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Flashes of Light

Flashes of light are "sparks" that you may see when you move your head. They can happen when the vitreous gel in your eye pulls or tugs (causes traction) on the retina. This creates nerve impulses that appear as flashes of light.

The flashes are easier to see when your eyes are closed or you are looking at a dark area. They may come and go.

Flashes of light are often harmless, but they can be a sign of a retinal problem and should be checked by a doctor right away.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerCarol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology
Last RevisedMay 11, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 11, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.