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Flashing Lights in Eyes After Running

by
author image Emma Cale
Emma Cale has been writing professionally since 2000. Her work has appeared in “NOW Magazine,” “HOUR Magazine” and the “Globe and Mail.” Cale holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Windsor and advanced writing certificates from the Canadian Film Centre and the National Theatre School of Canada.
Flashing Lights in Eyes After Running
Flashing lights in your eyes after running may indicate a detached retina. Photo Credit ViktorCap/iStock/Getty Images

Flashing lights in the eyes after running may relate to a number of conditions that affect the eye, and some of these will be more serious than others. If you experience lights flashing in your eyes after running it may signal the onset of a migraine, or in the most extreme cases it may indicate that your retina has become detached. In all cases, flashing lights in the eyes after running require medical attention.

Migraine

Flashing Lights in Eyes After Running
A migraine may cause flashing lights in the eyes. Photo Credit David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Runners who experience flashing lights in their eyes may be developing a migraine headache. Visual disturbances frequently occur with these types of headaches, and flashing lights in the eyes often portend the more commonly known symptoms of migraines such as pain and nausea. Although the exact cause of migraines is not well understood, runners are best served to make sure they stay well hydrated during their runs and record what they eat and drink before their runs. According to Peter J. Goadsby, M.D., Ph.D., migraines can be triggered by certain types of foods including caffeine, nitrates and monosodium glutamate.

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Detached Retina

Flashing Lights in Eyes After Running
A detached retina requires emergency care. Photo Credit Trish233/iStock/Getty Images

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, runners who are nearsighted have a higher risk of developing a detached retina during their lifetime. In addition to flashing lights in the eyes after running, retinal detachment will incur a swift decrease in your vision and may include the appearance of a grey cloud or curtain moving across your field of vision. A detached retina is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.

Ocular Melanoma

Flashing Lights in Eyes After Running
An ocular melanoma may cause flashing lights in the eyes. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Lightwavemedia/Getty Images

If you experience flashes of light in one or both of your eyes after running, it may also mean that you have developed ocular melanoma. Though rare, one of the main symptoms of this form of cancer is the presence of flashing lights in the eyes, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Other symptoms include blurry vision, spots on the iris and vision loss. The pupil itself may also change shape. If any of these symptoms apply see your doctor immediately.

Warning

Flashing Lights in Eyes After Running
It is very important to see a doctor if you are afflicted with flashing lights in your eyes after a run. Photo Credit Kirill Linnik/iStock/Getty Images

In many cases, runners may feel the urge to push through whatever physical symptoms they encounter to attain their training goals. However, if you see flashing lights in your eyes after a training run, resist the temptation to ignore these symptoms. Continuing to run without taking time to confer with your doctor or eye care specialist may lead to permanent loss of vision. Take a rest from running if you see flashes in your eyes and seek medical attention right away.

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