Light flashes

CAUSES – Flashes of light in your vision are caused by physical manipulation of the retina. This physical manipulation could come from a lot of things: sneezing, coughing, taking a hit to the head (ever heard of someone “seeing stars”?), etc.

The retina is responsible for receiving incoming stimulus (in the form of light) and sending that information to the brain. When manipulated physically, such as when you take a big hit on the ice, this stimulus results in sensory information being sent to the brain. However, since it is not actual light, the brain doesn’t really know what to do with it (so it displays it as a streak or fleck of light bouncing around in your vision).

SYMPTOMS – Flashes present as specks/dots or streaks (almost like lightning bolts).


CAUSES – Your eye is filled with a gel-like substance called the vitreous. As we age, the vitreous begins to change composition- turning from a gel into something more liquid. Inside the vitreous is a protein called collagen which clumps together as the vitreous changes, resulting in the floaters that inhabit your vision.

SYMPTOMS – Floaters may appear as dots, threads, squiggles, lines, ropes, and other small artifacts in your vision.