Eye flashes are experienced in the form of lighting streaks or flashing lights. Like floaters, eye flashes are eye symptoms that are commonly associated with vitreous detachment and, more seriously, with retinal detachment. They can also be triggered by a disease, head trauma or exposure to chemicals. In most cases, eye flashes are benign and are no cause for concern.
Ageing is the main cause of vitreous detachment. As one reaches middle age, the vitreous gel in the eye starts thickening and forms clumps inside the eye. This may be followed by shrinkage of the vitreous gel which may tug on the eye blood vessels causing the flashes. Rarely, this is associated with a retinal tear which may progress to a potentially blinding retina detachment.
Although eye flashes are usually harmless and will occur to most people at least once throughout their lives, if you notice eye flashes, you should consult an eye doctor as soon as possible, to rule out any possible complications.