For the past month, I have been seeing black flashing spots...I see them in both the light and dark I see them as well. It's everyday throughout the day. I've had an MRI, EKG, EEG and a CT scan. No other symptoms. It started with a severe headache last month that was all over my head and down my neck- lasted for about 5 days and I have not had one since. Doctor thought it was viral/no headache since. I had at one point seen what looked like many gnats; which went away after about 30 secs. Now, since then, i've seen these spots. I saw the opthomologist who said my eyes/retinas look healthy ; she thought it's neurological. Neurologist proposed encephalitis or vasculitis, but he then said that he should have seen something with the MRI.
Will check for Lyme next. . Any advice would be so much appreciated!
HX: Reoccuring bladder infection symptoms for the past 2 yr; not a true infection everytime; was told I may have pelvic floor myaglia. Checked for LUPUS --ANA neg. I have endometriosis. Checked for fibro; arthritis panel somewhat elevated but was told no fibro. Recent chronic reflux problems; using nexium. Burning sensation in my lower left sife of my back--been told it's too far down to be related to the heartburn, but the nexium seems to help. In past 6 mo, have also dev. a red, inflammed patch on my nose that flares up- diagn. rosacea. Doesn't look like a butterfly like lupus, it's very localized to one spot. .-----Again any info at all, would be so deeply appreciated.
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
As you suggest above, intermittent visual symptoms can be neurologic or opthalmologic i.e. coming either from the brain or from the eye itself. In the setting of a normal MRI of the brain, a serious cause such as a tumor can be ruled out. Sometimes however, intermittent visual symptoms can be related to intermittent decreases in blood flow to the brain (TIA, or "mini-stroke". The visual symptoms are most often associated with other neurologic signs and symptoms but can occasionally occur in isolation. This would not necessarily show up on MRI of the brain, and would require some sort of vascular imaging: MRA, CT angiogram, or ultrasounds (TCD and carotid doppler) depending on your exact symptoms. If a vascular cause is ruled out, this is also ruling out the more serious causes. Migraine can cause intermittent visual symptoms, often flashing lights and/or loss of vision in a part of the visual field, but this would be unlikely to occur multiple times a day, and is usually followed by a headache.
If the neurologic work-up is normal, and if there is a normal rheumatologic work up including normal ANA, and if there is no evidence of hypercoagulable state (a tendency to clot, due to for example anti-phospholipid antibodies), then an opthalmologic cause, such as a retinal problem becomes a lot more likely.
I recommend continued follow up with both your neurologist and eye doctor.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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