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Avatar universal

"Kaleidoscope eye"

Hi - I am a 58yo male and wear multifocal specs and use computers a lot in my work. For several years I have experienced bouts of a particular disturbance in both eyes at the same time. It starts out as a small prism like effect which gradually spirals in my vision - then after a few minutes it slowly dissipates. The effect really isnt in my eyesight as it is still there when I close my eyes and cannot be blocked out. I sit quietly, avoid light and have a drink of water during the episodes. I dont experience any especial pains such as migraines etc and seem to fully recover. I think it may be related to lack of electrolytes and mild dehydration but would like some guidance onthe possible causes. I know of only one other person who has the same symptoms but hers goes on to be a migraine. Any thoughts please?
90 Responses
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
That is a classical description of eye migraine (often has no headache) but in a small percentage it can be due to diesease of the brain, heart and blood vessels.

Use the search feature, archives and health topics to review the many discussions of ophthalmic migraine.

Then make an appointment with an Eye MD for an exam and to rule out eye migraine or transient ischemic attack.

JCH III MD
752584 tn?1233697582
Tonight I had the same thing happen. 2 days ago I had a brain angiogram after having been in an RTA 4 months ago with serious head injuries. The results came back fine, with no aparent weaknesses. I spoke to my cousin who also had a brain angio before Xmas & she has these visual episodes semi frequently. I have no idea whether to be worried, contact the neurosurgery dept where I had it done, or just get on with things. Ive never had anything like this before. Hmmm... Any ideas?
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
The approach to this is ONE rule out organic disease of eye, brain, heart and blood vessels.  If negative TWO make diagnosis of migraine (if not headache) eye migraine if headache then classic migraine.  TREAT MIGRAINE if frequent attacks.

JCH MD
752584 tn?1233697582
I spoke to the doctor who carried out the Angio & he refused to link the Angio procedure I'd had with the visions I had 3 days later. This may have been easier to accept if my cousin, after her angiograms, had not had exactly the same visions. I was just concerned there may be a weakness after my Angio. I have an appointment with an Eye consultant on Thursday although Im not sure he will be able to shed any light on the subject.
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I would say that if the symptoms occured within 24 hours of an angiogram then that might be the cause but 3 days later I would agree with what you were told. No likely.
JCH MD
Avatar universal
I've been having these same "visions" for years and each time I ask my eye Dr. about it he  dismisses it and says it's nothing. Mine don't swirl around my eye but stay to the edge of my periphery and appear as long sqiggiley kaleidoscope shapes. Happens in both eyes only rarely at the same time. They last anywhere form 10 to 60+ minutes. Is there ANYTHING I can do about them? Medications, Supplements, etc?
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
See a neurologist. There are medications both to prevent from occurring as well as to abort an attack as it starts.  With a history like that its almost always eye migraines which often do not have headache.

JHCH MD
Avatar universal
I have exactly the same symptoms described by morgar. I am 62 years old, female and also a computer for hours on end in my work. The 'flash' is in both eyes at once, and I had the same reaction as morgar, I go in the dark, lie down and wait. The kaleidoscope starts very small, but within seconds I can't see, vision seems to blur. In about 10 minutes, the circle grows larger and eventually disappears. No pain of any kind. This kaleidoscope effect started a few months ago. I saw my eye doctor recently, who immediately said she could do nothing about that and to see my general practitioner. Apparently the problem is not in the eyes, but in the brain. Can my GP prescribe something for this?
Avatar universal
For a several years I've also experienced these squiggly shaped things in the corner of my right eye (its ALWAYS my right eye). At first its a very short squiggly line  then it starts to lengthen. I can see objects, and their colors, but the little squiggly line distorts the image.... its like a thick squiggly line of broken glass... that fit together like a puzzle... ( i know it sounds wierd but that's the only way I can explain it) ....And then it'll disappear. A few minutes later I'll have a HUGE headache with nausea.... I usually take Advil right when the squiggly line appears and try to find a dark place to sleep and rest my eyes BEFORE the headache starts because its the only way I've found that helps with the pain... Why do I get this? Is there anything in particular that causes this and what can I do to prevent it or stop it once it starts?
Avatar universal
I am having an episode right now.  It has been several years since I had one.  I'm 60 years old, and work at a computer most of the day for the past 18 years.  I have no pain with this, and it appears in both eyes, and starts out small and continues getting larger until it is gone.  Is there anything that can be done for this?
Avatar universal
I have been having this for years,It starts as blurry vision in one eye or the other,then the  kalidoscope spinning starts out small then gets larger and last for about 15 minutes , i also feel weak and shaky. i have a badly damaged neck, i always think it is a pinched nerve, it seems to subside quicker when i start moving my neck around a little bit, just wondering what you think about the nerve thing, coulld it possiblly be the problem.
1 Comments
This is me to a "t". Thank you for posting so I don't feel crazy.  I also feel strange quick charges of electricity through out my eyes too when I look to the right or left without moving my head
1741528 tn?1311022960
Im a fit forty year old male who has lost a spleen punctured a lung and broke 8 ribs in a motorcycle accident over 10 years ago, since then have had a heart attack (2 years ago) which no one can explain why and also lens replacement in my left eye for reasons no one can tell me.I now too have the exact kalidoscope effect for the exact same durations sometimes with headache. Has not happend for a few Weeks until today. Have spoken to heart specialist and neurologist no one knows,What to do? Seems everything that happens to me is totally unknown by doctors so i get treated for the symtoms even though there are no hard facts as to why i should be on the medication given,..guess its just better for me to have been on them so docs have covered there bases if i keel over!! Im concerned many "doctors" know little about a lot still! But still charge you for not knowing?? Seems ridiculous. Guess we have to wait till it gets serious enough and to enough people....goodluck all!

Avatar universal
Yours sounds like a classic aura to a migraine - I have had the same effect and if I have taken my migraine medication and found a dark cool place to lie and close my eyes during the kaleidescope effect before any pain hits, I can pre-emptively get rid of the migraine. You should start your medicine immediately when that effect begins so that you can avoid the headache and throwing up. It has greatly improved my migraine management, getting this aura ahead of time. Before, I didn't get any warning and then I had all the symptoms, throwing up, light sensitivity, unsteady on my feet, etc.
Avatar universal
I'm glad I have found others that have had the same symptoms I just did for the first time.  I have a history of migraines which I control with Imitrex when I feel them coming on but I have never had a sudden vision of a light show in my right eye.  I understand now it is a visual kalidoscope. I had colorful rigged puzzle looking flashing half circled images appear with no warning blocking my vision.  When I closed my eyes I could still see & in both eyes but the image only appeared in the right.  Very unusual & disturbing! Finally after about 10 minutes it subsided & my eye was warm & blurry and I have a dull headache.  I has debating on going to the doctor but it went away like my husband said it would but I'm afraid of ignoring the fact that it happened. I'm 34 & never had this with my history of migraines.  I hope it is not neurolgical.
1555870 tn?1342997881
OMG, Morgar I feel as though I could have witten the (your) question.. I experience ALL your symtoms.. Im 59-yrs having these episodes off & on for so many yrs.. years apart until just latley.. had one just today, and 2-days ago thats rare for me.. I do have many auto-immune/  just Dx with Lupus.. the only pattern (maybe) is when i feel stressed ? I can see them with eyes open & better closed.. also I look at anything, and I can only see 1/2 of it.. other 1/2 is all triangles, squares, no colors, just outlines of bright lights...if i keep eyes closed i can see them move till they seem to move to back of head ?  I can't believe how many others have same. And you exactly .. wth is it ?
Avatar universal
Hi Sunny today i had my !st one n it frightened the life out of my, I thought id looked at the sun then it just got bigger and bigger felt really disorientated. i laid down it eventually took an hour to go into the back of my head (thats wot it felt like) now have a fuzzy head feel bit sicky and feel like im echoing in my own head  i know its not nice but i glad i not the only one x
Avatar universal
Thank you for taking the time to post your experience. I am 55 yr old male and been having this happen for a couple of years. I have no pain or discomfort just frustrating until it goes away. I can see something like moving lights  all around my peripheral vision and seems to block out that vision but as I try to look directly at it it moves away. (not a very good description but it is hard to describe) At times it seems like the light will take over my sight completely but it never does. It has the sensation of constant movement and I can detect slight color as from a prism refracting light. Lasts about 15 minutes to a half hour, It happens sometimes when I am driving. I would like to know what is causing it but I am a little afraid  that it could be serious. It"s strange because when it is happening I feel completely at ease. no panic.
Avatar universal
Wow! I finally found others that have the same problem.   I am 63 years old and I have had what I call the “Peripheral Kaleidoscope” effect around my vision for about 5 years.  It only occurs a few times a year with no pain associated with it but it is unnerving. I have spoke with a few physicians about it and it seems no one can tell me about it.  Now that I have found some scant information on this site, I will follow up on it. Thanks for everyone's imput on this site.
Avatar universal
hey, your experience is exactly like mine.  What happened, did u find out anything?
Avatar universal
This describes exactly what happened to me about a week ago!
I too would like to know if you find anything out about it. It was on the right side of my vision, but I could also 'see'  it with my left eye and even when my eyes were closed. It was like a 'v' on its side pointing outwards. It seemed to be revolving like a DNA spiral. The very tip of the 'v' seemed sky blue, almost like a rear vision mirror on a car.
Karen
Avatar universal
i have been having the same symptoms as to everyones posts, i have it so bad at time while driving i have to pull over, no headaches but it is annoying as can be, i close my eyes and its still there, i close my eyes for about 10 to 20 minutes and it just goes away, it is happening more often to me tho getting a little worried that something is going on and it isn't my eyes i thinks its in my brain, i am going to seek my doctor advice tho, better to be safe than sorry, getting more than worried quite frankly getting scared to be honest. just had an episode a few moments ago, but im ok now to type. Hope we can find answers to this weird thing going on in our vision.
Avatar universal
Go to http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/ocular-migraine.htm for a good overview of "ocular migraine."  I "suffer" from this and have nearly the same symptoms the posters here have described.  I say "suffer" in quotes because it's concerning, but once I read about it, I now know to just chill and wait.  I have tried to determine what triggers the episodes, but I've yet to find anything obvious.  "Stress" is probably the answer, but I've learned that I'm generally the WORST evaluator of my own stress :)
Avatar universal
It is such a relief to find so many people with exactly the same symptoms! I have had this for a week ago, like someone described it above as a "revolving DNA spiral" on my right hand side, starting small and getting bigger, like a prism effect, sort of shards of glass reflecting in a long, snake type, revolving line in light blue, orange, black and white. It stays for about ten minutes and then goes.
The only thing I did notice is that it seems to be accompanied by tinnitus.
Weird.
I will take a look at the link posted above by Plugh, which will hopefully put my mind at ease :)
Avatar universal
I am 55. I have been having these brilliant blazing geometric shapes taking over my vision for a number of years. When I have mine my ears scream with ringing, I feel weak and sick and the blood vein on the left temple bulges out. Usually lasts 10-15 minutes but has been 30 and counting. I am in the middle of an episode right now and I do not feel well. It has been 2 years since I experienced this. I guess I am making up for lost time.
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