations in Washington Heights in Manhattan and another near the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, right across the street from Yankee Stadium. Call your nearest Eye Care & Surgery office or request an appointment online to find out more.

Flashes

What are eye flashes?

Flashes are spots of bright light that appear in your vision. These flashes are inside your eye, not from lights in the outside world. Flashes often appear and disappear quickly, and can look like flashes of light or lightning streaks. 

It’s possible to see flashes on and off, and it becomes more common as you age. If you see flashes in combination with eye floaters, or small dark specks in your vision, you should seek medical care at Eye Care & Surgery. 

Flashes and floaters may be a sign of retinal detachment, which can cause permanent vision loss.

What causes flashes?

Your eye has a jelly-like substance attached to the retina. This gel, known as vitreous, helps the eye hold its shape. As you age, the vitreous shrinks and can begin to pull on the retina. When the retina moves, the tension can cause light flashes. 

You may also experience flashes if you suffer trauma to the eyes. The phrase, “seeing stars,” is in reference to the flashes you can see after suffering a blow to the head. Other causes of flashes can include rubbing your eyes too hard, as well as ophthalmic migraines. 

What is an ophthalmic migraine?

Some people experience flashes that look like heat waves or jagged lines, and these flashes are characteristic of ophthalmic migraines. Ophthalmic migraines temporarily affect your vision, but the disturbance typically fades after 20-30 minutes. 

Visual disturbances of ophthalmic migraines can include flashes and small blind spots in one or both eyes. Sometimes called migraine aura, ophthalmic migraines can be painless or accompanied by a headache. 

When do eye flashes need medical attention?

Occasional flashes are typically harmless and are common with age. However, any vision changes or increase in flashes may require a visit to Eye Care & Surgery. A sudden increase in flashes or eye floaters could be a sign of a retinal detachment. 

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from the blood vessels in the back of your eye. If left untreated, retinal detachment can lead to permanent vision loss.

You should visit the team at Eye Care & Surgery as soon as possible if you notice:

  • Sudden onset of flashes
  • Increase in flashes or floaters
  • Cloudy or dark spots in vision
  • Trauma to the face or eye

If you experience eye flashes, talk to the doctors at Eye Care & Surgery. Make an appointment online or call the office today.