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4 year old seeing red light upon waking
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4 year old seeing red light upon waking

A couple of weeks ago, my four-year-old son came to me in the middle of the night complaining that he was seeing a red light.  I didn't think much of it... thought perhaps there were some light flashing in from outside, or something.  Well, I thought that until he said, "mommy, there it is right now."  When I looked, of course, I saw nothing.  He said he was really scared because he couldn't figure out how the red light got into his bedroom (and my bedroom, too, apparently).  So, I told him to tell me if it happened again.  I didn't hear anything about it for a couple of weeks and chalked it up to a vivid imagination.  Yesterday he tells me that the reason he comes to my bed in the mornings is because he's scared of the red light.  "mommy, it won't go away.  It even comes through my eyes when they're closed."  Okay, now I'm really freaked out.  I asked him if this happens a lot.  He said every day.  I asked him if it's both eyes or just one.  He said it's just one eye.  I asked him to point to which eye... he points to the left eye.  Later when questioned by Dad, he pointed to the same eye.  He said that it happens when he wakes up.  He said that the "light" moves.  I asked him if he feels any pain when this happens and he said "no."  I asked him if he can tell right before it's going to happen and he said "no."  

I haven't had him draw a picture of what he's seeing, but I plan to do that tomorrow.  I also want to try to figure out if he's actually seeing something illuminated, or if it's really a red spot.  But, he's been clear that the "thing" is always red.  

We have an appointment with a paediatric ophthalmologist on Tuesday.  I'm just freaking out. I don't know how I'm going to wait the four days.  Anyway, my questions are pretty typical...  Have any of you had these experiences before?  What symptoms seem particularly important?  What questions should I ask the doctor?

Another thing to note is that he is a twin.  Though born pre-term, he was hardly what I would consider to be premature.  He was born at 36.5 weeks and weighed 4#10oz...  He was little, but I don't think he would qualify for high risk of paediatric retinal abnormalities.

Thank you for your help.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have no experience with this condition, but it soulds slightly similar to another post I read today - perhaps you can talk to that person.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/623383
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233488_tn?1310696703
Actually you have related the problem in a concise manner. Tell you story to the Eye MD. You'll have to wait as there is no way to diagnose this over the internet. One possibiity childhood migraine (often without headache).

Let us know what the Peds Eye MD says and what this turns out to be. Good luck.

JCH MD
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks.  I've been trying to write down everything he tells me about it so I don't forget.  One new thing I just learned is that he sees it when looking spot on.  It's not something that is originating from the side.  I did a little reading on childhood migraines...  The only question I have about this is if it occurs at night???  It seems like it's often described as something that occurs during the day...  As if light triggers it.  My son's experience has never occurred during the day.  Always after waking up.  

Which brings me to my next question...  What happens when he's sleeping that's different than being awake (change in bp)?  

I also looked for videos that attempt to show what an aura might look like.  From the reading, I pictured something that was white...  But the video shows a lot of red mixed in.  Perhaps this is the mysterious red.  I thought about showing him the video to see if it looks like what he's seeing...  But I'm afraid I might autosuggest... and I don't want to do anything that might confuse his statements to the eye doctor.  Your thoughts?

You have to pardon me.  I'm just trying to get into the head of a four-year-old.  I'm not sure if I'm over-reacting or under-reacting.  It's just so strange... and I have nothing to draw from in my personal experience.
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233488_tn?1310696703
The mechanism in which eye migraines cause symptoms and why they develop is incompletely understood so I can't answer those questions.

JCH MD
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Avatar_f_tn
Was this issue ever resolved?  What did it turn out to be?  I am curious because the exact same thing is happening to my 92 year old father.  Upon awaking, he sees a red spot in front of each eye for about 15 minutes or so, and then it gradually goes away.  Next morning, the same thing.
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