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For those with the bright spot when blinking symptom
There are several of us on here who have a similar eye complaint: seeing a bright flash, like the afterimage of a flash bulb, when we blink, and sometimes, on upgaze. This is  transient symptom for most of us, lasting anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. When the "spot" in our visual field passes over a dark background, the spot appears light. When the spot passes over a light background, it appears dark.

So far, the doctors haven't been able to diagnose us, and perhaps that means it is simply some idiopathic phenomenon. But, in any case, I'm wondering what other similarities we might all have that could bring us closer to a an explanation.

For instance, other factors about me which might be clues are:

I take 100 mg of Zoloft a day
I would describe myself as high-anxiety and stress
I clench my teeth, usually on the same side as the effected eye
I have alot of sinus problems around my eyes
I have double vision due to a weak muscle in one eye
I have many floaters and one very prominent one in the eye without the bright spot

How about you?
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Hello everyone! I am going to get my MRI results tomorrow. I am little bit worried of course but at least my eeg was same as 4-years ago. I have had much less spots for last 3-months and very few gray spots. Last febuary I got my longest gray spot which lasted 3-days. After that all the spots I got have lasted only 5-minutes at max. I am really worried about the MS but I have no other symptoms for that than these spots. Also I am pretty sure that with MS the spots come and last weeks and then disappear for months. For me I get these spots almost daily (but as I said fewer than before). I am going to tell my results tomorrow! Also if anyone is interested I visited a eye doctor on last june and my eyes were perfectly normal in every aspect. So nothing wrong with my eye nerve. This might be something related to stress maybe? In any case I hope you are all doing all right. And for the person who said that the spots are most noticable against red background, same with me.
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hi makkaraa. i agree, at times i think this is anxiety related. sometimes i feel calm, and still get them. beats me
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Ok I guess everybody missed the important stress related article I posted here....
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My MRI was normal!
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Hello everybody. Firstly, let me say how comforting this is to finally find other people who at least understand my symptoms.
I have been experiencing this for over a year. Began last novemeber after I was treated for proliferative diabetic retinopathy with panretinal photocoagulation. At this point I had no vitreous hemmorrhage or macular edema and there was no problem at all with my vision in either eye. A few days after my first treatment and I noticed a shower of bubbles which I immediately thought must be related to the the retinopathy DO headed for hospital only to be examined and told there was nothing wrong with my eyes. Fast forward a few months later and I was given the all clear for the retinopathy and told the laser had been successful. However due to stress I began having terrible migraines and noticed a bright blank blind spot right next to the centre of my right eye that flashes when I blink and shimmers occasionally also. I had an OCT, dilated eye exam and fluorescin angiogram and everything was normal. That was six months ago and since then I have developed 8 more! In both eyes! All close to the centre and in each eye I have two or three touching the actual fixation point but not obscuring it completely. Luckily, as they are in different places in each eye the opposite eye compensate each blind spot for the other. One optholmologist noticed what looked like historical optic neuritis in my left eye. It couldn't be sure. But I have since seen numerous other ophthalmologists who have said both eyes look perfectly healthy. Only last month I had another optician (not ophthalmologist though - so I take it with a pinch of salt for now) who told me he could see a slight linear blemish on my macular corresponding to the bright blank spot in my right eye. He mentioned both Central Serous Retinopathy and Macular Degeneration (unlikely as I am only 29)  I am due an ophthalmologist appt. in a few days to check this out.

Worth noting also is that (possibly due to stress) 2 nights ago, after a severe migraine, paralysis and another blind spot I was rushed to hospital with a suspected stroke which they diagnosed as hemiplegic migraines.
So far I have tried 400mg magnesium, 25mg topirimiate and 25mg atenolol.

My theories are possibly:

CSR

WHITE DOT SYNDROMES INCLUDING CHORIORETINOPATHIES

NEURORETINOPATHIES

ATYPICAL MIGRAINES

INTRACRANIAL HYPERTENSION

VASCULITIS

AZOOR

CYSTOID MACULAR EDEMA

ACUTE MACULAR TOXIC RETINOPATHY

ACUTE MULTIFOCAL PLACOID PIGMENT EPITHELIOPATHY

I appreciate some of these will be very far fetched and unlikely, it is a long shot I know. But I am a single mum to two young children and I am desperate to try to find out what is happening to me. I am paying for a private MRI as I no longer trust my doctors. I will update any findings. Thank you all so much for keeping me encouraged though. Genuinely has been the scariest time of my life. Any ideas welcome.
Jemma.
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do you get these spots every day? as in temporary spots all day long? i do. it is rare for me to get permanent spots (touch wood) its more these temporary bright white and purple spots that occur frequently, standing up for a long time makes them worse. also, if im sat down and suddenly stand up i will see a bunch of these spots
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My spots are permanent. As in I notice them as a brief flash when I blink but as blank spots which can 'blend' in to other background colours at all other times. I am blessed to have a retinal specialist who cares enough to be equally as baffled as I am and has ordered more tests for me. After another OCT and visual field (which showed my main blind spot near the centre!) he ruled out any disease in the eye (that he and the machine could tell) as a cause. He mentioned lupus among other auto immune diseases as possible contenders for these symptoms. Worth a try and I will update on any outcome. I also have an MRI booked. It's exhausting isn't it?! And such a lonely worry. I'll keep updating.
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If you have the means, go to Mass Eye and Ear with Dr. Demetrios Vavvas - he could clearly see pigmentation damage where no other ophthalmologist could, and is interested in seeing more patients with this to help figure it out.
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Sorry! I accidentally posted previously as a comment. I have posted several times before explaining my similar symptoms to many here. Recently, I have begun to notice that my spots can be more evident when looking at a red background. Does anyone else experience this?
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Hi. In my case that isn't true but I didn't want to leave you waiting for a response! For me, I notice my spot against all colours and all backgrounds but any fine detail such as letters or patterns show mine up the most. Against a red background my spots do seem to be quite bright but they are against most.
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I have 8 of these oval shaped annoyances that are purple when squint and look at a white wall. When I blink it's like my eye lids are smacking water drops with a slight glow on the edges. Went to a retinal specialist and said my retinas are fine with the exception of some microaneurysms during the dye test. Says the microaneurysm might be from diabetes or high blood pressure. I don't have any diabetic signs. Maybe high blood pressure. I've had a stressful 4 years which is when they started to show up. He also said it might be the vitreous drying as patients with that can see the spots when closing their eyes. Either way it's annoying and doesn't go away. :(  I'm afraid I'm going to go blind and NO ONE has a cure!!
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i think this whole thing gets worse with stress. try to calm down, trust me ive had this for a long time, its very scary but you wont go blind.
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Microaneurysms close to the centre of your vision would definitely create these visual disturbances for you. If diabetes has been ruled out then try to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check and these microaneurysms can disappear with time.
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The bright spot when blinking issue is a vascular problem in the brain, as the Scotoma Scintillata. Not an eye problem. Anxiety, neurosis, too much cofee, no enough water intake. I drink lots of water, and in one hour its gone.
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i think your thinking of migraines?
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I've progressively had them for 3 years and once they stay they stay in the same place as blurred spots. I drink plenty of water and now I don't drink soda and they are still there. Retina specialist says retinas are good after the dye test was done. Just some microaneurysms
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what did he say was causing the microaneurysms? were these microaneurysms in the same spots as the blind spots?
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Yes, I was talking about the so-called "ocular migraine", which in  most cases is not about any headache. The zig-zagging multi-colored horrific shapes that take off your visual field. Scientific name "scotoma scintillata". Vascular origin. in the brain.
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Lazman you right, some of us may have vascular damage in the brain, some of us do not have any vascular problems.
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I get exactly this - and have for about 8 years. Stress definitely makes mine more frequent. Like many other people, I suffer from aura migraines and sinus issues and anxiety. I've been seeing my GP (all my tests with eyes are normal except for a PVD in my left eye) GOP thinks it could be migraine related - (I'm sure we've been told that before) and I was going to write it off as a dismissal - until I found out about Irlen syndrome. (Visual Stress) that led me in a whole new direction on terms of research - like the work Professor Wilkins has been doing with coloured lenses to reduce migraine activity. (Migraineurs have been found to have more oxygen in the brains (highly excited beurons) - I think constant mobile phone usage and scaled screens seem to excite my brain but if you your tube it or look for visual stress articles you might be interested. As well as the flash bulb and dark patches I am now having a bunch of other symptoms, patterns and lines shake, text moves about etc. I'm being tested for the need for coloured lenses next week. Maybe something like that could also help you guys? My feeling is it's brain related not eye... hope you are all having less probs with it x
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LED SCREENS not scaled. Sorry for all the errors - can't see what I'm typing!
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Here is a link to the research I mentioned. I'm not saying visual stress itself is a cause of the blinky flashing but if it *is* related to hyper excitability of the visual cortex and visual stress is - it might be from the same root cause?

When I get the camera flash blobs they are only in one eye at a time unlike migraine aura, but I'm trying the coloured lenses (if the assessment says I need them) to calm my entire visual system down, which I feel IS overactive. I notice EVERYTHING from my vision now, entoptic phenomenon, sunlight and glare really bother me and the more recent symptoms of pattern distortion and vibrating vision are possibly all related to that. Worth a try, eh?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2478741/

There are other articles on this too. My doctors/ophthalmologists say my troubles are migraine related - but none of them have ever said people with migraines get this sort of visual distortion/ disturbance WHILE NOT ACTUALLY HAVING A MIGRAINE EVENT. This is why I've always been a bit dismissive of it as a cause. (How could it just be migraines when my migraines are typical and last 25 mins etc)

Anyway, good luck to us all!
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Microaneurysms close to the centre of your vision would definitely create these visual disturbances for you. If diabetes has been ruled out then try to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check and these microaneurysms can disappear with time.
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This was meant as a reply! Stupid phone. (Or can I blame the blind spots?!)
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hi jemma, from viewing your posts i think what you have is something different to what everyone here is suffering from. the blind spots we get do not tend to show up on a humphreys visual field test. and you said you have 8 of these some blocking out your central vision which sounds much more severe than anyone here. and the history of your retinopathy and laser treatment makes me think it will be due to that maybe
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Sorry, I should perhaps elaborate.

My eye doc for my (treated) Retinopathy has ruled out any eye problem causing my spots.

My 'main' spot does now show on both amsler and Humphrey Visual Field Tests but did not always.

Only one of my spots shows on the visual field whereas the other 8 do not.

You're totally correct and it could be a totally different pathology but my symptoms are identical and as of yet I have had no explanation for the spots.

When I was treated for my retinopathy I had no visual problems at all. My problems started much later and during times of high stress. I also began having migraines at the same time.

But again, could be completely different.
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have you tried bending down and lowering your head whilst tensing your stomach until your face goes red? this usually stops pretty nasty ones for me.
do you get temporary splotches sometimes? i get them daily , permanent ones are much rare thank god
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I have the same issue. I wonder if it might have to do with a bright light coming in from the side, while you are focused on something else - like a second monitor while you look at the first in front of you or bright window on the side while you look forward at a monitor? The eye is adjusted to what you are seeing in front of you, so too much light is allowed to come in from the side... or some odd angle. It started for me after sitting at work with a bright monitor to my right for many hours. After changing that, the spot is still there... but it has only been 3 days...
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I have the same issue. I wonder if it might have to do with a bright light coming in from the side, while you are focused on something else - like a second monitor while you look at the first in front of you or bright window on the side while you look forward at a monitor? The eye is adjusted to what you are seeing in front of you & so too much light is allowed to come in from the side...
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Apparently my blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes checks were fine- the blinky (camera flash bulb after image) type flashing for me tends to resolve within an hour - gradually getting less bright and smaller until they go completely, but every now and again they leave me with dark patches which seem a bit bigger, less intrusive and show up grey-ish against the sky but white-ish against a black surface. They usually last a few days.

These don't show up on visual field tests and there are signs of them in my eye at all. (I do have a permanent spot which looks like a water droplet on glass when I blink - I feel this is different though, and this does show up on a slit lamp test. The ophthalmologist wasn't worried about it at all and said "it's tiny - it looks old and has probably been there for a very long time"  she also explained that I'm noticing it more because of the blinking. It *is* different, and never changes and the only thing it has in common with the camera type flash is that I notice it more when I blink.)

I get the camera flashy thing randomly, sometimes when out walking, sometimes at night watching TV - out of nowhere, it's often when I feel stressed but not always.

In case it IS related to visual stress, (hyper excitability of the visual cortex) I'm going to get Irlen type coloured lenses (about £400 incl test). I'll look "affected" (like the actors who wear them Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp) LOL! but if the only benefit is that it reduces migraine with aura, I'll be happy! It is supposed to help with text distortions and vibrating/flickering  vision too. Do any of you have trouble with busy patterns? Looking at photos on your phone? Backlit screens? High contrast colours flashing? Venetian blinds, rows of things etc.? Anything like the video below? I've been having these symptoms to a greater/lesser extent since beginning of 2015. (Had aura migraines since 1993 and the intermittent flashy blinky thing since 2008)

https://youtu.be/FARizLljRkc

Calming down my entire visual system *feels* like the right thing to do, for me.

Will let you know if it also helps the blinky flash. Fingers crossed.

Hope you all have a good day today. :)
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Sorry that should read "NO signs in eyes at all"
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Just to throw this out there again:

If you have the means, go to Mass Eye and Ear with Dr. Demetrios Vavvas - he could clearly see pigmentation damage in my retina where no other ophthalmologist (3 years worth) could, and is interested in seeing more patients with this to help figure it out.
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Did he have any idea what it could be? Had he seen anything like it before? Did he recommend anything for treatment? Or give you a prognosis? Thanks!
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Can you provide us with an email address for him? Thanks
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I just got a rather large spot (apparently lingering several days now) in the upper right quadrant of my visual field. This spot accompanied the onset of a cold, as did one of my initial (persistent) spots in that eye. It seems like viral illnesses make this condition much worse. Is this common to all of us?
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yes! common for me too. think it makes vasoconstriction worse.
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PVD post Medhelp:

Hi all,
I've been reading this thread for quite some time now and figure it's time to jump in. There are several eye issues and a few questions, so here we go...

My blink-spots started about 3 or 4 years ago. Mainly in my right eye. They'd show up maybe 3 or 4 times in a year, and only last an hour or less. They became more frequent in time.

Then in May of 2015, I began seeing a greenish circle-spot whenever I closed my right eye. It would instantly fade. By August, I was having frequent flashes, mainly where the spot was. Went to the retina doctor and he diagnosed that I was having PVD in both eyes. (The right one was further along).

In time, I often noticed an after-image spot in the right eye, whether open or closed. But it wasn't until January of this year that I began seeing the spot longer. And then discovered a bit of distortion (semi-peripheral vision) on the Amsler grid...right where the spot is! My retina doctor pointed out on the scans that I had developed a little blister of fluid under the macula, near the forvea. He agreed it tied in with the spot I'd been seeing. He said he was treating it as a macular degeneration, and gave me an eye injection of Avastin.

It's been over 2 weeks now, and I'm happy to say things so far are improving all the way around! Will see how the scans look on my next retina appointment.

Some of you have mentioned having migraines with visual auras. Since yesterday, I have developed a nearly nonstop visual migraine aura! Mine start out as flashing tiny black & white dots that spread to larger fluorescent psychedelic blobs. They eventually flicker out. Sometimes I get the zig-zag lines too. And if they last awhile they leave a strange temporary blind spot. I've had auras before (with or without headache), just a few times a year. Recently went 2 years without one. But it came back once in December last year. I've never had one last continuously before like this current one. It occurs whether I'm active or not, and last night while sleeping. They happen every 10-15 minutes and last about a minute. Very strange. I am trying to contact my retina doctor about this.

Okay, here are some questions:
Has anyone been diagnosed with the fluid blisters under the macula, and have PVD? I'm wondering if they are related.

Who has had injections of Avastin? Did it help?

And has anyone had back to back visual migraines?

Thank you for everyone who has shared their stories. It's good to know that we are not alone in this.
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i would consider asking your doctor about Central Serous Chorioretinopathy, this causes a fovea blister of fluid, and usually goes away on its on after a few months. this sounds more like what is happening but doctors dont usually suspect this as its quite unheard of
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Based on CB10101's recommendation, I went to see Dr. Vavvas at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. This is probably the 8th+ ophthalmologist and/or other specialist I have seen regarding this condition in the past year.

Dr. Vavvas was able to see subtle evidence of damage in my prior (and current) OCT scans that other doctors had not noticed. These areas corresponded to my permanent spots. Most of my spots do NOT consistently show up on Humphrey Visual Field, even the version (is it 10-2?) that only tests the very center of the visual field. However, several of the spots did show up on Microperimetry and the locations matched Dr. Vavvas's other findings from slit lamp and OCT.

So he said that there is definitely retinal pathology. He has seen 5 or so patients that he believes have the same condition in his practice. He does not know the cause. He does not have any treatment. One patient he has followed for 5-7 years and that person's course has been one of very slow progression. He thinks that will be the case with most of these patients. He doesn't think they will go completely blind but he cannot be certain what the future holds.

It's something at least!
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Thank you for sharing! I wish we could hear from people who've had this condition for 25 years. Know how much it has progressed over a long period. I'm still hoping it just stops in a couple of years, just like my regular migraines just stopped happening in my late teens.
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If it's any help, I have had this for 16 years and see just fine!  You can search my previous posts.  Mine did stop for several years and returned when my migraines returned.  
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That's good to know! Thanks!
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Another update: My doctors are saying that the OCT scans are consistent with a newly recognized entity called Paracentral Acute Middle Maculopathy (PAMM), "or something similar to that." I think someone else on this forum has received a similar diagnosis. That doesn't provide much more information, because as far as I can tell from searching the literature, this "disease" (or cluster of symptoms and scan results) has an unknown cause and no known treatment. However, it does appear that a vascular cause is a reasonable hypothesis, which many people on this forum have suspected for a while. I also have some unexplained white matter lesions on my brain MRI, which I'm thinking may also reflect a vascular problem.

In case anyone is interested:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23929382

http://www.ajo.com/article/S0002-9394(15)00268-8/abstract
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P.S. To second what CB10101 has recommended, if it's possible for you to do so (I certainly understand that it may not be), please consider seeing Dr. Vavvas at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and letting us know what he says. He wants to see more patients with this cluster of symptoms, even though he doesn't have a treatment now. I feel that very few other doctors will be able to recognize this problem. I was told many times that my OCT scans were normal when there were apparently some subtle abnormalities.
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hi atypical, i have researched alot about acute middle maculopathy and i think this is different to ours although appears very similar. ours is definitely a very vascular cause, and AMM usually involves females and only one visual field defect. as there are alot of males on this forum and the fact that some people seem to be gaining these spots it doesnt appear to be the same kinda thing
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I actually am gaining the spots too. I now have three in my right eye and two in my left eye, that I can detect.
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Welshey, check out this article:

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/1724457

Of the 9 patients, 5 were female and 4 were male (mean age, 47.6 years; range, 21-65 years).

The newer imaging equipment is able to diagnose this condition a lot better, so it appears that this condition isn’t as ‘rare’ as doctors once thought.

It is related to capillary ischemia so it is vascular. Of course I am not saying that we all have this condition.

There is also more information on reddit with people experiencing these symptoms. There is a poster there that goes by test_batch. Welshey, I see you on there too. Do you know what condition he was diagnosed with? I wonder if it’s the same condition as Atypical?? His doctor told him to bend over and flex to try to increase circulation to the retina.

I have a lot of temporary visual disturbances, so I wonder how that ties in to this condition? Maybe the temporary spots don’t make it that far to damage to the retina.  


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yes same i have a lot of temporary spots. ive spoken to test bath on redditt and he just like you said bends down and forces blood to his head. He doesnt worry about it though, as we all should do, because i think all this is is a temporary drop in perfusion which sometimes causes temporary spots which can act seminpermanent unless you increase the perfusion (blood circulating into the retinal tissue) by increasing blood pressure to your head . :)
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This is all very interesting.  I think I have a similar issue.  Every now and then I will get a bright afterimage in only one eye similar to a camera flash afterimage.  I only notice it when I blink and move my eye across something white or back lit like my computer (in which case it becomes really bright).  I don't see it against dark backgrounds.  It usually lasts only 5 minutes or less and there is no pain involved and it isn't followed by a migraine.  It's not always round, but is usually more oval in shape or more of a short, thick line.  It's possible I have always had this issue and am just now realizing it because I have recently become hyper aware of everything I see.  I had an eye appointment 2 months ago and everything was fine.  It's possible that it is stress/anxiety related.  Does this sound familiar?
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Update from my old post. I went through two ERG tests and more OCT Scans. The only thing they can pick up is the same burning spot in the center of my retinal which is similar to Solar Retinopathy. Although the doctor said it seems to be non-progressive, I am not exactly convinced as I feel the round burning spot is getting more and more permanent under bright day lights. At this stage, I have no answer or treatment for it. Will see another retinal specialist in May to find out.
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Found out from my retina specialist these eye problems are either diabetic or high blood pressure related. I was diagnosed with diabetes last week so everybody here go to your doctor right away and get a blood test done.
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I've been getting temporary and permanent spots in my vision since 2014. My blood pressure is fine, no diabetes, I had MRI, OCT and the slit lamp test, everything is "normal". The spots are random, sometimes I just relax and a spot appears, sometimes I wake up with a new one. I was a fairly calm person before my eye problems but now I have anxiety issues and panic attacks because of the spots. The funny thing is that sometimes I don't get permanent spots for 6-8 months and then bam, I get 3 in a row for no reason! I've tried yoga, relaxing music, I've been taking 1000 mg vitamin C a day, multivitamin pills and special eye vitamins with lutein, magnesium and zinc. They don't help at all. At this point I just hope I won't go blind.
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Has everyone been tested for AZOOR using an autoflourescence imaging machine? I have been reading this for a while and I believe some of you may have this,  but it can ONLY be picked up using autoflourescence photos. I was diagnosed a year ago with a sudden large grey spot and major flashing, it was caught in under 2 weeks so treated with 3g iv steroids over 3 days then a follow up 3 month pred taper from 60mg. I almost fully recovered because they caught it so early.

Fast forward a year, everything's been fine except I'd always get the odd 'camera flash' which disappeared within seconds, my dr put it down to the retinal trauma.

2 weeks ago every time I woke up id see a series of small black dots on the white ceiling (NOT floaters, obviously) the opposite side of my eye to the original azoor, these started to progress into the camera flashes (although some disappeared), a few got slightly bigger. I only notice them on lightish surfaces,  when I blink. If I blink a few times in rapis succession they would stay for a few seconds longer then I'd have a grey spot that would fade away after a few seconds too.

I was looking into all the possibilities you guys were posting thinking, it can't be azoor again,  the flashing is so different  (originally it was like a huge constant discoball, nothing like photo flashes). Then when the flashes started getting bigger it clicked, I booked an emergency appt to see my incredible consultant, and we did and autoflourescence, lo and behold, small dots of inflammation which lined up almost exactly with the map I'd drawn. He's whacked me on another 3 day steroid IV (yey), which I hope will knock it on the head.

If you haven't already, get some autofluorescence imaging done, the sooner its treated the better, although I'm not sure whether spots over ~2 weeks old will be effectively treated with steroids, but if you are currently in a downhill slide of spots

There is a study by the university of taiwan I believe, that has published a small paper on early treatment of azoor.

Is matt009au still on here? His posts from last year documenting all the new spots that were appearing daily sounded EXACTLY like my most recent presentation of azoor so I felt compelled to post. (NB I do not believe you all have azoor but some of your progressions of symptoms sound exactly like mine)

If there is any way to link to images on this forum I am happy to post my autofl. scans. I'll try and pop back a few times in case anyone has any questions.

Welshey, are you southern wales? Have you ever been seen at the brisstoleye hosp?

Best of luck in your search everyone

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I had my second opinion today and what they conclude was a Macular Microhole from my OCT scan. Have you guys ever been told that? The cause is unknown and currently there is no treatment. Pretty depressing
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I would suggest anyone who wants to know more to have a read on it. It does kinda explain the issue I am having atm, not for all of them but the most critical part i guess. I.e. the blind spot in the central vision in a bright environment.

ElRizzo, I did read up on AZOOR as well but my dr never suggested to perform such test. I might need to ask them next time.
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I've been lurking this thread for about a year since getting a small blind spot above my focal vision in one eye. I now have 2.

I've had many tests including OCT, fluorescein angiogram, visual field tests, blood work. None of these found anything.

A neuro-ophthalmologist recently found one of my blind spots with the guidance of some diagrams I made to help demonstrate what I was seeing and where. He was able to zero in on my issue and find it with a slit lamp exam.

With great confidence, he identified one of my spots as a cotton wool spot. He thought it was odd that a healthy 37 year old would have this. I've just done blood work that he ordered and it came up clean. (No diabetes, HIV etc).

I am going back in 3 months to see if anything in my eye has changed.

Has anyone else here had a cotton wool spot diagnosis regarding these symptoms?
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Yes, I had a cotton wool spot, I have had HBA1C test for diabetes and full blood work up, including HIV check, 2 OCT's, Angio flor and multiple fundas, both coloured and mono. Of course, all negative and discharged. Told likely spikes in high blood pressure (due to anxiety/prolonged stress). I was also told my spots were not progressive enough to be any systematic disease due to having "only" 5 small scotomas over a 10 year period. Since taking up regular high fitness in the last 6 months. I havent had anymore. Fingers crossed. I was also told that this should not to progress to anything that will seriously effect my vision. Positive-ish. :)
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Cotton wool spots only appear in diabetics. Did you do an A1C and urine exam? HIV tests and Diabetic tests are 2 different processes.
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Not sure about A1C, but I did a fasting glucose test and results were within normal range.

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Not sure about A1C, but I did a fasting glucose test and results were within normal range.

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A1C is the most accurate as it measures your blood sugar average within a 3 month period using your hemoglobin.
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Hi everyone
I have like others on here been following this thread because last October I started with 'blobs' when I blinked. I began with one noticeable one but when I moved my finger infront of my eye this showed two, and I now have 4.
I visited the opthomologist today and to skip 7 months of various scans that have shown nothing today I had a scan which finally showed something going on in my retina. I have spent some time reading various research and it is apparent only specific tests are showing this problem. My ophthalmologist was so convinced my eyes were fine I was almost discharged two weeks ago and sent to a neuroopthamologist.
I was sure it was my eye and asked for further tests.
The diagnosis I have been chasing is acute macular neuroretinopathy. I have not been diagnosed with this but the opthamolohist is leaning this way. I have requested an infrared scan because this is supposed to be useful alongside the SD-OCT which I have had in such diagnosis.
Would be interesting to know if anyone else has had either of these scans with any findings?
My eyes have looked perfectly healthy on fundus pics etc.
Hopefully if enough of us are diagnosed with this retinal issue more research will be directed towards it.
Would also like to add I know AMN is often associated with women but how credible is this... only 60 patients in some research and I have to wonder how many other people have been discharged as I almost was because on the usual scans things looked ok.
Any questions just ask! And good luck to you all in getting a diagnosis. I know how difficult it is trying to describe this and to be taken seriously when nothing can be seen on standard scans.
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Also to add - whatever is going on might not be AMN. But there was something noticeable on the SD-OCT. Will update also when I have had the infrared scan done.  
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i have a similar complain like yours .. multiple tiny scotomas that occurs with time and old ones do not resolve .. it started 3 years ago and still happening with a new lesion ever 2-4 weeks .. all tests done like oct and fa and oct angiography revealed nothing .. i am diabetic and hypertensive .. the scotomas here does not leave a blind black spot .. they leave a blurry fixed spot with no visual data in it except color .. wish you could address me how the doctor diagnosed you and what test did you do to discover it as most test done by me is normal
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Originally it was thought that I had either AZOOR or AMN, but I was later diagnosed with PAMM and yes, it was finally determined that I had abnormalities on SD-OCT after many negative scans. May be worth investigating PAMM.
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Hi midgetEm, do you have any updates since your latest eye scan? I've been reading up on AMN and it sounds very much like what I have been experiencing for the past 10 years.
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i would like to share my case with you .. i ve been seeking help for the past 3 years with no sucess and this is the 1st time i stumble accross this topic of yours that mentions alot of complains similar to mine

3 years ago after a stressfull day at work then returned to home i felt asleep infront of led tv .. when i woke up i noticed a bright spot when i blinked like an afterimage .. it was in my right eye just near the centre .. and i noticed that this spot was fixed and resembled a blurry spot with almost no visual data in it except color of the surrounding

i visited ophthalmologist and he failed to diagnose me .. all tests and exam were normal such as oct , fa and oct angiogram

the next 3 years almost like 20 lesions developed .. with like a month inbetween every lesion and the other

still not diagnosed

thanx to god all these lesions spared the point of fixation and the centre of vision .. the only lesion that developed in the exact centre was like the size of a needle tip

lesions that developed does not go away and it is permanent but there afterimage subsides after a while and only the blurry scotoma persists

i am 35 diabetic and htn and have a family history of peripheral vascular disease and atherosclerosis

also i noticed that temporary bright spots can develop when i look into the sun or bright light sources such as led lamps .. usually they disappear from 10 minutes to 1 hour

low sugar levels also can cause temporarily scotomas that disappear when blood sugar is corrected

noticed that sneezes can causes bright spots in the eye periphery while eyes are closed

sometimes i feel my eyes retina very sluggish with prolonged afterimages of anything i see specially with monitors and tvs

i bought a bluelight protection lenses crizal prevencia and quit watching led tvs and mobile for over 3 months but still it occurs

tried atkins diet i was 130 kg and dropped to 110 kg and it still occured


tried vegan diet for 3 months and it still occurs

i quitted my cortisone nasal spray and it still happens

i even quit my insulin injection , metformin , bisoprolol , valsartan and omiprazole and it still occurs

one of my labs showed vit d deficiency and i took supplements for 3 months and it still occurs

i even tried aspirin for 2 weeks and it still occurs

i tried to share much of my experiments with you may be we can shed some light on something here

the diagnosis must be one of two :
1. it is a brain or neurological issue
2. it is a retinal disease not diagnosed yet

also i would like people joining the topic to discriminate between the migraine issues and the permanent pathology issue .. as it is apparent that lots of people complaining of similar temporarily complains of migraine headaches and its aura
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also something is weird is happening .. every day that passes i became more aware of my retinal blood vessels and literally can see them when i just wake up from a sleep .. like a map .. and it corresponds exactly to my fa .. so it is not hysterical .. i can even draw it
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Not to be a "Debbie Downer"... but I have yet to find a doctor that is interested in my vision loss and various symptoms. All of my test comes out 'normal' and I am dismissed. I have totally given up on getting a diagnosis. I suppose even if I did finally get a diagnosis, there wouldn't be treatment anyway. Once those retinal cells die, they are gone for good.
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Thanks Debbie....
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another important question is the type of shadow that is left by the spot .. i mean the shape of the spot .. definitely if someone is specialized in this category or the neuro/opthalmology part would know what is the cause or pathology from the pattern and shape of the spots .. might be a leakage .. nerve supply pattern or whatever

and here is a photo for the shape and pattern of the afterimage i have

https://flic.kr/p/Ua9PvW
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Yeah that's how mine are and they wreath around the center almost like the Yelp logo
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Lazman305,

Is this a permanent pattern for you?

I see the same thing but it's only during exercise.
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They're permanent oval spots that wreath around the center of my vision and look like smudges on glass when I focus on them on a surface with one eye closed regardless of exercise or not.
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Hello everyone I have recently developed this symptom in the last few months. In February this year I had 2 colds within weeks of each other with a chest infection that is still lingering at the moment. In March while walking my dogs I looked up at the bright sky and noticed a bright spot when I blinked. I though "that after image is lasting a long time" then thought nothing more of it. By March I had noticed in my right eye just below my central vision there was a spot which flashed when I looked to the side of my computer screen (bright white to black). I did a quick search and found a board where people where talking about having bright spots when they blinked after a cold and it was suggested that it would fade once the pressure inside the head had subsided from the cold. "Ahhh great I though not to worry". Well since then that spot has faded in to a 'scotoma' that is only visible as my eye passes over high contrast areas or if I cover my eye with my hand and look at the sky (it will flash dark grey then disappear in 2 seconds). It is not visible unless I do this. I also discovered I have one in my left eye much further away from my central vision that I hadn't noticed during its active phase. I have also developed the transient white spots which I see everyday that lasts seconds, minutes and a few hours. I developed another little scotoma in the shape of a line in my right eye above my central vision after I woke up a few weeks ago but that one disappeared after two days.

I've been using the Amsler grid to monitor the two scotomas I have the only thing is my spots only show up for two seconds on it before fading away leaving no distortion.  

Since this started I have seen a normal optician (specsavers) who photographed my retina, tested eye pressure and gave me a visual fields test. She was fascinated by the blinkspot/scotoma  I described but assured me my eyes were very healthy. I have also been to my GP who had never heard of anything like it and will be referring me to an ophthalmologist soon I hope, although the UK's NHS service has just been hit by a massive cyber attack.

Now for a bit about my background. I am a healthy 32 year old white female living in the UK. I am currently on birth control pills. I do not suffer from any diseases, or anxiety/depression disorders. I do how ever have migraine with aura and visual snow syndrome. Back in January 2014 I had a chest infection and wisdom tooth pain and slept on the couch that night. I injured my neck by sleeping on it badly and when I woke up I vomited and had my first migraine with aura. Slowly over 2014 I developed visual snow. My symptoms are very mild and easy to live with they include, grainy vision in low light, mild tinnitus which I can only hear at night or with my fingers in my ears. mild negative afterimages, a lot of floaters, dry eyes and very strong blue field entoptic phenomenon seen against very bright backgrounds like the sky. I have seen a top neurologist at Kings College London who is familiar with visual snow but he said he didn't want to try any medication on me since there is not enough research into it yet. I have also been to a chiropractor this March and had x-rays of my neck taken. I have a straight neck with no curve of the cervical spine, hyper mobility in C1 C2 and C3 after years of cracking my own neck and was told I'm at the beginning of spinal degeneration. I am currently having adjustments and using a cervical denneroll to correct my neck. My chiropractor is pleased with my progress and says if I use the denneroll for 20 minutes everyday for 6 month I will get the curve back in my cervical spine.

Some other symptom I've noticed since developing the blink spots is a mild chest pain exactly where my heart is and waking up with my jaw clenched. So that's my experience of this so far. I eat a healthy pescetarian diet and exercise by walking my dogs for about 2 hours a day. I don't smoke or drink heavily and apart from two migraines with aura and visual snow syndrome do not suffer from any know disorders/diseases.

I am really grateful for this message board, I have read every single comment on here, some more than once and am using the bend over for 30 seconds technique to get rid of really bad white spots which I think could turn into permanent scotoma. I am also now self medicating myself with high doses of magnesium citrate, chelated magnesium. magnesium oil and epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). I take about 800 mg of Magnesium orally daily and spray about 30 sprays of Magnesium oil onto my skin. I had a Magnesium bath the other night for about 30 minutes and noticed the next day there were no white spots or chest pain.

I am also taking coQ10, Folic acid, riboflavin, turmeric, peppermint oil, 5HTP and Ginko. I agree with the theory's on here that this is a blood flow problem and that it is also some how linked to migraine. I don't think this is a visual snow symptom and believe this is actually happening in the retina as some of you have had doctors see damage to your retinas. I have had a look through the visual snow community and seen that a few people have been talking about this symptom as well so I think maybe visual snow and the blink spot share a cause e.g. vascular/migraine

My feelings wary on this new symptom sometimes I completely forget about it then a spot pops up and I'm like oh **** yeah I have this now too. I'm thinking I might experiment on myself with some CBD oil since I read on a tinnitus forum a sufferer massively reduced his tinnitus after taking a few drops who knows maybe it will be a silver bullet for this problem. So that's everything, will post more if anything develops. xxx  
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Hi Starryeyed, for the visual snow/ tinnitus etc, have you looked into visual stress/ irlen syndrome? I have all the symptoms you mention in this regard (plus text distortions when reading), and have only just discovered there is a name for it. Coloured lenses calm things down apparently, but I believe this is unrelated to the flashes.

I hope you get referred to a proper eye hospital soon. I just wanted to say, that despite my visual fields showing a blank spot over ~30% of my field, my eye looked completely normal upon examination by 5 different doctors and 2 opticians, my condition (AZOOR) can only be seen by an autoflourescence photograph, which then revealed extensive inflammation. So, when you get to see an optometrist, please insist on this test (not all eye departments have this machine so you may need to wangle your way into a hospital that does).

I'm not suggesting you have my condition, but if you do, or if its something very similar, it's the only test that will show anything. If I can work out how I will post up my autoflourescence photos later, my first flare was very extensive but my second, 3 weeks ago, showed just tiny patches of inflammation which corresponded, size and location, exactly with where I was getting my 'photo flashes'.

I hope you get well soon





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Hi ElRizzo thanks for replying :D I will definitely ask about AZOOR and for an autoflourescence photograph when I get seen. I might ask if I can be referred to Moorfields eye hospital in London because I think they'll have the latest equipment there. I asked the optician about white dot syndromes and she very much doubted it but again I only had a photograph of my retina taken. I passed the visual fields test (didn't miss any of the spots with the clicker) My spots don't interrupt my visual field unless passing over contrasting areas like blinds, windows, picture frames and look like a rain drop or a glass lens mixing black and white together. Do you mind if I ask what your AZOOR symptoms look like to you? Did your AZOOR start with little blink spots like described on here? Do you have missing parts of your visual field? I have been reading the latest research into stem cell regeneration for the retina. It looks promising maybe in our life time there will be a treatment for lost vision due to disease. I really hope so!
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Do comments get edited on here by moderators? Parts of my post are missing that linked to where the blink spot was being discussed on visual snow forums and the research page that mentions blind spots? Is that not allowed on here?
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Hi Starryeyed, I've just send you a personal message!
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To clarify for anyone interested in my azoor connection: my first flare up was typical azoor random flashing.

My second flare up last month was very different, it is exactly what everyone here describes. When I blinked I'd get small 'camera flash' spots in a few places, it was so different to my first flare up it took me a week to even consider it was AZOOR. Every time I blinked I'd get a small bright spot that was exactly like a camera flash afterimage. If I blinked a few times in quick succession I'd get the flash to last a bit longer and then fade out into a grey blind spot for a few seconds. It was most noticeable looking at bright/ light surfaces.

My consultant did the autoflourescence photo that I've mentioned previously and it showed very small dots of inflammation in exactly the places where my camera flash spots were.

I was treated with a steroid IV within 2 weeks and the spots have 99% gone.

So yes, typically AZOOR does not sound like your symptoms but my second flare up has been exactly like what most of you describe, and because the inflammation can only be seen by this special photo (autoflourescence), I would feel terribly guilty if I didn't advertise my experience - the AF photo takes 30 seconds to take, and if only to rule it out I think its worth asking your consultants about.
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Hi ElRizzo thanks for the personal message. That's amazing that a steroid IV has treated 99% of your spots! Maybe if the rest of us ask for autoflourescence photos it will show small bits of inflammation too and we can get a steroid treatment :D I wonder if it would work on the permanent spots too of if they are now permanent damage. Its worth a shot I will be taking this as evidence when I got to get tested! Will probably call my doctors tomorrow and ask for this to be hurried up!
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P.S did you experience any pain with AZOOR?
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I think if you've had them for a while then they may unfortunately be permanent. I think this is why many doctors believe AZOOR to be untreatable, because they catch it so late. I have made a great recovery twice because it was caught within 2 weeks, for which I am eternally grateful.

If you google "Systemic Corticosteroids Therapy in the Management of Acute Zonal Occult Outer Retinopathy" the study that comes up will give you more info on steroid treatment or azoor, its a very interesting article and actually what my own treatment was based on because of the success the achieved.

I've never really associated pain with AZOOR but I have admittedly experienced a bit of discomfort behind my bad eye very sporadically, and I think with my first flare I had a feeling like brain freeze behind it which didn't last too long. So yes, I have had pain but I wouldnt say its consistent/ linked with my condition
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Hey everyone last night ElRizzo emailed me pictures of her autoflourescence photos of her first flare up of AZOOR and her second flare up of AZOOR. In the photographs of the first flare up you can clearly see a large area of her retina which was affected then treated with IV steroids. In the after image you can see a much more healthy retina where the inflammation has gone down. Where this gets really interesting is when she had her second flare up a year later and got the symptom of bright blink spots that we all have her autoflourescence photo shows small points of inflammation on her retina like little bright spots. She has also sent me the Amsler grid she drew out for her Dr and it matches up exactly with the photograph of her retina. I'm not a doctor but even I can see this. This has go me wondering, perhaps I and other people on her are experiencing inflammation in our retinas with different triggers. ElRizzo was identified as having AZOOR which she believes was triggered by stress (stress is a known cause of inflammation) and was very successfully treated. I noticed my blink spots/scotoma after 2 heavy colds and a chest infection. Perhaps viral illness has caused inflammation in my eyes which has still not yet resolved. The only thing that confuses me is, could inflammation cause the temporary bright white blink spots which we get that last seconds, minutes or hours and that can be cleared by bending over and forcing blood to the head for 30 seconds? Could inflammation be responsible for people suffering from the bright spots for years? A lot of white dot syndromes appear to be self limiting and self resolving so why isn't this self resolving? I'm still waiting to be referred by my doctor to a retinal specialist but when I am finally seen I will be requesting autoflourescence photos and discussing AZOOR and possible steroid treatment. Will update on any findings in the future.  
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Sorry for my bad English! I live in a poor country, our hospital machines are like 20 yrs old, I had several tests, my local eye doc didn't find anything. I don't think I'll ever get a diagnosis in this sh*thole country. :( So I am trying to diagnose myself... I looked up AZOOR but I don't think I have that because my symptoms are different according to the articles I've read... My permanent spots are only visible when dark and light things meet (mostly on the monitor). I usually can't see them at all when playing games or watching movies or in real life unless I concentrate on dark-light things. All of my spots are the worst and most visible when they appear and they QUICKLY get better, in a few days or even hours! Most of the spots disappear but some of them are permanent. I can only see the spots on the Amsler grid when they appear, then they get too small and light to see them on the grid. I've been getting spots for almost 3 years. Some of them start like camera flash when blinking, some of them don't flash when I blink, they are just grey... Does anyone have similar symptoms?
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Hi Jixx I have your exact symptoms. Bright spots which are transient and are not permanent (visible when blinking) and two which have left permanent scotoma which I can only see as my eye passes over a high contrast areas e.g. picture frames, blinds, computer monitors. Most people on here report the same symptoms, some even report scotomas which are constantly visible and can hide a mouse cursor. Some people on here have said their spots have got better, others report having them for years, as long as 16 years I've see someone post. Some posters have had access to  the best doctors in the world in rich countries who couldn't find anything wrong. Others have had doctors see damage to their retinas but still don't have a diagnosis or treatment method. After reading every single post on here I personally think that the bright spot when blinking is a symptom with many different causes and may not be a disease in its own right. For some it could be inflammation, for some it could be vascular for others linked to conditions like migraine, known eye diseases or disease like diabetes or lyme. I have migraine and visual snow perhaps there is a link there somehow and what ever malfunction I have in my body is causing both. I personally find bathing in epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) will get rid of the transient white spots for a day and my mild chest pain. It has no effect on my visual snow. I have ordered a big box of epsom salts online where it is cheaper and intend to treat myself with it from now on. I hope this is a useful reply to you. I am still waiting to see a retinal specialist in the UK but based on this forum don't expect them to find anything unless they use very new equipment or search for AZOOR using autoflourescence photos.
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Thank you for the reply and the info! I think I'll try one of the retina specialists in the capital city of my country and hope for a diagnosis. I got 7 permanent spots in nearly 3 years but 5 of them are very small, 2 of them are slightly bigger but hard to notice. Right now my vision is still nearly perfect but I'm scared to imagine the amount of spots in 30 years... :( I've been taking vitamin C and multivitamin supplements for a year now, I still get new spots but they are lighter. Ironically, the spots make me stressed and that doesn't help either... I also started having really bad headaches this year and one of the doctors said my spots might be migraine auras but I got no actual diagnosis... I'm stuck. Good luck to you!
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Hey Jixx if it helps to ease your mind at all no one on this board has reported catastrophic vision loss/blindness. I believe only one person had very bad spots affecting their vision to the point where it affected work and tested positive for lyme. Hopefully over our life time there will be leaps and bounds in treatments for eye diseases with stem cell regeneration and gene therapy. I believe they are getting closer to understanding migraine as well and the condition I have visual snow is currently being researched at Kings College London. They have one more phase of research to complete before beginning treatment trials. Perhaps visual snow treatment will provide relief for this as well who knows.  
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Thanks, your optimism gives me strength. :)
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Folks as I mentioned before, start with a thorough blood and urine test not a retinal specialists.
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With respect I strongly disagree with this: for anyone reading please do NOT delay seeing a retinal specialist in lieu of getting a urine test!! There are probably many causes for these symptoms and delaying seeing a retinal specialist could cause permanent damage that could have been reversed by a prompt visit to an Eye A&E department etc. I only recovered from my AZOOR because I was treated so promptly, if I'd have investigated other things first, my 30% blind spot, discoball flashing lights and further flare of camera flash spots (which brought me to this thread), would not have been cured with treatment as it would have been too late.

I am so pleased that you have found the cause of your symptoms but I think its unwise for others to restrict their investigations to just one (non-retinal) area.

Kind regards
Elrizzo
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agreed!!!
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ElRizzo I understand where you're coming from but the reason why I mentioned the blood and urine test is because the eyes always tell you what's happening profoundly in your body. And eventually a retinal specialist for the most part will ask you if you've gone to your GP and had a blood and urine test because that is usually where the underlying answer is that's why I brought this up and is just as important as getting a thorough eye exam.  I'm bringing it up to help out all of us here because not everybody's symptoms end at the retina.
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Hi Lazman why blood and urine tests? Was something found in your blood/urine?
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Yes high blood sugar. Blood and urine tests are the smoking gun. As long as everyone keeps going to retinal specialists and not their general doctor for a blood and urine test, the majority here won't get to the bottom of it.
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Hi Lazman are you diabetic/hyperglycemic? Have you changed your diet or having any treatments for it. If so has this helped with any symptoms you're having?
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Yes the one thing I have literally stopped was frequent beer. That is a major smoking gun. It's the equivalent of eating too many sweets. I was taking Metformin but have stopped because of its dreadful side effects which I was experiencing and am exercising again like I used to and I was already eating healthy (low carbs and high protein). My numbers are slowly going towards normal and I'm changing to the natural supplement of Mulberry Leaf which treats high blood sugar. In my case the eye issue similar to that here is quite possibly linked to this condition I'm kicking based on the microanueryms my retinal specialists found which led to the blood and urine test that found my 3 month blood sugar average at 264! These pesky blinking critters as I call them are your eyes telling you there is a vascular issue and it's either high blood sugar (in my case) or high blood pressure which I would have preferred of the 2. The other possibility my retinal specialist gave (who is very good) is the age deterioration of the vitreous gel in the eyes.
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I must do blood and urine tests often because of my hypothyroidism and my tests usually come back perfect, my TSH has been stable for years. I mentioned my eye issues to my endocrinologist and he said he's never heard anything like that and he's sure my hypothyroidism is not causing my spots. I am not diabetic and my blood pressure is normal. I used to be overweight because of my thyroid issues but my weight has been normal since 2012. I started getting spots in 2014...
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Hey everyone I have found a description of our symptoms in medical literature. It is in an article called 'The mechanisms of vision loss associated with a cotton wool spot'. I can't post the link to this in here since previous post of mine have been edited and I've been sent emails telling me I'm not allowed to link outside of this board. If you google the title it is the second link which comes up in the search. I am going to post sections of the article which I think will interest people on here.

Case History

A 52 year old male patient noticed a visual disturbance in the inferior temporal field of his right eye in March, 1999. At the time he was self-reported to be in good general health. Manual perimetry performed by the patient revealed an arcuate relative scotoma. No clinical examination was performed on that occasion and the scotoma resolved. On 11-Jun-04, a similar visual disturbance was observed in a different visual field location in the left eye. Clinical evaluation by a retinal specialist at that time revealed no obvious anomaly. Another field anomaly was noticed on 18-Sept-04 at a similar location as the March 1999 event. Manual perimetry was performed the next day. A fundus examination was performed by a retinal specialist on 27-Sept-04 who diagnosed a single CWS in the retinal location indicated by the manual perimetry. Medical history was unremarkable without any systemic diseases and additional blood tests were negative. Visual acuity was 20/20 in each eye with spectacle correction. Fundus photography showed a focal retinal lesion (CWS) located 10° from the fovea in the superior nasal retina. There was no optic disk abnormality. Fluorescein angiography of the right eye manifested focal hypofluorescence consistent with either occlusion of a retinal arteriole or simply masking of retinal fluorescence by the absorbent materials accumulated within in the CWS (McLeod, 2005). Funduscopically all other visible retinal blood vessels were normal. Automated visual field tests (Humphrey 24-2) of the right eye were unremarkable.

The blink spot is described in these sections of the article. Note these are separate patients not just one.

Subjective appearance of the scotoma

The subject recorded the appearance of the arcuate anomaly while changing fixation from light to dark fields and while blinking.

On 18-Sept-04, the subject experienced a visual disturbance that was similar perceptually to an afterimage of a bright light source. As with afterimages (Carpenter, 1972; Darwin, 1818), the contrast polarity depended on the background illumination, e.g. when looking at the bright sky, the disturbance appeared darker than the background but when looking at the dark earth, the disturbance looked brighter than the background. Unlike ordinary after-images, the visualization lasted continuously for several weeks.

After a few weeks, the subject was no longer aware of the arcuate relative scotoma or the small, localized absolute scotoma where the CWS occurred. However, the arcuate relative scotoma could be visualized as a dull, gray arc by blinking repeatedly. Blinking emphasizes the dark phase since the lids are open more than closed. Blinking in the dark did not produce a subjective visualization, indicating the effect was not an artifact of lid motion. Four years after the event, the arcuate region still appeared dark against a bright background and bright against a dark background. However, these were transient sensations that faded after a few seconds and were not obvious in daily life. Spatial distortion of text was noticeable when attending critically to the affected area of the visual field. The arcuate scotoma could be visualized by blinking throughout the four years following the initial event.

The visual disturbance within the arcuate relative scotoma reported by our subject mirror those seen when an afterimage is generated (Carpenter, 1972; Darwin, 1818), and when a central absolute scotoma is present (Burke, 1999; Craik, 1966) and therefore might have a similar explanation. In all three cases, the region with reduced sensitivity was perceived as dark when viewed against a bright background and light when viewed against a dark background, which can be explained by reduced activity in the on and off pathways, respectively. If RGCs that should be firing when viewing a bright field are silent, then that silence would be interpreted by the brain as a region that is less bright (i.e. relatively dark). Similarly, if cells are silent when viewing a dark field, that silence would be interpreted as being less dark (i.e. relatively bright) (Carpenter, 1972).

Conclusion

The functional and structural changes that accompany a CWS support the local hypoperfusion hypothesis (McLeod, 2005). The ischemia leads to failed signal transmission as well as failed axoplasmic flow in the hypoperfused RGC fibers. The ischemia also produced a permanent loss of function and reductions in RNFL thickness, presumably due to cell death of the RGCs located at the CWS site and of the RGCs that send axons through the hypoperfused region. Some axons passing through the CWS site seemed to survive the vascular event and for some the loss of function was temporary.

If you do a quick search on cotton wool spots you can see they are linked to many diseases, immune and inflammatory conditions and infections. They are believed to occur secondary to ischemia from retinal arteriole obstruction.

I am not suggesting everyone on here has cotton wool spots. I have spoken to 3 people here who have had the same symptoms (blink spots) and have been diagnosed with different conditions, AZOOR, diabetes and visual snow. It is my strong belief that our different conditions are leading to the same symptoms and we each need to find out what the underlying cause of our blink spots are to treat them.
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starryeyed84 - Good post, I have read it before. I have had confirmed CWS one exam, but not on others. I'm not going to list the extensive tests, but all blood work (including hba1c) and eye tests have come back negative. The eye specialists always seemed to shrug off the CWS because I have no other systemic symptoms that they could find. I'v been told it could be something that is a mild autoimmune condition, but told  unlikely, but never the less I haven't gone back for further tests.  
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starryeyed84 - Just to add further, I and others would certainly not be posting in this room if they had CWS caused by retinal arteriole obstruction, that usually makes you 70% blind in one eye, with little recovery. I believe these vascular issues are at the capillary level and can be caused by a number of conditions as you stated. However, as I keep being told, if it was something serious, then I would have other systemic issues. Id say the same for others with these symptoms as well.
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Cotton wool spots are a retinal symptom in diabetic retinopathy.
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Can someone explain why we can only see the bright spot against a bright background? Why can't I see it when my eyes are shut?

When I get migraines with aura (or even an ocular migraine) I can still see the aura with my eyes closed just as good-if not better.

So does this "spot" originate in the eye? Have nothing to do with the brain?

I've noticed my spots since last summer. A few months later went to an ophthalmologist, full dilated exam, visual field test, eyes are healthy with a few floaters.

I had a head CT also for an unrelated incident which came back clean so I know it's nothing scary like a brain tumor. I'm a hypochondriac so of course my thoughts always go there.

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Hello everyone,
can't tell you how I feel right now. Terrified? Relieved? I'm from Germany, 24 years old and female.
Three years ago I studied in front of my computer. It was past midnight when I was so tired that I decided to go to sleep. So I bent down to turn of the electricity and when I came up I thought I saw an afterimage of looking into a light. Clearly this didn't seem right since there was no bright light in my room. After some time I started to panic because the grey spot would not go away. I woke up my mom and we drove to a hospital. They found nothing but at first thought it had to be caused by a small inflammation...and I would perhaps have multiple sclerosis.
So I was sent to a neurologist. They did everything possible and found nothing.
Next stop was an ophtalmic clinic. Again nothing.
I went to more doctors for further opinions. They did everything they could (fluorescein angiography, several mri...and I think everything you guys mentioned before).
All this gave me heavy depressions, but after some time I managed to ive with the grey spot. It is a very big sport and I can easily hide my mouse cursor behind it (could hide more than one). It is grey and permanent, but it also somehow manages to take on the colours of the surroundings a little.
Well like I said, I managed to become my old self again, even though there were new spots everyday, but the dissapeared after a short while. Inly the big first one stayed.

Now, five days ago I got another one on the other eye. I don't know what to do. At first I thought it would just vanish like the other ones. But it's still there. I really don't know how to go on with life anymore. Now that I know there will be more permament ones as life passes on I really don't know how to go on. Going blind is my biggest fear in life.
The smaller new spot is mostly similar to the old one. Except that it is smaller and I can't really hide anything behind it. I can see the big on on every backround, although it fades a little but in general it stays grey. The new small one does not stay. Only if I hold it between a black and white coloured place. Then it's greyish strange.

I still had hopes that it would go away, but after reading in this forum they are gone. Although it was kind of good knowing there are people with similar problems.
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:( I'm also extremely scared of going blind, I get panic attacks and cry when a new spot appears. I got 7 permanent ones in 3 years but none of them are big like yours and mine are only visible where light and dark things meet (I don't know why and what that means). Doctors found nothing, I still should go to a retina specialist but I honestly don't know if I should waste a whole month of my income on it and get no diagnosis in the end... I just try my best to forget about it and live a healthy lifestyle, eating vegetables, exercising, relaxing and resting my eyes during comupter work have reduced my temporary spots. I know it's hard to stay calm but I'm pretty sure stress makes everything worse. Like Starryeyed said, no one has reported significant vision loss from this, so I'm crossing my fingers for us!
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I think that if this was a serious eye disease that lead to blindness like macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy etc it would be well established in the medical literature, have a name and would be diagnosed by doctors. These blink spots and scotoma although upsetting and annoying are visual defects with different causes. Read the post above about cotton wool spots causing tiny visual defects exactly like ours. Living a healthy life is an excellent place to start in the treatment of these symptoms. 800 mg magnesium has stopped the transient white spots for me haven't had any for a few days now.    
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Has anyone experienced significant vision loss from this? My husband experiences the same symptoms and is really nervous about the future. His current retinal specialist and a neuro-opthamologist do not se anything that could be causing the physical symptoms. He has an appointment with Dr. Vavvas in early July.
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Hi I have had read every post on this board and no one has reported significant vision loss from this phenomenon. What ever it is it doesn't appear to be sight threatening. Tell your husband to start taking high doses of magnesium it seems to help some people on here and it is working for me. I have gone from having lots of transient white spots in my vision to only one or two a day. My two little scotoma remain but seem to be slowly getting better and not so noticeable. I take 600mg of magnesium citrate 200mg chelated magnesium orally plus I use magnesium mineral oil spray and bathe in epsom salts. I'm still waiting to be seen by an ophthalmologist but I've started to not be so worried by this now Also your husband should go get tested for diabetes/hypertension to rule out retinopathy.
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Well, I failed to mention, he is a T1 diabetic for 37 years and he does have mild-moderate background retinopathy. The issue is that his opthamologist, whose name I won't mention here but is one of the best in Boston if not the country, can't find any damage to correlate with the scotomas or the white spots. Even he said he doesn't think it's the retinopathy. His is far too mild and peripheral to cause what he's seeing. He's also been checked for AMD, has had an MRI/MRA, countless flourosine tests and OCTs. He's also seen a neurologist, a nuero opthamologist and a autonomic specialist. No one can find anything that would be causing this. He is taking 500 mg of magnesium a day, plus gingko.
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As I've stressed here on the board before: Everyone get a blood test done! A1C / Blood Pressure. The eyes tell us deeper things about our body that many times go beyond the retinas and show up in the blood.
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I don't know if this is related, but about 11 days ago I started "seeing stars" in the left side of my left eye. This developed into a scotoma over the optical head nerve(or "the blind spot"). This scotoma only shows up when I blink or stare at something very bright. The "seeing stars" has lasted and is just a constant faint shimmering on the lower left half of my vision.
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I forgot to mention I went to my local optometrist and took a visual field and a few other retinal exams while dilated. He says he saw nothing in my eye except maybe a slight discoloration of the blood vessels. He had me to go an urgent care to make sure I wasn't having a stroke. He referred me to a neurologist, and I am waiting MRI results.
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Get a blood test...
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Sillocan, has AZOOR been considered?
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Folks a large majority of you with all due respect won't know what's going on til you get a thorough blood test. The eyes tell us what's wrong with the rest of our body.
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Lazman305 iv had all the blood tests, they never showed anything for me. I also get them iv i eat too much. Soneone also mentioned "flanners syndrome" in previous posts which sounded a possible diagnosis.
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Typo: Flammers Syndrome.
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