Why do I see rings or flashing lights in my field of vision?
If you see flashes of light in your peripheral vision, or you notice rings of light or halos in your line of sight from time to time, it is wise to book an appointment with your optometrist.
What could flashes in my vision mean?
There are a number of reasons why you may see what appear to be flashes of light. In many cases, halos and glare occur in your field of vision when there is a sudden change in light - for example, if you come out of a dark cinema into the bright sunlight. This is a normal response to bright lights, and will fade as your eyes adjust to your new surroundings. For some people, flashing circles in their peripheral vision go hand-in-hand with severe headaches or migraines. Make note of any other symptoms - like headaches - you are experiencing, as this can help your optometrist make an informed diagnosis. Flashes and lights could also be a sign that your glasses or contact lens prescription needs to be changed - as soon as your vision is corrected, the problem will likely disappear. If you are seeing halos in your field of vision, this could also be a symptom of cataracts. Others may experience flashing, rings of light or halos as a result of problems with the vitreous, which is the gel-like fluid inside your eye that liquefies with age. Sudden flashes could indicate a very serious issue - retinal detachment - which should be treated as an emergency.
What can I do to treat my symptoms?
If you only notice flashes when moving from dark conditions into bright sunlight, the right eye protection may be all that you need. But other conditions may require treatment from your optometrist. You may be given a new prescription, referred for further testing, or your optometrist may ask you to make more frequent appointments so that your symptoms can be closely monitored.In certain cases, surgical procedures may be required to correct the problem - your optometrist will explain the steps you need to take.