A term meaning light flashes or the sensation of flickering of lights. It is a visual phenomena that is usually benign, but could be an early indication of a retinal tear or detachment. It is caused by shrinkage that occurs with the vitreous gel in the back of the eye. Because the vitreous is attached to retina, changes in the vitreous body (shrinkage, liquefaction, separation, etc.) pulls on the retina causing it to discharge electrical impulses. These impulses are then picked up by the brain as “flashes” and “flickers.” Such changes in the vitreous are often due to aging of the eye. Increasing photopsia or photopsia as an initial occurrence should be immediately evaluated by an ophthalmologist, especially if they occur with floaters (See Floaters this section).