Have you recently started seeing sparks of light in your field of vision? These are called eye flashes, and they may sometimes increase over time. There are many possible causes of eye flashes, and that is why it is important to visit an optometrist in West Des Moines for a proper diagnosis. If flashes are interfering with your daily life, our eye doctors at Lock Family Eye Care will determine what is causing them and recommend a suitable solution.


What are Eye Flashes?

Eye flashes are a symptom of irritation or damage to the retina or other cells in your eye. They appear as colored spots, sparks, or shards of light that last for a few seconds and then go away. In most cases, people see black-and-white flashes, but they can be any color, including after images from staring at computer or TV screens. Sometimes, only one eye is affected by eye flashes; in other cases, both eyes are affected equally. The severity varies from person to person based on how much damage was done to the retina and how long it takes for the symptoms to appear.

Your Daily Life

Some people ignore these small bursts and sparks and do not let them affect their daily life. However, in severe cases, the symptoms can interfere with a person's daily activities and prevent them from performing even simple tasks such as driving at night or reading a book.

Common Causes of Eye Flashes

Eye flashes are usually caused by stress to the retina due to:

  • • Abnormal development of blood vessels near the retina
  • • Stress to eyesight during sports activities, such as long-distance running
  • • Improper nutrition
  • • Alcohol abuse
  • • Smoking
  • • Sudden changes in atmospheric pressure (in aviators)
  • • Retinal detachment
  • • Migraine or cluster headaches

Preventing Eye Flashes

There are several ways you can reduce eye strain and prevent retinal damage that can lead to the development of eye flashes.

  • • Avoid squinting
  • • Do not stare at close objects (especially computer monitors) for too long
  • • Take breaks every 20 minutes while using computers or watching TV
  • • Get plenty of sleep every day
  • • Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Contact Lock Family Eye Care in West Des Moines, IA

If flashes are significantly affecting your daily life, contact Lock Family Eye Care to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Our optometrists in West Des Moines will determine the cause of your flashes and create an appropriate treatment plan. Call our team today at (515) 267-1312 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.

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