What Can Cause Flashes of Light in Your Eyes?

Experiencing flashes of light in your eyes can be a symptom of various eye conditions, and it’s important to consult with an eye care professional for a comprehensive eye examination if you are experiencing this symptom. Flashes of light may be associated with the following conditions:

  • Migraines: Some people experience visual disturbances, including flashes of light, as part of a migraine aura. These visual symptoms can occur before or during a migraine headache.
  • Vitreous Floaters: Floaters are tiny particles or debris in the vitreous gel inside the eye. When light enters the eye, it may cast a shadow on the retina, causing the perception of flashes of light.
  • Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD): PVD occurs when the vitreous gel separates from the retina. This separation can cause traction on the retina, leading to the perception of flashes of light. PVD is more common with aging.
  • Retinal Detachment: A sudden onset of flashes of light, especially when accompanied by a shower of floaters or a curtain-like shadow in the peripheral vision, may be a sign of retinal detachment. This is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
  • Retinal Tears: A tear in the retina can cause flashes of light. If left untreated, a retinal tear can lead to retinal detachment.
  • Migraine Without Headache (Ocular Migraine): Some individuals may experience visual disturbances, including flashes of light, without a subsequent headache.
  • Eye Inflammation: Inflammation of the structures inside the eye, such as the uvea, can sometimes cause flashes of light.
  • Certain Medications: Some medications, particularly those that dilate the pupils, may lead to an increased perception of flashes of light.
  • Injury or Trauma: Injuries to the eye or head can sometimes result in flashes of light.

It’s crucial to seek prompt medical attention if you experience sudden or persistent flashes of light, especially if they are accompanied by other symptoms such as a sudden increase in floaters, a curtain-like shadow in your vision, or changes in vision. These symptoms may indicate potentially serious conditions that require evaluation and treatment by an eye care professional.