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Are flashes in the eye a serious problem?

Q: Since the past 3 years, I have been getting flashes in my right eye that last for 5 seconds or so, but come back when I am tired. Sometimes I get slight headache too. I consulted an eye doctor who told me not to worry. She said that there is no sign of any detachment but I freak out when I get these flashes. I am only 36 years old female and under medication for over 6 years for hyperthyroidism which is pretty much under control. I am quite scared. I work as a massage therapist in rooms that are little darker and have different lights.

A:Your symptom of flashes is not quite uncommon in your age group. The vitreous jelly which fills the eye is firmly attached to the film inside the eye called retina. With age the jelly starts separating from the retina, stimulating it causes flash like symptoms. These are significant only if associated with plenty of black spots or a shadow in the field of vision or if you have a high minus power glass lens. Also, a routine retina evaluation every year should be done to rule out any weak spots on the retina, which can be sealed if required. In case there is any one in your blood relations who has had a retinal detachment, it is even more important to get your eyes dilated for complete retina evaluation yearly.

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