Seeing flashing lights in my vision


I was diagnosed in March with E. I am wondering if this has anything to do with E or if it's my eyes.

when I sit on my patio at night I will see a FLASH of light and it's not lightening. The other night the whole sky was vibrating when I looked at it.


Anyone with experience similar?


Re: Seeing flashing lights in my vision


It could either be an aura or a form of photosensitive seizures.

Auras can last from several seconds to as long as an hour.  Visual auras include: Bright lights or blobs, Shimmering sensations, Kaleidoscope effects, Visual hallucinations, Vibrating visual field, Distortions in size, shape or distance of objects.

As for Photosensitive Seizures, surprisingly, seizures may be triggered by natural light, such as sunlight or moonlight, especially when shimmering off water.  Even sun flickering through trees or through the slats of Venetian blinds can trigger a seizure.

I hope this helps!      Phylis Feiner Johnson


Re: Seeing flashing lights in my vision

Thanks Phylis, it had me so freaked out LOL. Good to know its probably just an Aura

Re: Seeing flashing lights in my vision

An Epileptic Aura is also known as a Simple Partial Seizures (SPS).  Therefore, this is still a type of seizure your are experiencing.

Re: Seeing flashing lights in my vision

That is true. I was abruptly awoken out of my sleep seeing circular colors with a sucking like action of my tounge with a rythmic tremor like action of my arm. It lasted a few seconds then I fell immediately back to sleep. 

Re: Seeing flashing lights in my vision

Hi  Sammis,

I've had some of the same things happen to me.  Within the past two months I have had two seizures after reading you message I realized that I experienced the same thing before each seizure buth the seizures occurred while I was asleep.

Re: Seeing flashing lights in my vision

Hi Sammishakes,

Occipital seizures, or when seizure activity crosses into the occipital area, often gives "visual seizures." These visual seizures are often confounded with migraine with aura, acephalgic or basilar migraine. Sometimes the confusion between the seizures and migraines is just called "migralepsy." Dr. Panayiotopoulos, in his book "The Epilepsies" (2005), page 427, uses duration of seconds to a minute as exclusive for Occipital epilepsy, the duration for 1-3 minutes as frequent for Occipital epilepsy, but the duration of 4-30 minutes rare for Occipital epilepsy and the duration of 4-30 minutes "As a rule" for Migraine with aura and Basilar Migraine.

As a rule, Occipital epilepsy has many coloured circular patterns, exclusively moving to the opposite side of the visual field. The Migraine with aura is mainly achromatic or black and white linear patterns as a rule, and expanding from the centre to the periphery of a visual hemifield.

I often have both painless and painful migraines, both with and without partial seizures with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, and Keppra controlled secondary Tonic-Clonics. Once I had a long very painful migraine longer than 30 days that turned out to be a subdural hematoma, but the visual effects with that were periods of total "white-out" of vision in one eye, and later "crossed-eyes," and flashing lights with any movement of my head.


Re: Seeing flashing lights in my vision

I have migraine with aura.  My aura for the migraine is a colorful, flashing light that lasts for 1-2 minutes.  Therefore, not all auras for migraines are black and white.

Re: Seeing flashing lights in my vision

Hi Saharah524,

My doctors often can't tell the difference between my epileptic seizures and my migraines, while I can tell the difference to know, what ever the phenomena may be classified as, whether or not the phenomena will "spread" or "precipitate" into other phenomena that more easily, and distinctly, can be identified as a seizure of epilepsy.

Here, as a technical basis, I greatly rely on the nomenclature used by C. P. Panayiotopoulos in his book "The epilepsies: seizures, syndromes and management : based on the ILAE classifications and practice parameter guidelines", (2005). With the differeniation between possible "migraine" and possible "occipital epilepsy" with the visual phenomena including achromatic versus that of "chromatic" aura, I try to use the "weight" also of Table 12.3, page 427, for the use of "Visual hallucinations" of "Mainly coloured circular patterns" as "As a rule" clue to weight suspect to "Occipital epilepsy", while "Rare" with "Migraine with aura"; and for "Mainly achromatic or black and white linear patterns" as "Exceptional" for "Occipital epilepsy", and "As a rule" for "Migraine with aura". Snippets of the Table are at: (the last column is for "Basilar migraine"):


Re: Seeing flashing lights in my vision




My son has Epelipsy. He was diagnosed at the age of 4yrs. He is experiencing flashing lights. As he weined off of Keppra to Depakote he was seeing only white flashes. Now that he is on Depakote only, he is now experiencing colored flashing lights. He is on his 4th medication trial. Anybody experiencing this?