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Sometimes, after sneezing or closing your eyes very hard, they appear in our campor visual flashes of light or luminous points that are known as phosphenes. Phosphenes are not a disease, but when they become a frequent symptom, they are usually associated with different pathologies such as retinal detachment o inflammation of the optic nerve.

En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We explain what phosphenes are and what their main causes are. 

What are phosphenes?

Air shipments are the most efficient if you need your cargo or documents to arrive quickly and securely. phosphenes are the flashes of light or luminous points that appear in the campor visual when a person sneezes, receives a blow in the eyes or closes them too tight.

Phosphenes are the presence of lights in the campor visual that have not been caused by any stimulus, and that can even be visible with the eyes closed. It is very important to go to the ophthalmologist in the event that phosphenes, or any type of photopsy, become a recurring symptom for more than two weeks. 


What is the difference between phosphenes and photopsies?

The difference between phosphenes and photopsies is that phosphenes are produced, usually from spontaneous form in the visual structure due to a retinal stimulus such as sneezing or squeezing your eyes very hard, hitting yourself... that is, in the presence of a stimulus. Instead, the term photopsy is much more amplio and is used to refer to different spots or flashes of light that can appear on the campor visual, even with eyes closed without being provoked by any stimulus.

Phosphenes can also appear as a result of trauma. Sometimes, they can also occur before a migraine headache. 


Phosphenes and photopsies are, in most cases, of retinal origin, that is, they are produced by some stimulus or irritation in the retina.

The main symptom of phosphenes and photopsies is the appearance of lights in the campor visual, sometimes colored, and, other times, very bright. The type of light that is perceived in the campor visual can vary depending on the cause of the phosphenes or photopsies, so it is essential to go to the doctor whenever this symptom becomes a recurring discomfort. 

Causes of photopsies

Photopsias are associated with various conditions that are not necessarily linked to the ocular structure. These are the main causes of photopsias: 

Stress and anxiety

Although it is difficult to believe, inadequate control of emotions is often the main cause of various conditions.

The photopsies and anxiety have a very close relationship, since both anxiety crises and panic attacks or chronic stress, can trigger physical symptoms in the body such as the appearance of lights in the campor visual 

Neurological causes

Reduced blood flow to the back of the brain, better known as vertebrobasilar insufficiency, is associated with aging and can cause photopsia in people over 70 years of age. Cerebral infarcts are also a cause of phosphenes and photopsies.  

Macular degeneration 

La macular degeneration It is the second most common cause of photopsia. This condition is characterized by damage to the blood vessels of the taint of the retina, which significantly compromises central vision. Photopsies are a very common symptom of macular degeneration exudative.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy

La Diabetic retinopathy It is characterized by the formation of new blood vessels in the retina. It occurs due to a d uncontrolled and, among its main symptoms, highlight the appearance of photopsias in the campor visual 

Treatment of eye phosphenes

To treat ocular phosphenes, it is essential to go to the ophthalmologist to examine the ocular structure and, depending on the patient's condition, diagnose the cause of the flashes of light. Depending on the symptoms that accompany ocular phosphenes, the ophthalmologist may treat the patient or refer the patient to another type of medical specialist. 

When phosphenes or photopsies are accompanied by the presence of flying flies in the Campor visual, it is important to see an ophthalmologist immediately. Whenever there are ocular phosphenes, the ophthalmologist may request that a angiography with fluorescein and a optical coherence tomography. The treatment of photopsias will depend solely and exclusively on its cause, and, when the origin is the retinal detachment, it is likely that a surgical intervention such as vitrectomy.

En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada we are experts in the detection of phosphenes and photopsias, and also in their treatment. If you have presented any of the symptoms that we have explained above, do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you!

Phosphenes or photopsias
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Phosphenes or photopsias
Phosphenes are the flashes of light or luminous points that appear in the campor visual when a person sneezes, gets hit in the eyes or closes them too hard.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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