I'm a 40 year old male, non-smoker, maybe have a beer every 6 months or so and work out regularly. I'm nearsighted (can't remember the exact prescription but it's around the -4 to -6 range in both eyes). A couple days ago I started noticing a flash, almost like an afterimage from a camera flash, just a small circular area in my lower left peripheral vision when blinking and in my right eye only. Couldn't see it any other time, sounds a lot like the "mystery" spot others on this forum seem to have.
Anyway, I went to get it checked today, my regular Dr. was booked so I saw the optometrist on staff. After all the usual tests, dilation, pressure checks, etc he checked both my retinas and could see no evidence of tears or detatchments. I do feel some sinus pressure and think an infection may be coming on and he thought that might possibly be causing the flashing spot (which isn't as noticable today as it was Wednesday). He didn't really seem to be too concerned it was anything serious, but did notice that I have an intra-retinal aneurysm in my right eye and asked if I had a history of diabetes or hypertension (which I don't.) He took a photo of it to show me and had my regular opthamologist come over to take a look also. Unfortunately the opthamologist didn't get to see the actual photo as he had to go see another patient and was going to come back after I left. No other abnormalities were noted and my left eye was normal. I have a follow-up with my opthamologist in a couple weeks to see if it has disappeared.
How common are these in people my age? The optometrist thought it was fairly strange that I have one and that's got me concerned something more serious may be going on?? He did ask if I had been doing any heavy workouts ( I did an hour of Kenpo Karate about 1 week ago and have been riding my exercise bike plus pushups, abdominal exercises, etc) a couple times before my visit today. Could strenous workouts cause this?
The answer is yes, the strenous workouts could possibly be related, especially if you really strain and have some tendency toward high blood pressure. I don't know your overall health history and this is just a very general assesment on my part. Taking a blood thinner like aspirin could also be related. Please talk it all over with your ophthalmologist and make sure your primary care doctor checks you out to make sure your health and blood pressure and blood work are all OK.
I would recommend that you seek the care of an internal medicine doctor and begin a work up for diabetes and high blood pressure to determine whether any abnormalities are causing this. You may also call your doctor’s office to ask what your ophthalmologist recommends as well.
Sandy T. Feldman, M.D., M.S.
ClearView Eye and Laser Medical Center
San Diego, California
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