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Flashes: Introduction

Flashes are visual effects where a person sees sudden flashes of light. (For "flashes" of warm feelings see "hot flashes".) Some of the effects are like flashing lights, an arc of light, or the feeling like a light-bulb has just flashed on and off in the periphery of vision.

Flashes need immediate medical diagnosis by an eye specialist because of the risk of the severe retinal detachment, which can cause vision loss. However, other causes of flashes (and floaters) are more common than retinal detachment, such as vitreous detachment due to aging.

Flashes are caused by improper stimulation of the eye's retina, or the optic nerve, which the brain interprets as light. Flashes may occur on movement of the eye, such as in vitreous detachment where the vitreous is pulling on the retina and eye movement exacerbates the effect.

Floaters are often associated with visual floaters, where the person sees spots, dots, lines, clouds or cobwebs in front of the eyes. Floaters are also a symptom of serious disease such as retinal detachment, but there are less serious possibilities also. Any floaters or flashes need immediate medical diagnosis by an eye specialist....more »

» Review Causes of Flashes: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Causes of Flashes:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Flashes. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Flashes: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Flashes

Home medical tests possibly related to Flashes:

Causes of Types of Flashes:

Review the causes of these more specific types of Flashes:

Flashes: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Flashes, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker

Flashes Treatments

Review further information on Flashes Treatments.

Stories from Users for Flashes

Real-life user stories relating to Flashes:

Message Boards for Flashes

Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Flashes or relevant symptoms:

Diagnostic tests for Flashes:

Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Flashes. Some of these are listed below :

  • Physical examination
  • Visual acuity - in both eyes and with and without glasses (if worn) to determine any refractive error.
  • Visual field testing - to detect either a contraction (a local or general reduction in the area of field) or a scotoma (an island of loss within the field).
    • Examination of pupils and the pupil reflexes
  • more tests...»

Flashes: Animations

Flashes: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Flashes may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Flashes

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Flashes:

Assessment Questionnaire: Questions your doctor may ask (and why!)

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Flashes. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist here.

See Flashes Assessment Questionnaire (16 listings)

Flashes: Deaths

Read more about causes and Flashes deaths.

Flashes: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Flashes: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Organs affected by Flashes:

The list of organs typically affected by Flashes may include, but is not limited to:

Detailed list of causes of Flashes

The list below shows some of the causes of Flashes mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Flashes?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Flashes. Of the 29 causes of Flashes that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 1 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 1 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 27 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Flashes:

The following list of conditions have 'Flashes' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Flashes or choose View All.

View All A B C D I M O P R S V










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Ask or answer a question about symptoms or diseases at one of our free interactive user forums.

Medical story forums: If you have a medical story then we want to hear it.

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Causes of Flashes Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Flashes based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Flashes?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Flashes, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    Classifications of Flashes:

    Subtypes of Flashes:

    Scotoma (8 causes)

    Medical Conditions associated with Flashes:

    Eye symptoms (5412 causes), Seeing lights (27 causes), Vision symptoms (2526 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Pain (6458 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Visual problems (2143 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Vision distortion (1970 causes)

    Symptoms related to Flashes:

    Cloudy vision (316 causes), Eye floaters (9 causes), Vision loss (688 causes), Vision changes (2526 causes), Migraine (37 causes), Vitreous detachment, Posterior vitreous detachment, Retinal conditions, Retinal injury, Retinal tear, Detached retina, Retinal artery occlusion, Blow to the eye

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Flashes

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Flashes and many other medical conditions:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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