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Two Types of Ocular Flashes
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Two Types of Ocular Flashes

Dear Dr. Prince,

I am a sixty-three-year-old Caucasian man.

Since roughly 14 October last, I have been seeing blue flashes, each of which lasts from one-quarter to one-half second.  Some are relatively bright, and have a dark blue color;  others have a dimmer baby-blue.  All occur singly in one eye or the other.  Fatigue increases their frequency.

I have been seeing floaters for a very long time.  All were transparent until very recently.  About a month ago, in my right eye, I began seeing an occasional very small and opaque black floater.  It moves through its visual field rapidly, without any discernible pattern.

My ophthalmologist examined my eyes on Friday, the 17th of November.  Except for a microscopic haemhorrage in my right eye, he pronounced their condition as "fine." He saw no tears and no edema.  He did recommend a blood test to determine whether I am diabetic.

Two days later, while going to sleep on Sunday the 19th at 3:35 A.M., I saw a different kind of flash in my right eye.  Located at that visual field's right periphery, it was a thin, vertical, and slightly jagged splinter of brilliant white.  It lasted perhaps five seconds.  There were two repetitions of similar duration and shape.  This entire episode occurred within a minute or less.

Since then, I have seen no more white peripheral flashes.

Blue flashes have continued in small numbers.  Transparent floaters and the right eye's occasional black floater ditto.

I should learn my blood test's result soon.

What do the white flashes mean?  What should I do?

Thanks.

Gordon F. Corbett
Tags: irritable
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as long as retinal detechment was ruled out during the dilated eye exam, the most likely scenario is ocular migraine or vascular event.  not too concerning, as long as you dont have known uncontrolled high blood pressure or the like.

one isolated small floater in an otherwise healthy 63 year old male is not concerning at all.  especially given the fact that its intermittent not constant, and that you just had a negative dilated eye exam...
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Dr. Prince,

Thank you so much for your prompt response.

As I reported, my ophthalmologist did examine my eyes enough to determine that they had no tears and no edema;  unfortunately, he could not complete the next test he had planned.  One particular machine's light's settings were eiher too dim for him to see, or too bright for my eyes to withstand.  Consequently, he could not finish that examination.

Of course, his aide had dilated my eyes;  and, as I reported, he did pronounce their condition as "fine."

Here is one other thing I just remembered.  For some days before the examination, and still today, my right eye has felt mildly irritated, as if affected by smog.  Here in little Port Orford, Oregon, our air is perfect.  We have no smog.  Visine seems to help, but the irritation persists.  Given that my ophthalmologist found no defects, do you have any idea what the heck could be causing the irritation?

Does this information affect the validity of the advice you very courteously gave me?

Thanks.
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