Flashes of Light in Vision from Harmless to Worrisome

Summer is Persied season in Vermont. It’s actually Persied season everywhere, but Vermonters can’t help but throw another season into the mix whenever we can! The Persied meteor shower is one of nature’s most brilliant displays of shooting stars, which not only shows off every summer, but will peak in about two weeks’ time on August 13, 2023.

This Persied Season, with the moon only being 10% illuminated, stargazers should be blessed with an especially dazzling display of flashing lights streaking across the sky, some lasting merely a second, while others dancing all the way across the sky.

Shooting stars are the kind of flashes of light that are harmless, as are the occasional non-cosmological pinpricks or spots of light in your vision that you might see as you get older, but there are other flashes of light that might be a bit more worrisome.

Harmless Flashes of Light

Our eyes age just like the rest of us as we get older. That includes all the parts of the eye including the retina and the vitreous gel or vitreous humor, the soft, jelly-like substance that makes up and fills the middle or the eye.

As people age, the vitreous gel shrinks and changes, and with that, the retina itself is pushed and pulled, and that pressure creates small flashes of light. Those kinds of flashes of light are considered harmless and nothing more than a symptom of aging normally. That said, it is always recommended to speak to your eye doctor when you experience anything out of the ordinary with your vision. It’s always best to have a comprehensive eye exam to rule out any other possibilities.

Worrisome Flashes of Light

There are other flashes, floaters, or halos of light in your vision that could be a symptom of migraine headaches, cataracts, or the result of a surgical intervention like Lasik surgery. In cases where you experience repeated and ongoing flashes of light, halos, or floaters, you should call your eye doctor immediately.

 In the most severe cases where floaters or flashes of light suddenly appear out of nowhere and remain ongoing, it could be an indication that the retina has torn or detached from the eye, which is a very serious eye condition.   

Keep Your Eyes on the Sky

Over the next two weeks, keep your eyes on the sky each night for a chance to see some of the most extraordinary flashes of light you can hope to see, the kind that are completely harmless, wonderous, and humbling all at the same time. Should you start to see any other flashes of light, while not looking at the night sky, and maybe in the middle of the day, contact your eye doctor to have your eyes examined as soon as possible.

Flashes of Brilliance at Berlin Optical Expressions