“Seeing Stars” During Laser Treatment

Many patients state that during laser treatments on the face, they can see red flashes of light despite wearing snug fitting, lead-lined eye-shields, and in most cases also having their eyes closed.Rest assured that as long as the eye-shields are sung over your eyes, there is no risk to your eyes.

“Seeing” these flashes of light could be related to a phenomenon called synesthesia where in essence two senses become linked.  In this case hearing the snap of the laser or feeling the “pop” of the reaction in the skin, triggers a visual response as well.  There are many forms of synesthesia.  Some are more common than others.  “Seeing” sound or pressure seems to be one of the more common forms.  Have you ever been lying in bed nearly asleep, eyes tightly shut, and suddenly there is a loud crash.  You see a bright flash of light, but no lights are on or have been on?  Or have you ever rubbed your eyes in a dark room and seen white or red spots where you are applying pressure?  These are other examples of synesthesia.

Though this is a somewhat common occurrence, it is important to let the laser specialist know that you are seeing light so that they can make certain that your eye-shields are positioned properly.  If all checks out, treatment can resume even though you may continue to “see” flashes of light as the laser pulses.