Mom had 2-day migraine, then flashes of light not like her usual aura. How do you tell if aura or retina detachment? When does she go to see doctor?

ASAP. The vast majority of headaches are not life threatening nor are they associated with retinal detachment. Atypical migraines, however, should be investigated by an md. Acute severe migraine headaches described as the " worse headache i've ever had", seizures, difficulty seeing, weakness or other unusual symptoms need immediate medical attention. Consult your md with any concerns.
Retinal exam. Bilateral flashes is rarely a retinal detachment. Unilateral flashes can be a sign of a retinal problem or an aura (diagnosis of exclusion). Best way to differentiate is have a retinal dilated exam to rule out a detachment (usually has flashes, floaters, decreasing vision).

Related Questions

Neuro and eye doctors: had 2-day migraine, then flashes of light not like usual aura. How do you tell if aura or retina detachment? See which doctor?

Cover your bases. If i were you i would go to a doctor that specializes in neuro-ophthalmology. If your in the new york/ new jersey area i recommend dr. Alison yashar. Read more...
Exam. Bilateral symptoms is rarely a retinal detachment. Unilateral flashes can be a sign of a retinal problem (especially in myopes) vs. Aura (usually a more specific fixed peripheral shape). Retinal detachment may have hundreds of new floaters and decreasing vision. See a retina specialist for exam to tell. Read more...