How dangerous are black lights

How dangerous are spots and lightning bolts in the eye?

Small black dots dance in front of the eye or lightning flashes: Older people in particular are familiar with this phenomenon. The visual disturbances canhave different causes.

Most people notice lightning bolts and small dots while reading or looking at a light background. But where do they come from? The causes of flicker in the eye are varied. The following diseases can be behind it:

  • a vitreous opacity
  • a vitreous detachment, which in the worst case scenario can lead to a detachment of the retina
  • a so-called eye migraine

Cause 1: vitreous opacity

The largest part of the human eye is filled with a crystal-clear, age-like substance, the vitreous body. This consists of 98 percent water and two percent hyaluronic acid. A scaffold made Collagen fibers provides the necessary stability.

Good to know: Collagen are proteins in connective tissue. In animals and humans, they can always be found where tension and tensile strength are required, for example in the skin or in the ligaments and tendons that hold the bones and joints together.

With advancing age, the collagen fibers in the vitreous humor can separate and clump together. These clumps are then perceived as small dots or fluff that float in front of the field of vision. They are often called "Floaters" referred to, so "flying mosquitoes". In such a case, experts speak of one Vitreous opacity. This is not dangerous at first, but a completely normal aging process.

As the Professional Association of Ophthalmologists Germany (BVA) reports, almost everyone gets to know this phenomenon in the course of their life. In myopic people, the opacities can occur even at a young age, as their eyeballs are longer and the vitreous humor is easier to detach from the retina.

Lint in front of the eyes: irritating for most patients

The usually harmless "floaters" are perceived as irritating by many patients: the closer the opacities are in front of the retina, the more disruptive they affect the quality of vision. When the eyes and head move, they float or swing back and forth. Treatment is only an option if the patient feels severely impaired.

Cause 2: retinal detachment

If the swirling threads and dots increase significantly or if there are flashes of light, another cause is also possible, for example a retinal detachment. You usually go one Vitreous detachment first: The vitreous shrinks as it gets older and becomes detached from the retina in pieces. The detachment is usually symptom-free and quite harmless at first - but if it causes cracks and holes in the retina, this can lead to retinal detachment. This in turn leads to visual cells dying and in the worst case to blindness.

In addition to the flashes of light, bleeding in the vitreous humor is another possible warning sign of retinal detachment. This can lead to a significant deterioration in vision. Patients often describe this as “soot.” In this case, do not let time pass and go to the ophthalmologist immediately.

Cause 3: eye migraines

The flashes in the eye and the flickering eyes can also be symptoms of an ophthalmic migraine. Circulatory disorders are suspected to be behind this disease, triggered by a dysregulation of the blood vessels in the brain. Headaches are rare in those affected and are the main symptom of a normal migraine.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.