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Flashing lights everywhere in sight

First I will give you my history. At 16 I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. I have been lucky and it has not progressed since diagnoses and my retina specialist said (4 weeks ago) that for having RP my eye is as healthy as can be. (I'm 29)

About 5 weeks ago I noticed an onset of flashes in my vision, like tiny pinholes everywhere. I also noticed they were mostly bothersome in my peripheral vision. I also noticed that  being an Rp patient, any issues with my peripheral vision alarm me. I went directly to my retina specialist who diagnosed me with a PVD in both eyes and nothing else. I went back 5 weeks later (last Thursday) and he said they were evolving but still there (I've since learned they will always be there). My question is, almost 6 weeks later my flashes are still there. It really bothers me in sunlight and dim light and really bothers my peripheral vision. Do you feel these stubborn flashes are just pvd? Why is it still bothering me if everything says the symptoms go away in 4-6 weeks? Is it neurological? My retina specialist didnt seem alarmed and did all the necessary OCT and other scans. It's hard for me to just 'not worry & wait' when your vision issues is something you can't escape or ignore!
15 Responses
233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
PVDs do not operate on time-tables like trains and planes. Most flashes due to PVD do go away in 4-6 weeks but I've had patients report flashes for many months. A physicians wife hit in the eye with a tennis ball reported flashes for at least 5 years and I can recall many that lasted more than a year. In those cases the warnings are flashes much more common, much more severe, increase of floaters or loss of peripheral vision.

I have had some PR patient report strange strings of flashes in their peripheral vision and we have attributed this to ischemic peripheral retina (not enough blood flow and RP damage to sight receptors).

JCH MD
Avatar universal
I completely understand that you are unable to diagnose me but I was wondering what you feel is causing the flashes. I had the retina specialist check twice over 5 weeks and he says it's the pvd. Do I leave it at that unless the flashes worsen? Do I let him know if the flashes  don't go away? What is my next step?   I greatly appreciate the advice
233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
If new symptoms develop or present worsen get in for an earlier exam.  I would call this week to inform him still have flashes.

JCH MD
Avatar universal
Hi, I will be going to see my eye Dr., this Friday, I've read your comment on the Eye Flashes, know I should talk about the flashes, I also get those strings of flashes to my right of my right eye, not sure but I guess it's alright to have written copied what you've said here, to show the Dr., that, I probably will immediately forget what is what to giving him the info! not good with medical words to all this, but I shall try to mention what I can! I Thank You, I Appreciate it about the copying your words for my eye Dr.! Sincerely, Twiggymarie  
233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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Avatar universal
I'm getting nervous now.  The flashes or sparkles are everywhere   I think I'm working myself up but they are there. Little sparkles that make me want to close my eyes in all lighting. I can't sleep. ,y vision is blurry now but maybe because its 3:40am. I'm so stressed I can't eat. What's going on??? I just had a check on Thursday and he said everything was fine. How can I live with thee sparkles and flashes? I'm going insane. Is my sight being stole right in front of me ???
233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Your best option is call the Eye MDs now. I can't tell what is happening on the internet. Call NOW
JCH MD
Avatar universal
Ok I went to try retina specialist right away.  This was the third time in 5 weeks (I'm crazy). He did a very detailed dilated exam and said macular looked good, eye pressure looked good, 20/20 vision, just seeing those PVDs. While I was sobbing in his office he said that it can take time for pvds to settle down and that we're doing the right thing by keeping an eye on it. It's just so scary.  2 months ago I could see and now I'm having so much trouble.  The glare from windows and lamps is awful. I just want to wake up and have it all gone :( it really messes with you :(
Avatar universal
He also said no cataracts.  Should I get a second opinion? Or give it time?
233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Given you've been 3 times I would suggest you get a second opinion. If you live in USA find another Eye MD near you at www.geteyesmart.org

JCH MD
Avatar universal
Ok.  I'm in Ohio.  I'll get a second opinion.  Do you think he's missing something?
233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
No way I can tell but you are distraught and need some reassurance that it's not serious.
JCH MD
Avatar universal
I'm 16 and was my doc told me that i might have keratoconus (spelling). But that he will be 100% sure after one more test.
and like 3 days ago when i was sitting at my laptop for a long time (i took breaks) i got blurred vision but it was fine after i slept and now i keep seeing like pinholes eveywhere i look (especially in dim light) i see it in bright light also. But its been 3 days and it doesnt seem to go away.
This is making me very anxious and adrenaline constantly pumping over my body. I'm begining to become afrain to even look.
WHATS HAPPENING TO ME.
And i know what floaters are i see them and im cool with it. BUT THIS PINHOLE LIKE FLASHING THINGIES IS MAKING ME WORRIED.
im only 16 and this has taken over my life.
Avatar universal
I'm 16 and was my doc told me that i might have keratoconus (spelling). But that he will be 100% sure after one more test.
and like 3 days ago when i was sitting at my laptop for a long time (i took breaks) i got blurred vision but it was fine after i slept and now i keep seeing like pinholes eveywhere i look (especially in dim light) i see it in bright light also. But its been 3 days and it doesnt seem to go away.
This is making me very anxious and adrenaline constantly pumping over my body. I'm begining to become afrain to even look.
WHATS HAPPENING TO ME.
And i know what floaters are i see them and im cool with it. BUT THIS PINHOLE LIKE FLASHING THINGIES IS MAKING ME WORRIED.
im only 16 and this has taken over my life.
Avatar universal
Doctor, i currently dont understand whats happening to me. Like 3 days ago i started seeing (pinhole like little black flashes eveywhere) Like my entire vision. But surprisingly i started noticing it like 3 days ago. Like TA DAA (MY LIFE IS RUINED)
I see them eveywhere now. It my room when im going to sleep, while walking on the road. Its easily noticeable on walls and skies.
I do not know what is happening to me. This is making me anxious, and worried and its giving me the fear of going blind. I am only 16 yearld old. And i never had this problem before.
But the most painful thing is that sometimes i doubt that this is happening for a health reason or by me going crazy.
i dont know what to do. Im from maldives, medical stuff here is not that hight tech.
But im planning to go to India next month.
SO please doc, Tell me something. Ask me more questions or anything. JUST TELL ME WHATS GOING ON. GIVE ME AN EXPLANATION.
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