Why Do I See Sparkles?

Experiencing sparkles or flashes of light in vision can be a worrisome occurrence, but it is essential to understand the common causes of this condition. Several factors may lead to such visual disturbances that can vary in intensity and frequency.


Migraines are a common cause of sparkles in vision. These headaches may cause a range of visual issues, including flashing lights or sparkles. Such disturbances may appear as shimmering spots, zigzag lines, or bright flashes of light. Although headaches usually follow, that may not always be the case.

Eye Floaters

Eye floaters are tiny, dark spots or strands that drift across the visual field, and they are another frequent cause of sparkles in vision. These shadows result from protein or cell clumps within the vitreous, which is the transparent, gel-like substance that fills the eye.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment

A Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) is a situation when the vitreous detaches from the retina, resulting in floaters and sparkles in vision. PVDs are usually harmless but may suggest a more severe condition, such as a retinal tear or detachment.

Retinal Migraine

A retinal migraine is a rare condition that causes temporary blindness or vision loss in one eye, followed by a headache. This condition can also cause flashing lights or sparkles in vision. Retinal migraines can happen due to a temporary drop in blood flow to the retina, and they can be triggered by factors such as stress, exercise, or eating certain foods.

Other Causes

Other uncommon causes of sparkles in vision include retinal detachment, macular degeneration, brain injury, chemical exposure, or inflammation or infection of the eye.For medical eye care in Pittsburgh, PA and surrounding areas, contact your eye care professional.

Seeing sparkles or flashes of light in vision can indicate several conditions, but it’s important to understand the common causes. If you experience sparkles in your vision, consulting with an eye doctor in Pittsburgh, PA is recommended to determine the cause and obtain appropriate treatment. Contact us today to learn more.

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