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Are flashes of light a serious problem?

Q: I have suddenly been seeing flashes of silvery-white light at the outer corner of my left eye. The flash starts at the bottom of the eye and moves along the edges towards the top or vice-versa. It also happens when my eyes are shut, like when I wake up. I first noticed it late one evening when I was exercising. Though it startled and worried me a lot at first, I am quite used to it now. But it gets very distracting at night, especially while crossing the road, as I feel that some vehicle is about to run me over. I haven't checked my eyesight lately. After my last test (about 3 years ago) I had to wear spectacles with a light power: 0.5 and 0.25, my left eye being weaker. I used to wear spectacles while working (I work with computers a lot) and while reading. Though I have stopped wearing spectacles for some time now. I don't know if it is related, but my eyes sometimes twitch, but I guess it is only a strain. Do let me know what is causing this problem and what are the remedies for it.

A:From your report it appears that you may be developing vitreous separation from the retina. This can occur in otherwise normal eyes from the fourth decade of life onwards but in some situations even sooner. You need to undergo a complete ocular examination including detailed examination of the retinal periphery by indirect ophthalmoscopy with scleral depression. If there are any weak areas or breaks in the retinal periphery, you may require laser treatment for the same.

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