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Retinal burns from reflected sunlight?
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Retinal burns from reflected sunlight?

28, male, good health. The other day some time after 3 PM I was parking my car, but a car pulled up next to mine and kept adjusting forward and back in its spot. Naturally I had to wait for it to stop to get out, so I watched the car until it stopped (maybe 15 seconds). It had a couple-inch-high chrome decal that ran the length of the car that was reflecting sunlight into roughly the same spot in my vision, and I'm guessing I overrode the deflection/blink response in order to watch the guy's car (though I did have sunglasses on). I had afterimages that afternoon and I noticed that when I opened my eyes that night (in a near-dark room) that I had a momentary afterimage then, too. Now, a few days later, I seem to have a few small spots that appear when I look from one thing to another, but then fade. I might have a few more floaters too.

An eye doctor told me at my last checkup that I have very little pigment in the back of my eyes.

Do you think I've burned my retina or done some other permanent damage? Would my ophthalmologist be able to detect a retinal burn by comparing their past images of my eyes? Is there anything I should do for my eyes right now? In general, would having little pigment in the back of my eyes make me more susceptible to retinal burns?

Thank you for your time.
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334194_tn?1288293195

Yes, pigment is what protect you from the sun (melanin).  At your age this should not be an issue, unless you have something going on, or a genetic issue with some form of pigmentosa. So, they concluded you have little of it, but they did not investigate further?  Ie, check your cone/rod immediate responses etc.    Basically, if you have pigment issues, you need to protect your eyes from bright light to prevent oxidation.   I have similar issues as you, with horrible afterimages and extreme photophobia and photic stress.   It actually degenerates my ability to see light over time, and exposure speeds up that process.    You should get blue blocking sunglasses (from like NOIR medical) that makes these for a various range of eye conditions.   It's also vital to get the nutrients you need for the eyes (vitamin A (beta caroten), lutein, etc..).
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Avatar_m_tn
unlike to get a permanent damage by this event as many people in the world have to go through sunny days for various reasons.

If the pigment level is low get some eye supplements to correct the levels.
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Avatar_f_tn
They didn't really look into my low pigmentation at all -- they told me rather casually and just said I should wear sunglasses when out and about.

Some of the dots I'm seeing are like afterimages but without being caused by a bright light; for instance, I could be looking at something uniform (like a computer screen or a page in a book) and, when I look away, see a dark spot or blob for a second or two. It seems to be decreasing but it concerns me when it happens.

Thanks for the suggestions with the blue-blocking sunglasses and the nutrients. Fortunately my diet is rich in eggs and kale. If anything further occurs to you I'd be interested in hearing it.
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Avatar_f_tn
I didn't realize a supplement could correct pigment levels -- could you link me to more information? Thanks.
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334194_tn?1288293195

Des900: Right, and staring at the sun isn't dangerous?    Healthy eyes have no issues with normal sunlight.  Unhealthy, or otherwise compromised eyes can certainly take damage very easily from bright lights.  Why do you think they send you home, after a dilated exam, with dark shades? Why do they even bother to make UV blocking shades?  And no, you can't correct your pigment with supplements (melanin). You can't just eat melanin. Melanin is formed by melanocytes.  Melanin absorbs light, and protect from sunlight.   If you lack this, the math is pretty easy.

AaronAnte:
I have the same problem with afterimages; it does not have to be bright.  If I read a book, I can see the reverse text (blurry) for a while on anything I look at.    If I stare at a picture, I can see the uniform shape.  It does not have to be bright .....  I'm not so sure this has anything to do with the low pigmentation you have.   Low pigment can make you light sensitive...does lights make you uncomfortable, and seem brighter then before?   My pigment looks normal, yet I suffer from dazzling photobia, and the photostress you seem to have as well.


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Avatar_m_tn
Ask your ophthalmologist he/she will prescribe you some essential supplements for eye for retina health & always wear sunglasses due to this low pigment condition.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yeah, I definitely get the negative text when looking away from a page. What worried me after the parking lot incident -- though it seems to be decreasing -- was that I would get just a random dot or blob afterimage that corresponded to nothing: not a light or even a shape.

It's hard to gauge whether things seem brighter because I've been conspicuously avoiding bright lights of all kinds the last few days.

Incidentally, awhile back I was looking up the Bates method of eye exercises and came across a cringe-worthy treatment: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/File:BurningGlass.png. (Yes, that was done in sunlight!)

I'm guessing it's a good sign that a doctor hasn't commented here, in that they don't feel the incident I described is worth worrying about?
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334194_tn?1288293195

I'm familiar with the Bates theories, but damn..never seen that "procedure"..thats just insane.

Incidents / problems like yours are nothing but "SVP" to MDs.  Subjective visual problems.  In your case, atleast they could see something (low pigment) but probably can't relate that to your experiences lately.   I've had my problem for 15 years now, and it's now a slow progressing problem, without any clinical manifestations.  That doesn't mean it's not happening, but to MDs, it's not happening.   There is a large crowd out there with visually crippeling problems, that cannot be properly diagnosed.  

If it's a good thing or not that no MD has answered;  frankly, I don't think it matters, they probably would have no answers for you, besides "go have your eyes checked out."  As you already did that, they got nothing.    Most of us "x-filers" as I call it, are usually on our own.   I think the best you can do for now, is make sure you stay healthy, eat a good clean diet, avoid too much light exposure, and take good supplements.   Our eyes not only reflect our soul, but our health as well.   If you notice any other problems with your eyes, it's always good to have it checked to rule out the common diseases, but like I said ..not everything can be see by their tests.  
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334194_tn?1288293195

I'm familiar with the Bates theories, but damn..never seen that "procedure"..thats just insane.

Incidents / problems like yours are nothing but "SVP" to MDs.  Subjective visual problems.  In your case, atleast they could see something (low pigment) but probably can't relate that to your experiences lately.   I've had my problem for 15 years now, and it's now a slow progressing problem, without any clinical manifestations.  That doesn't mean it's not happening, but to MDs, it's not happening.   There is a large crowd out there with visually crippeling problems, that cannot be properly diagnosed.  

If it's a good thing or not that no MD has answered;  frankly, I don't think it matters, they probably would have no answers for you, besides "go have your eyes checked out."  As you already did that, they got nothing.    Most of us "x-filers" as I call it, are usually on our own.   I think the best you can do for now, is make sure you stay healthy, eat a good clean diet, avoid too much light exposure, and take good supplements.   Our eyes not only reflect our soul, but our health as well.   If you notice any other problems with your eyes, it's always good to have it checked to rule out the common diseases, but like I said ..not everything can be see by their tests.  
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Avatar_n_tn
My 10+ year problem has been relegated to the x-files too - scattered permanent scotomas through the visual fields of both eyes, that do not show up of any of their "objective tests. I have been told that it might be migraine-related, and to watch and wait.

Well, I'm kinda tired of waiting to go blind, tbh. I take supplements, eat well, exercise, shield my eyes from too much direct UV light ... but still experience high anxiety over what exactly is going on. It's sooo frustrating to be told, over and over, that my eyes LOOK healthy when clearly there is some kind of pathology, clinical signs of not.

Can I ask jelltp, what your symptoms are?
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