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Strange flashing in eye - Twice
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Strange flashing in eye - Twice

I had a very strange problem which started about six weeks ago.

I was looking at my computer screen one morning.  Just in my right eye, I noticed a blind spot straight ahead, in the dead center of my field of vision.

The blind spot slowly became a silvery-yellow line, covering about 60% around the perimeter of a circle in the center of my field of vision.  The circle started throbbing slightly with my pulse.  After about 30-45 minutes, it went away.

When this happened for the first time, I had a slight sinus flare-up and a mild headache, so I chalked it up to that.

About two weeks later, it happened again.  This time, I had no headache.  It came out of the blue.

Both times were at about 8:30 in the morning.  Ever since then, my eye muscles have been aching slightly, and have been rather sore.

I've seen eye specialists in the UK, and none of them can find anything wrong.  My retinas and maculae are in perfect condition, and the pressure in my eyes (12R, 14L, if that means anything) is completely within the normal bounds.

I'm very concerned because there is no logical explanation for these symptoms.  I've never had migraines and have no immediate health problems.

Any ideas what's wrong?

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This is a very common problem and complaint from posters on this AAO Eyecare Website. The problem statistically is most like a variant of eye migraine also know as ophthalmic migraine. These may or may not have headache associated with them. If you eyes have been checked you need to rule out heart, blood vessel and neurological disease before you conclude these are benign and harmless. I suggest you consult a neurologist.

Please use the search feature of this page and look up "Ophthalmic migraine", "eye migraine" and "Transient ischemic attacks"

Diabetes would not cause this type of problem. In severe hypoglycemia there can be an overal dimming of vision.

One more thing: I am a 30-year-old male.  Diabetes runs in my family but I am very healthy and eat well.
Didn't your eye specialists mention ocular migraines? It would be very surprising if they didn't.

I had no idea that I was a migraineur until I had my first ocular migraine, out of the blue, at age 42. Yours sounds similar to mine--small blind spot that turned into a "block letter C" filled with flashing facets of light, slowly expanding out and upward over the course of half an hour. Classic ocular migraine!

In the following months I had 2 more of them, none since. None were followed by headache. Migraines can take very different forms, even in the same person, over a person's lifetime. I now believe that the mild headaches I had in high school and the nausea episodes I had later in life were also forms of migraine. Arm tingling is another common migraine manifestation.

Migraines DO NOT have to involve headaches. And they run very heavily in families. Any family history of migraine?

Nancy T.
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This Forum's Experts
Ray T Oyakawa, MDBlank
Sharper Vision Centers
Torrance, CA
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