Phosphenes, also called photopsies, consist of the vision of sparks and flashes of light within the visual field. They are therefore visual sensations, sometimes colored, that occur in the absence of a real light stimulus from an external environment.
Phosphenes do not always occur in the case of ocular pathologies. They often occur in the phase preceding the headache: the eye is one of the subjects affected by acute headaches but it is not necessarily a victim of retinal pathology.
Symptoms and Causes of Phosphenes
Symptoms exhibited by patients do not express themselves in similar ways: some claim to see bright circles in the field of view, bright flashes, and others see these flashes with their eyes closed.
The causes of phosphenes can be numerous: it is advisable to contact the ophthalmologist for an in-depth consultation in order to examine the retina and the vitreous body and possibly establish the presence of photopsies.
This phenomenon can be caused by retinal alterations or by vitreous tractions; the pathologies that may be associated with the manifestation of photopsies are essentially:
- retinal detachment
- diabetic retinopathy
In subjects over the age of 50, the phosphenes can occur following a detachment of the vitreous body of the retina: when the vitreous gel thickens it exerts a stretching on the retinal tissue causing the appearance of flashes of light.
This phenomenon can last several weeks.
It is essential to avoid strenuous activities to avoid permanent damage to the retina.
Care and Interventions
By analyzing the pathology that caused the appearance of the phosphenes, it is possible to hypothesize the cure: it is possible to proceed with a surgical intervention in the case of retinal detachment using laser treatment.
In the case of vitreous tractions, it is possible to increase the supply of water and mineral salts: limited hydration can in fact lead to vitreous alteration.