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"Kaleidoscope eye"
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"Kaleidoscope eye"

Hi - I am a 58yo male and wear multifocal specs and use computers a lot in my work. For several years I have experienced bouts of a particular disturbance in both eyes at the same time. It starts out as a small prism like effect which gradually spirals in my vision - then after a few minutes it slowly dissipates. The effect really isnt in my eyesight as it is still there when I close my eyes and cannot be blocked out. I sit quietly, avoid light and have a drink of water during the episodes. I dont experience any especial pains such as migraines etc and seem to fully recover. I think it may be related to lack of electrolytes and mild dehydration but would like some guidance onthe possible causes. I know of only one other person who has the same symptoms but hers goes on to be a migraine. Any thoughts please?
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233488_tn?1310696703
That is a classical description of eye migraine (often has no headache) but in a small percentage it can be due to diesease of the brain, heart and blood vessels.

Use the search feature, archives and health topics to review the many discussions of ophthalmic migraine.

Then make an appointment with an Eye MD for an exam and to rule out eye migraine or transient ischemic attack.

JCH III MD
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752584_tn?1233697582
Tonight I had the same thing happen. 2 days ago I had a brain angiogram after having been in an RTA 4 months ago with serious head injuries. The results came back fine, with no aparent weaknesses. I spoke to my cousin who also had a brain angio before Xmas & she has these visual episodes semi frequently. I have no idea whether to be worried, contact the neurosurgery dept where I had it done, or just get on with things. Ive never had anything like this before. Hmmm... Any ideas?
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233488_tn?1310696703
The approach to this is ONE rule out organic disease of eye, brain, heart and blood vessels.  If negative TWO make diagnosis of migraine (if not headache) eye migraine if headache then classic migraine.  TREAT MIGRAINE if frequent attacks.

JCH MD
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752584_tn?1233697582
I spoke to the doctor who carried out the Angio & he refused to link the Angio procedure I'd had with the visions I had 3 days later. This may have been easier to accept if my cousin, after her angiograms, had not had exactly the same visions. I was just concerned there may be a weakness after my Angio. I have an appointment with an Eye consultant on Thursday although Im not sure he will be able to shed any light on the subject.
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233488_tn?1310696703
I would say that if the symptoms occured within 24 hours of an angiogram then that might be the cause but 3 days later I would agree with what you were told. No likely.
JCH MD
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been having these same "visions" for years and each time I ask my eye Dr. about it he  dismisses it and says it's nothing. Mine don't swirl around my eye but stay to the edge of my periphery and appear as long sqiggiley kaleidoscope shapes. Happens in both eyes only rarely at the same time. They last anywhere form 10 to 60+ minutes. Is there ANYTHING I can do about them? Medications, Supplements, etc?
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233488_tn?1310696703
See a neurologist. There are medications both to prevent from occurring as well as to abort an attack as it starts.  With a history like that its almost always eye migraines which often do not have headache.

JHCH MD
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Avatar_f_tn
I have exactly the same symptoms described by morgar. I am 62 years old, female and also a computer for hours on end in my work. The 'flash' is in both eyes at once, and I had the same reaction as morgar, I go in the dark, lie down and wait. The kaleidoscope starts very small, but within seconds I can't see, vision seems to blur. In about 10 minutes, the circle grows larger and eventually disappears. No pain of any kind. This kaleidoscope effect started a few months ago. I saw my eye doctor recently, who immediately said she could do nothing about that and to see my general practitioner. Apparently the problem is not in the eyes, but in the brain. Can my GP prescribe something for this?
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Avatar_f_tn
For a several years I've also experienced these squiggly shaped things in the corner of my right eye (its ALWAYS my right eye). At first its a very short squiggly line  then it starts to lengthen. I can see objects, and their colors, but the little squiggly line distorts the image.... its like a thick squiggly line of broken glass... that fit together like a puzzle... ( i know it sounds wierd but that's the only way I can explain it) ....And then it'll disappear. A few minutes later I'll have a HUGE headache with nausea.... I usually take Advil right when the squiggly line appears and try to find a dark place to sleep and rest my eyes BEFORE the headache starts because its the only way I've found that helps with the pain... Why do I get this? Is there anything in particular that causes this and what can I do to prevent it or stop it once it starts?
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Avatar_n_tn
I am having an episode right now.  It has been several years since I had one.  I'm 60 years old, and work at a computer most of the day for the past 18 years.  I have no pain with this, and it appears in both eyes, and starts out small and continues getting larger until it is gone.  Is there anything that can be done for this?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been having this for years,It starts as blurry vision in one eye or the other,then the  kalidoscope spinning starts out small then gets larger and last for about 15 minutes , i also feel weak and shaky. i have a badly damaged neck, i always think it is a pinched nerve, it seems to subside quicker when i start moving my neck around a little bit, just wondering what you think about the nerve thing, coulld it possiblly be the problem.
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1741528_tn?1311022960
Im a fit forty year old male who has lost a spleen punctured a lung and broke 8 ribs in a motorcycle accident over 10 years ago, since then have had a heart attack (2 years ago) which no one can explain why and also lens replacement in my left eye for reasons no one can tell me.I now too have the exact kalidoscope effect for the exact same durations sometimes with headache. Has not happend for a few Weeks until today. Have spoken to heart specialist and neurologist no one knows,What to do? Seems everything that happens to me is totally unknown by doctors so i get treated for the symtoms (symptoms) even though there are no hard facts as to why i should be on the medication given,..guess its just better for me to have been on them so docs have covered there bases if i keel over!! Im concerned many "doctors" know little about a lot still! But still charge you for not knowing?? Seems ridiculous. Guess we have to wait till it gets serious enough and to enough people....goodluck all!

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Avatar_m_tn
Yours sounds like a classic aura to a migraine - I have had the same effect and if I have taken my migraine medication and found a dark cool place to lie and close my eyes during the kaleidescope effect before any pain hits, I can pre-emptively get rid of the migraine. You should start your medicine immediately when that effect begins so that you can avoid the headache and throwing up. It has greatly improved my migraine management, getting this aura ahead of time. Before, I didn't get any warning and then I had all the symptoms, throwing up, light sensitivity, unsteady on my feet, etc.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm glad I have found others that have had the same symptoms I just did for the first time.  I have a history of migraines which I control with Imitrex when I feel them coming on but I have never had a sudden vision of a light show in my right eye.  I understand now it is a visual kalidoscope. I had colorful rigged puzzle looking flashing half circled images appear with no warning blocking my vision.  When I closed my eyes I could still see & in both eyes but the image only appeared in the right.  Very unusual & disturbing! Finally after about 10 minutes it subsided & my eye was warm & blurry and I have a dull headache.  I has debating on going to the doctor but it went away like my husband said it would but I'm afraid of ignoring the fact that it happened. I'm 34 & never had this with my history of migraines.  I hope it is not neurolgical.
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1555870_tn?1342997881
OMG, Morgar I feel as though I could have witten the (your) question.. I experience ALL your symtoms (symptoms).. Im 59-yrs having these episodes off & on for so many yrs.. years apart until just latley.. had one just today, and 2-days ago thats rare for me.. I do have many auto-immune/  just Dx with Lupus.. the only pattern (maybe) is when i feel stressed ? I can see them with eyes open & better closed.. also I look at anything, and I can only see 1/2 of it.. other 1/2 is all triangles, squares, no colors, just outlines of bright lights...if i keep eyes closed i can see them move till they seem to move to back of head ?  I can't believe how many others have same. And you exactly .. wth is it ?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Sunny today i had my !st one n it frightened the life out of my, I thought id looked at the sun then it just got bigger and bigger felt really disorientated. i laid down it eventually took an hour to go into the back of my head (thats wot it felt like) now have a fuzzy head feel bit sicky and feel like im echoing in my own head  i know its not nice but i glad i not the only one x
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for taking the time to post your experience. I am 55 yr old male and been having this happen for a couple of years. I have no pain or discomfort just frustrating until it goes away. I can see something like moving lights  all around my peripheral vision and seems to block out that vision but as I try to look directly at it it moves away. (not a very good description but it is hard to describe) At times it seems like the light will take over my sight completely but it never does. It has the sensation of constant movement and I can detect slight color as from a prism refracting light. Lasts about 15 minutes to a half hour, It happens sometimes when I am driving. I would like to know what is causing it but I am a little afraid  that it could be serious. It"s strange because when it is happening I feel completely at ease. no panic.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow! I finally found others that have the same problem.   I am 63 years old and I have had what I call the “Peripheral Kaleidoscope” effect around my vision for about 5 years.  It only occurs a few times a year with no pain associated with it but it is unnerving. I have spoke with a few physicians about it and it seems no one can tell me about it.  Now that I have found some scant information on this site, I will follow up on it. Thanks for everyone's imput on this site.
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Avatar_m_tn
hey, your experience is exactly like mine.  What happened, did u find out anything?
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Avatar_m_tn
This describes exactly what happened to me about a week ago!
I too would like to know if you find anything out about it. It was on the right side of my vision, but I could also 'see'  it with my left eye and even when my eyes were closed. It was like a 'v' on its side pointing outwards. It seemed to be revolving like a DNA spiral. The very tip of the 'v' seemed sky blue, almost like a rear vision mirror on a car.
Karen
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Avatar_f_tn
i have been having the same symptoms as to everyones posts, i have it so bad at time while driving i have to pull over, no headaches but it is annoying as can be, i close my eyes and its still there, i close my eyes for about 10 to 20 minutes and it just goes away, it is happening more often to me tho getting a little worried that something is going on and it isn't my eyes i thinks its in my brain, i am going to seek my doctor advice tho, better to be safe than sorry, getting more than worried quite frankly getting scared to be honest. just had an episode a few moments ago, but im ok now to type. Hope we can find answers to this weird thing going on in our vision.
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Avatar_m_tn
Go to http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/ocular-migraine.htm for a good overview of "ocular migraine."  I "suffer" from this and have nearly the same symptoms the posters here have described.  I say "suffer" in quotes because it's concerning, but once I read about it, I now know to just chill and wait.  I have tried to determine what triggers the episodes, but I've yet to find anything obvious.  "Stress" is probably the answer, but I've learned that I'm generally the WORST evaluator of my own stress :)
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Avatar_m_tn
It is such a relief to find so many people with exactly the same symptoms! I have had this for a week ago, like someone described it above as a "revolving DNA spiral" on my right hand side, starting small and getting bigger, like a prism effect, sort of shards of glass reflecting in a long, snake type, revolving line in light blue, orange, black and white. It stays for about ten minutes and then goes.
The only thing I did notice is that it seems to be accompanied by tinnitus.
Weird.
I will take a look at the link posted above by Plugh, which will hopefully put my mind at ease :)
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 55. I have been having these brilliant blazing geometric shapes taking over my vision for a number of years. When I have mine my ears scream with ringing, I feel weak and sick and the blood vein on the left temple bulges out. Usually lasts 10-15 minutes but has been 30 and counting. I am in the middle of an episode right now and I do not feel well. It has been 2 years since I experienced this. I guess I am making up for lost time.
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Avatar_f_tn
Today I experienced the exact same thing. Thus is actually the forth time I can remember this happening to me. I work at a desk on a computer all day. While working my vision began to shift and change and it looked like there were breaks similar to broken glass in my vision. Then the colors and squiggly lines started happening. It is always in my left eye and it starts out small and then takes over my entire vision in that eye. I can close my eyes and our is still there. It usually goes away in about 15 to 20 minutes and then today after it stopped I had a headache and was extremely nauseous and it its over an hour later and I still  have the headache. The first time this happened I was rushed to the hospital and they could not determine what caused it and just said possibly be transient ischemic attack but they could not say for sure.  I too went and sat in a dark room and and drank water and prayed until it subsided and afterwards I felt really run down and had to come home from work. This has only happened four times since 08'....any suggestions for me
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Avatar_m_tn
I feel so very much better now after reading all your posts. I've had 2 bouts of this today so finally plucked up courage to do a search on it. Thanks to all your posts I can stop worrying. I have experience this for years but never told a soul as I knew it would clear itself soon and also that it wasn't my eyes due to the patterns being there when my eyes were shut tight. I don't suffer migraines but do suffer ocular ones. Weird but happy thats been answered with so many of you experiencing the exact same thing :o)
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Avatar_m_tn
I went to the ER 3 weeks ago after experiencing similar visual symptoms with  no history of migraines and after 2 MRIs and a biopsy have been diagnosed with a low grade brain tumor in my visual processing center. Dom't ignore your symptoms!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm 30 years old and have been having these same symptoms for a few years. Today happened to be the worst of all. It started out as a small prysim in the shape of a c in both eyes, it was really wavy and continued to grow bigger and bigger. It had me to the point of almost fainting. I had a slight headache with it. It lasted about 15 minutes.  Even when I closed my eyes it was still there. I went to my eye doctor about it and he said its just eye dryness and I'm too young to have any kind of the symptoms I am describing. I know what eye dryness is and I do not have it.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the same eye issue, exactly. what did your dr say?  thanks becky
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Avatar_f_tn
4 days ago, I had a sharp pain above my left temple. It was not a headache or migraine. I had not felt anything like it. It dropped me to only being able to lay on my right side and be still. It started as a sharp deep pain and then dulled but hurt deeply... the skin around my temple became very sensitive to touch... It lasted for about 6 hours. I had taken Aleve and it did not help.. Aleve always helps any headache or start of a migraine for me. I have been diagnosed progressively with RA in 1994, Lupus in 2006, Sjogren's in 2010 and Vitiligo in 2011. Today, I felt something odd in my left eye... I can't describe what it felt like in words... Then, my vision in my left eye was like looking through a vertical v-shaped prism... it is making me feel off-balance and like things are totally distorted. Been going on for about 30 mins. now and feels like things are distortedly glowing :X Thinking of going to ER later, after my 13 year old son takes college exam at 2pm - but concerned with driving.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been told by my friend who is a nurse that the Kaleidoscope-eye effect as described above by many folks is caused in the intestines when some type of oil or a element to which we might be allergic to goes to a certain part in the intestines which has a spasm creating a blood vessel to raise its blood pressure to the optical apparatus causing this kaleidoscope in our eyes, in my case followed by a severe headache, stomach irritation which can take several days to cure, when I experience this situation I drink a lot of water and try to relieve myself doing a number 2, by trial en error it allways happens about a day or 2 after I ate a meal that may have ingretients that Im alergic (allergic) to, I will further research this topic.
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Avatar_m_tn
This is all very interesting. I've had migraines for years. Usually I have sudden onset type of migraine. I've had auras, too, when younger. I've had this before... but it's been awhile. Today, I was in front of my smaller laptop and could hear my heartbeat in my head... bp, I guess. I don't usually have high bp either. Almost as I was increasingly becoming aware of this 'beating sound' in my head, I thought I had something in my eye. Maybe a floater, is what I was thinking. Then my Left eye first started seeing a zig-zag, squiggly lines, that looked like prisms appear across my eye, then moved to the outter rim of my eye... then the same appeared in my right eye. I thought I needed a break.. washed my eyes... went outside for a few minutes... came back inside and the prisms were just 'twinkling and annoying as heck'. I couldn't rub them away or blink them away. I decided to Google 'squiggly prism vision' and found this page. Calming myself down after reading all of these responses, I took a 100mg imitrex and waited this thing out. It's take about 25 minutes... but it's ebbed away. I don't hear my bp, but I do feel pressure like I'm going to be sick. I ate part of a pork chop last night that I didn't really like and felt nauseous. Never got sick. I know the meat was good, it just didn't agree with me. It's been a long time since this has happened, yet it is disconcerting, to say the least. I'll bookmark this site if anyone has any insight. I see a neurologist regularly for occipital nerve blocks for migraines. I'll ask him about this the next time I go into the office. It'll be a few months unless something else happens. Thanks for posting. (I'm feeling very nauseous... but no real headache to speak of.)
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Avatar_f_tn
Sunny169, have you had your optic nerves checked? I had got bumped in the eye with a tree branch while gardening. First symptoms were pain for days, edema in eye, iritis and then they said my optic nerve head was swollen and sent me for a brain scan to be sure a tumor wasn't pressing on it.   The test was okay, the doctor decided my optic nerve was damaged with a pale palor! Irreversible. I have a blind spot in the lower part of my right eye.  I too see these geometric patterns with black in between and orange background when I close my eyes at night laying in bed. I expect them now after over a month! They go away  in about 10 minutes. I have asked the specialist but not sure his reply as it is so hard to explain my right eye is like a kaleidoscope!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
THAT'S IT!!!!   Thanks for the link!
Finally a (crude) animation of what this looks like!  Mine is in dazzling color as well and in both eyes at the same time, so it really isn't in the eye.
I am type 1 diabetic, quit smoking in 2010 (yeah!!!), unemployed (stress)... so these don't help with the triggers.
I do get a mild headache about 1 day later after this happens.
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Avatar_m_tn
This is the only answer that makes sense so far to me. I've had this problem off and on. No pain, just the kaleidoscopic lights. No migraine. I'm in perfect health, no stress (retired), do spend some time on the computer every day, but that does not seem to be related.
I do make an interesting smoothie most every day, with all kinds of ingredients (at least 24, whatever I can get my hands on). The 'lights' happened in the last 2 days again, shortly after drinking the smoothie. An allergic reaction might be the problem. I'll have to replace and delete ingredients until I find out which one is bothering my system.
Yesterday it happened while playing competitive tennis. I played right through it. No weakness, no problems. Just a little harder tracking the ball. It took about 2 games (which I won). Focus is the thing to do, not feeling like a victim.
Bodily functions are all interrelated. Intestinal problems may trigger reactions anywhere in your system, look at acupuncture for example to see that interrelatedness. A lot goes on in your guts, they are the center of your immune system, and a whole lot more.

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Avatar_f_tn
I am having withdraw headaches which my doctors are watching me but i had black and white snowflake patterns  when my eyes was closed no pain is it something to worry about
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Avatar_f_tn
My eye doctor told me I was experiencing an optical migraine.. which is the same as a conventional migraine, but without the pain.  No pain, but vision issues and nausea..   He didn't suggest any treatment.. other than to avoid the triggers.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, same here,just went through this about an hour ago and that link (the one provided by plugh) took me to that animation.I am a 60 year old male,this began with my left (weak) eye and progressed to my right eye, mostly on my left eye on the upper left quadrant.It is gone now but it did scare me,no pain or migraine headache so far. Thanks!!! JJ
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Avatar_m_tn
My husband gets this in both eyes off and on and he said that he forces himself to burb and he says the burbs are deep down and it makes it go away.
When he was a teenager he said that sometimes the bus would stop at Burger King and aftertaste he first experienced the kaleidoscope effect.  Indigestion seems to be his link!
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