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"What does it mean when you see flashes of light?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat does it mean when you see flashes of light?


Tonight for the fisrt time ever I saw flashes of light and it made everthing in my vision go white and then was followed by headache an hour later with pressure n the templesand the back of the head. What does this mean?


Sorry to hear that you have been experiencing flashes of light in your eyes, and had a bad headache recently. There are a number of different reasons that people can see "flashes of light", most of which are very benign. However, in a few situations "flashes" can be the first sign of a much more worrisome process such as retinal detachment. This is why new onset "floaters", or "flashes" should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist to make sure that there is nothing more sinister going on. My goal is not to scare you, because most people experience "flashes" at some point in their life, and they are usually not problematic. The other thing to think about with your recent headache is whether you experienced a visual aura prior to a migraine headache. Classically people that suffer from migraine headaches have a sensation, or "aura", prior to actually contracting a headache. And often times these symptoms are visual. They can be anything ranging from bright lights, or "flashes", to scotoma (or "floaters"), to temporary blindness/visual disturbance in one or more eyes. With your myriad of symptoms, it is entirely possible that you had a migraine with visual aura. If this were the case, the best physician to see would be a neurologist. So if you continue to have mainly visual symptoms, I would recommend seeing an ophthalmologist. If the visual symptoms are always followed by a headache, I recommend you get a consultation with a neurologist. Best of luck.

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