Eye Care Expert Forum
Never ending streaks of light!
About This Forum:

Our Ask-A-Doctor Eye Care Forum is where you can post your question and receive a personal answer from physicians affiliated with the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Never ending streaks of light!

For the past 6 weeks, I have been experiencing, what I perceive as, streaks of light in both my eyes.  

90% of the time it is in my right eye, 10% in my left.  The streak lasts for a split second, it is hard to tell what it looks like, but it is ALWAYS the same streak in the same spot (in the centre of my vision)- even when it happens in the left eye, it appears to be the exact same streak as in the right.  I also have noticed floaters in my left eye that started around the same time.

I went to an optomistrist who took my concerns very seriously & did a complete dialation examination.  He said that he could see some floaters, but no tear or retna damage in either eye.  He said that what I was most likely having visual migraines.  However, the symptoms didn't match up with my experience.

The streak flashes that I am experiencing are consistent throughout the day, they appear all day, every day- at least once an hour, sometimes several in a few minutes.  Sometimes I feel that they happen when I blink, but other times I see it when I have eyes open have have certainly not moved  my eyelids.  They sometimes appear like a blurry streak that I can see through.

I have read that floaters & flashes can go hand in hand, but have not seen a similar description of the streak flashes that I am experiencing.  I should mention that I have better than 20/20 vision- tested most recently at the dialation examination, and have no other existing medical conditions.  I did go through a very difficult delivery of my first child about six months ago.  My son got stuck (shoulder dystotia) and I pushed so hard that I broke hundreds of blood vessels in my face.  Is there any possibility that this pressure caused the floaters and or flashes?  

I am starting to worry that this is more than an eye problem, and that perhaps I have something wrong with my brain.  However, I have no other symptoms other than the streak flash in my eye that just won't quit!  Please help!    
Related Discussions
517208_tn?1211644466
It is possible that you have had a posterior vitreous detachment of the eye and now have floaters. Thes spots can be annoying at first but over time become less noticeable.  When the vitreous separates from the retina,  light flashes can occur and it may be associated with traction on the retina.  Retinal tears, holes, hemorrhages, and/or retinal detachment may ensue which is why a dilated examination is necessary.  I would recommend getting rechecked by an retinal specialist and again, in four to six weeks.  
13 Comments
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
You should always see an MD, not optometrist.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
My retinal detachment was preceded by PVD. My ophthalmolgost dod not eve tell me I had PVD. Minimized my flashing light, even though I was high risk.

I lost 80% of my vision in that eye, as a result.

Also, my retinologist was going to do nothing to protect my other eye, until I woke him up during a visit one day, tugged on his coat, and bent his elbow.

He lasered my other eye, only because I prompted him. I think it could work out, because I have had PVD. Research says not to 360 laser with no PVD.

My doctor tried to tell me unequivocally that my second retina would not detach. I said nothing. I do not believe that. I am always "watching "both eyes.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for answering my question.  I have an appt. with an Opthamologist this week.  What is the difference between a Retinal specialist and an Opthamologist?

The previously seen Optomitrist gave me a fact sheet on signs of retinal detatchment, and offered his best advice to get to Emergency if I havd any symptoms, flashes like a camera flash in peripheral vision, the visual of a curtain coming over the eye etc.  My symptoms remain the same, unchanged.  But, I am now aware that these symptoms can preceed a serious event such as retinal detatchment.  

While I have perfect vision (I'm 32 yrs old), isn't it strange to have this condition when I have no existing contributing factors- is the extreme pressure I experienced during delivery of my son a possible contributing factor, or is that totaly impossible?

Thanks again for your time

Blank
203589_tn?1267478770
An opthalmologist is an eye M.D. Opthalmologists can choose to specialize in a certain field which pertains to different aspects of the eye. A retinal specialist is an eye M.D. (opthalmologist) who specializes in treating retinal and vitreous problems, including retinal detachments, diabetic retinopathy, macular holes, etc.

Delivering of your son is likely not a contributing factor.
Some of the major contributing factors to RDs' are:
     High degree of myopia
     Family history of RD
     RD in fellow eye
     Cataract surgery
  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have exactly the same- in central vision, very short in duration, I am 30 years old female. I have them already 2 years :( and I'm worried about my brain too.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Sveti, what does your ophthalmologist say about your flashes? PVD flashes can continue for some time following PVD, but I have never heard of PVD flashes in the central vision, but I am not a doctor.

Ladiebirdie, my PVD flashes were very similar to yours. You a a helpful optometrist, both of you.

Take care of your eyes, with your doctor's help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dear Anna, ladiebirdie also has flashes in the central vision.  Yours were in the peripheral vision or in the central?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi there, yes, these flashes are always in my central vision, never peripheral...  I see the othamologist on Thursday morning, will update you on outcome.  However, after having these streaks for 6 weeks plus, I think I'm actually seeing them less frequently now.  I find this whole thing very strange, especially since I don't fall into any of the high risk categories for PVD.  Thanks for your feedback!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dear ladybirdie, plese, don't forget to write back when you see the othamologist. Last year my flashes were more frequent, now- once a day, or once a week. I'm short-sighted but my sight didn't become worse. I don't stop thinking about dangerous brain conditions :((( although I am in a good health. These flashes are driving me mad.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Mine were always in the peripheral vision. The swirling dots at the time my retina detached, were in the central vision and in the periphery, I now remember that at the scariest point, there were lights in the central vision, as well as in the periphery,
I am describing detachment, however.

We do no want you two to have that experience,
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Well, I saw the opthamologist today, and had a thorough 1 hr. examination.  There is no tear or possible detatchment, not even a diagnosis of PVD.  The Dr. can find absolutely NOTHING wrong with my eyes, or any reason to worry.  He said that having flashes in the central vision is not very common.  His final statement was that he believes that I am simply more sensitive visually to the workings of the eyes, and for some reason are noticeing things that were unoticed before.  He asked me to wait six months, especially since the streak flashes are beginning to happen less frequently.  If the flashes are still happening in six months, he is recommending a Neurologist.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hallo, ladybirdie, it's good to know that nothing is wrong with your eyes. Wish you luck and all the best.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
233488_tn?1310696703
John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
Discover Vision Centers of Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
2078052_tn?1331936700
Doreen Fazio, M.D.Blank
Amerisight Institute and Valley Eye Center
Van Nuys, CA
1731421_tn?1358826971
Timothy D McGarity, M.D.Blank
Timothy D. McGarity, M.D. P.C.
Columbia, MO
711220_tn?1251894727
Ray T Oyakawa, MDBlank
Sharper Vision Centers
Torrance, CA
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
2 hrs ago by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank