Eye Doctor in Squamish

“Seeing Stars” Can Be Normal or a Great Cause for Concern

May 30, 2024

It’s probably happened to you many times: You see stars or minute flashes of light when you stand quickly or rub your eyes. The medical term is photopsia. It’s also described as eye flashes, bright dots, seeing sparks, a zig zag of light, and flashes of colors. These phenomena may be innocuous or indicate you need urgent medical care.

The office of Omni Eye & Vision (Squamish) offers a wide range of services to meet the diverse needs of our patients. Our offerings include routine eye exams, contact lens fittings, vision therapy, treatment of eye conditions and specialized services.

Because photopsia’s symptoms are so common, it can be hard to diagnose its precise causes. Seeing stars may be due to pressure in or on your eye, or an impact to your head or eye. 

Seeing them is harmless after: 

  • You squeezed your eyes shut after coughing or sneezing.
  • You rubbed your eyes. This action that applied pressure created electrical activity because it stimulated your eye cells.
  • You stood suddenly. It made your blood pressure drop.
  • You got an MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging changed your body’s magnetic field and stimulated your visual cortex.
  • You had an EEG. The electroencephalogram that measured electrical activity in your brain sparked the visual sparks. 

Seeing them might be concerning when: 

  • You have a migraine and flashes of light. Seek medical help immediately; it could be connected to a serious medical condition such as a stroke or retinal tear.‌ 
  • You have a concussion. A jarring head trauma can hurt your brain as well as the vitreous gel inside of your eyeball. 
  • Your vision changes radically. It is blurred, unable to see in low light, partially blocked, sensitive to light, or sees spots or flashes of light. Your retina may be detached. To prevent loss of eyesight, seek immediate medical help.

Always keep your eyes in good health. Preventative measures include regular eye exams, eye protection while playing physical sports and medical treatment if anything abnormal comes to pass. Omni Eye & Vision (Squamish) stands out for its commitment to personalized care. This ensures that treatment plans are tailored to optimize vision correction and overall eye health while considering individual circumstances and goals. Please call us for an appointment.

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Omni Eye & Vision (Burnaby)
We are conveniently located on 6th Street with ample parking available.

#102-7885 6th Street
Burnaby, BC V3N 3N4
(604) 526-3937
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Omni Eye & Vision (Squamish)
We are conveniently located on Tantalus Road, just off Garibaldi Way. There is ample parking in the lot.

40388 Tantalus Road
Squamish, BC V0N 1T0
(604) 390-3788
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#102-7885 6th Street, Burnaby, BC V3N 3N4
(604) 526-3937
40388 Tantalus Road, Squamish, BC V0N 1T0
(604) 390-3788