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Flashing light in left eye
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Flashing light in left eye

I visit my opthalmologist on a regular basis.  On a number of times he dilates my pupils to check the inner part of the eye.  One day while going back home from one particular visit and with my pupils dilated, sunlight hit my eyes for a couple of seconds and I was totally blinded.  Everything seemed to return back to normal after the pupil regained the natural size (after some 7 hours or so).  Days after I noticed a kind of flashing light / scintillation (circular form) in the upper left side of my left eye's field of vision.  Two months on I still see it, even when I close or blink my eyes.

At first it was diagnosed as an occular migraine but after a while and a number of visits, I asked my doctor if we could conduct further tests.  

A CT scan of the orbits and IVFA proved negative.  However my doctor said he noticed some form of thinning (weakining) in the retina of the left eye.

Could it be that the short exposure to the sunlight (few seconds) with my eyes dilated could have caused some form of damage?
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668969_tn?1227324403
No, the dilation sensitivity was normal and not related to the circular scintillation.

This sounds most like vitreal traction where the inner clear vitreous of the eye starts pulling away from the retina. This is a normal event usually after age 50 or sooner in nearsighted people. Some people have "stickier" vitreous than others and it "tugs" on the retina, stimulating it and causing the light sensation. If so, you are at an increased risk of a retinal tear and detachment until this "tug" finally releases because sometimes the viteous to retina is so strong that a tear forms. The tear allows vitreous fluid to undermine the retina (detachment) and this is more difficult to treat than a simple laser procedure done if there is a retinal tear.

I recommend a dilated retinal exam by a retinal subspecialist eyeMD ophthalmlogist. Perhaps your eye doctor can recommend one in your area.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your feedback.  Much appreciated.

With regards to the vitreal traction my opthalmologist already dilated my pupils a number of times to check the state of the retina.  There were no signs of vitreal traction.  I recall my opthalmologist mentioning something about weak part of the retina.  Another doc said that it showed signs of wear and tear.  A week ago or so I did the IVFA test and everything was ok.  I will be doing a visual fields and if nothing shows an OCT as the final test.

What do you think?

On another note, you mentioned that this is a normal event after the age of 50 or earlier.  Could it be related to eye strain?  Or is it something that either way will occur, irrespective of the extent of eye strain?  Do vitamins such as VITALUX help with restoring the condition of the retina?

My work entails looking at a monitor all day.  My eyes couldn't stand warm white (yellowish) any longer so I asked for a replacement and goot cool white fluorescent tubes instead.  Thing is that I noticed no kind of improvement.  My left eye still feels weird, kind of strained...actually this sensation is around the eye, not the eye itself.

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Avatar_n_tn
I, too suffer from the 'light' effect in one eye, and it shows up as a distortion in that locale when eye is open, and then as a moving body with 'light' when the eye is closed.  I have been led to believe that retina specialists cannot actually see such phenomenon (the 'light effect' from traction).  I also have complained about a starburst effect seen when the eye is closed, and countless retina/vitreal specialists have not been able to get to the root cause of these problems.  MRI, OCT, fluoroangiogram, all were negative. Earlier this year, I also saw a neuroophthalmologist, who said he could not detect the moving body or starbursts.  Meanwhile, that locale in my eye continues to be an obstruction to clear viewing.  I also have been told I have an epithelial membrane, but no retina specialist has offered yet to remove that area.  Is there a criteria for removal?  I see 20/30 out of that bad eye. But I cannot read text properly, nor watch tv comfortably with the aforementioned problems.  any comments?  Can you actually see starbursts or traction problems with your tools?    
Russell903
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668969_tn?1227324403
I cannot answer all your questions only by history.

I can say as Russell eluded, traction is a "force", not something that a doctor can actually see in and of itself.

"Eyestrain" (the state of overfocusing) or vitamins are not related to any of your
symptoms.

Vitreal traction does not cause any type of discomfort to the eye.

Starburst with eyes closed sounds like a brain phenomena, not the eye itself.

Epiretinal membrane is not usually peeled unless symptoms are significant as
there is some risk in having a vitrectomy as the instrument comes close to the
most sensitive part of the retina.

Make sure you bring a list of questions to your doctors who have the advantage of actually being able to examine you. That's about all I can tell you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Dr Pernoud,

Thank you so much for your guidance.

Since two days ago, the scintillation has been kind of fading away.  It is still visible but not as much as it has been for the past month or so.  Yesterday it was as if it was gone but today I can see it slightly.

The doctor I go to is an opthalmologist.  He is also a surgeon at both state and private hospitals.  I must admit he is very good.  What I will do is give more time, until end december say.  If it fades away then I don't think there's a need for alarm right?

On another note, regarding IVFA, the second day following the IVFA test I felt sudden heart pulpitations.  That was during the night.  Do you think that is somehow related or maybe just another effect of the anxiety that I've been going through in the past two years?

Thank you and have a great week.

Robert.



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Avatar_n_tn
On another note, my left eye suffers from amblyopia.  I read a number of articles that even though they mention that this condition must be treated at the early stages of life in humans, yet it seems that there has been some advances in treating amblyopia in adults.  I have just read that a while ago the University of Southern California developed a programme by which amplyopia is treated through a serious of vision exercises and some specific computer software.

Any ideas where I can get some more info on this?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Dr Pernoud,

It's been a while since my last post on this forum.

During the past months I've been to hospital for a number of tests, primarily IVFA and Visual Fields.  Results were negative in both cases.  I still see this kind of aura in my left eye though.  The bad thing is that it is persistent 24x7 and sometimes it drives me crazy.

During the VF test I was asked if I ever had an accident.  I recall that last year had a slight one, a blow at the back of my head with the corner of a shelf. It was not as if I was involved in some serious car accident.  Could it be that this accident caused some kind of trauma, lesion or what not which have eventually resulted in the appearance of the aura.

I am considering taking an MRI to have it checked against some form of damage to the visual cortex.

What do you think?

May I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy & Peaceful New Year.

Robert.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Dr Pernoud,

One last question.  I came across the "Rebuild Your Vision Training" material.  Does this really works?

Thank you,
Robert.
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