I sometimes blink hard when I wake up. When I do, I often see a single flash of white, which is more or less in the shape of a little jellyfish or a firework. It happens only one time. I can't replicate it by blinking hard again. I was recently diagnosed with the beginnings of a cataract in my left eye. I'm 65, good health, and no blood pressure issues. My cataract is not ready for surgery yet. Is there a connection with the cataract?
No, there is no connection to the cataract. Blinking hard can cause an entopic phenomenon (visual effect coming from within the eye itself). This can move the vitreous (jelly-like substance that fills the middle of the eye) around, which in turn can stimulate the retina into producing a false flash of light. This is nothing to be concerned about unless you develop many floaters and see continued spontaneous flashes of light.
Ask a New Question
Not every question will receive a direct response from an ophthalmologist. However, we will follow up with suggested ways to find appropriate information related to your question. Medical disclaimer
By submitting your question, you agree to be answered by email. Your email address will only be used to answer your question unless you are an Academy member or are subscribed to Academy newsletters.
Get ophthalmologist-reviewed tips and information about eye health and preserving your vision.
Public & Patients
Museum of the Eye