Flickering vision and strobe like flashes can have serious repercussions in day to day life of a person. The condition is quiet frightening as many people having this problem are in good health with no pain. While this sudden sparks and flickers of light in majority of cases are harmless aging phenomenon, it should not be neglected as sometimes it can be an indication of a serious eye problem.
Often flickering vision is short lived but it can also prolong for days together. It may occur even when the eyes are closed. Men as well as women are equally affected. The genesis of flickering vision has many causes. Therefore it is essential to consult an ophthalmologist and seek a proper treatment.
Causes Of Flickering Lights In Vision
Flickering vision is often common in elderly individuals. It appears similar to streak of lightening in the sky which remains for few seconds. The condition develops when vitreous gel begins to shrink in size. Vitreous is a gel like substance present in the center of eye. It gives the eye its shape and the posterior side is attached to the retina.
With growing age, vitreous occasionally shrinks in size. It begins to get detached in spots from the retina. As a consequence, during detachment it may pull on the retina stimulating the photoreceptors present in retina. A person thus may experience flashes of light especially when the eyes move suddenly from one direction to another.
Flickering vision is often observed in migraine. It is a type of one sided headache which may last for few hours to many days. Flashes of light or zigzag flickering in eyes precedes migraine headache. In fact it is an early warning sign of migraine. Flashes present in migraine headache occur in both eyes. The visual aura lasts for half hour or more than that. Flickering usually occurs in peripheral vision when migraine is the cause.
An important and serious cause of flickering vision is retinal detachment or a tear in retina. Detachment of retina can occur due to sudden trauma on the eye or due to pull from shrinking vitreous gel. Parts of retina may be detached from the eye leading to flickers. Flashes and flickers may also occur with certain medicines taken for long duration.
Symptom Of Flickering Vision
Flickering vision may occur in one or both the eye depending on the cause. Flickering vision is common in people over the age of 60. Flickering and flashes may occur as lightening or strobes of light, they occur without any warning. It may remain for few minutes or can persist for hours and days.
Flickering and flashes can occur even with closed eyes. It may appear as zigzag light colored lights that are similar to the geometric pattern that observed in kaleidoscope. Flickering vision may be associated with headache as found in migraine. The flashes of light may appear as cracked glasses.
Flickering vision can prevent a person to do his day to day activities, mainly because of the anxiety and fear accompanied because of flickering. Usually the condition is more common with sudden movement of eyes. Flickering vision can affect peripheral vision.
How To Treat And Prevent Flickering Vision?
Flickering vision is often age related and it is not uncommon in elderly individuals. In majority of cases flickering vision is short lived and resolves on its own. However, if it persists for a period of time or if it interferes in work, patient should soon consult his ophthalmologist. Since flickering vision is a symptom resulting from several causes, the main aim is to treat the cause. If the condition is related to retinal detachment, doctors usually treat the condition with surgery or laser therapy.
Together with regular ophthalmic treatment, patient should try to improve and strengthen his eyes with natural remedies. Patient should increase intake of foods that contain beta carotene, a type of vitamin A. Carrots, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, dried apricots, sweet red pepper, fish, mango etc are rich source of vitamin A. Include them in your diet to strengthen eye health. Patient should avoid smoking as it is known to damage eye sight in a long run.