A 75 year old woman with no relevant medical history complains of 'flashing lights'

Question Number 0010
Question:
A 75 year old woman with no relevant medical history complains of 'flashing lights' in her left eye that same morning. Her visual acuity was slightly decreased in that eye but fundoscopy appeared unremarkable.
a) non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy
b) proliferative diabetic retinopathy
c) vitreous detachment
d) systemic Lupus Erythematosus
e) multiple sclerosis

 


Correct Answer: Cvitreous detachment

Explanation:
Flashing lights localized to one eye are usually due to a vitreous detachment. When the vitreous detaches from the optic nerve collagen fibers may float free just in front of the macula. The flashing lights associated with posterior vitreous detachment typically last for seconds and may occur over a period of days to several weeks. Patients with retinal detachment, on the other hand, typically complain of the new onset of floaters. Floaters can represent vitreous hemorrhage from an avulsed retinal blood vessel or the release of retinal pigment epithelial cells into the vitreous cavity after tearing of the retina. Loss of visual fields is another important sign of retinal detachment,particularly when it occurs unilaterally and no other neurologic signs or symptoms are present.


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