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Avatar universal

'Shimmering' vision

I have noticed that when I look at something with close-together vertical or horizontal lines (an air conditioner, menu signs such as McDonald's, text at a distance, stacks of books or CDs, etc.) my vision "shimmers" and the object appears as if it is jumping around in a quite noticeable and disturbing way.  I do not get this effect generally, only with certain types of objects.  Any ideas as to what this possibly could be would be most helpful.  I don't think it is opthalmic migraine because it is not episodic in nature.
9 Responses
Avatar universal
Most likely your vision is within normal limits, as the eye can play visual tricks in the particular settings as you describe

I cannot substitute for a formal opinion though so you should seek the advice of an ophthalmologist also

Good luck
Avatar universal
hi, i have the same problem. do you notice it go away if you cover one of your eyes? mine does. i went to the eye doctor who said it was probably my astigmatism. i got contacts and it has improved quite a bit. he explained that it is your brain searching for focus  and trying to center, because each eye is giving different info. he said he didn't think it originated in the brain, but from my vision being uncorrected. i will see how it goes. good luck. feel free to reply. thanks
Avatar universal
hi! about 4 years i noticed floaters, black spots etc. I also noticed flickering vision & shapes. I went to neurologists who didn't bother cause they thouht i was fine and also eyedoctors that checked my retina and everything was great!I learnt how to avoid them and i didn't bother. Now im 23 and i had a bad period, since i had university exams, period and i'm also having anemia since born. I recently started noticing them again, expecially the flickering vision and moving little shapes in front of my eyes. They are constantly there. I also had a migrain condition that happend a year ago: Suddently i started seeing a lightening wavery image that was getting bigger and bigger, my central vision became blurry and that shape like thunderstarted moving out of my eyesight little by little in the next 10 minutes. After that i had a huge headacke. Never happend again though. What bothers me now is the flickering light i constantly have, especially when i look on walls. It doesn't bother me when i look on coloured images especially tv computer etc. I also notice that strange shape in front of my vision, constantly but because it is kind of transparent, if i dont concentrate on it, it goes away. I tried to put them out of my system by avoiding them and i managed that quite well. But after a hard day at examination department at university and little sleep and lots of tiredness, i started noticing them again. When i am with company and doing fun staff though, i dont care about them, when im alone studying, i might notice them.I went to the eyedoctor and said im fine, it could be vitreous. Do you thing i should search it a bit more, or keep living like the last 4 years, having all that but avoiding them and being ok?
thenks!i would apreciate an answer esp by email! :)
Avatar universal
You are right, the shimmering does stop or at least improve if I cover one eye.  And I know in the past I was told I have an astigmatism.  Very interesting.  Thank you.
Avatar universal
sorry about my post, cause im new at the forum & i thought made a brand new question but it was mistakely put in your page :P :P
Anyway, if you read my story, i have lots of floaters and other staff but when i don't think of them i dont notice them. My first notice in them was bad luck, since i first noticed black spots that came and go -4 years ago- and after that i started paying too much attention to everything i saw, although i went to the eyedoctor& i was fine. Some of those i noticed might be because of my great attention i gave to them! Because i'm a person that becomes very scared about things in general, sometimes i don't know whether i really have a problem or its something i made up :P But what i can advise you is that after you do all the medical tests you want, stop paying attention to all weird but normal things you see! :) :)
Avatar universal
well, i have had everything under the sun checked out on me(mainly due to a problem i have with daily dizziness.) and all the docs say i am perfectly healthy, so as far as the eyes go, i have just learned to ignore it most of the time. sometimes i think our bodies just do weird stuff, and docs dont know why. i would look into it a bit, but i think for the most part, docs usually know what they are talking about, and it just gets too frustrating to keep having them tell you youre fine, after you give them a ton of money, but you still have the problems. i also have migraines occassionally, and i do also have some anxiety probs. let me know if you come up with anything. good luck!
Avatar universal
I have had the shimmer for four years now and I have been surfing the we for somebody that had the same thing. mine goes away when I close one eye as well. I also have had lightheadness for fifteen years since I had tonsilitis. I have daily tension headaches and above normal stress. My symptoms also seem worse depending on my mood. I just noticed the shimmer one day looking at my cds on a shelf. Massage therapy seems to help tone down the symptoms but it never goes away completely
Avatar universal
Er.....just reading people's symptoms here...haven't most of you got Superior Oblique Myokymia? Look it up - it is a twitching spasm of a muscle in the eye - one eye usually. Shimmering, jumping are both symptoms of SOM as is twitching and twisting and much more. It isn't fatal or anything so no panic, just a bloody pain because no meds seem to work and no one is interested in researching it.

There is an MSN club with others with it, listing symptoms, meds etc. You'll find it if you do a search for SOM. Covering the eye with SOM will stop it because the other eye probably won't have it. SOM can go into remission too which explains why it seems to come and go. Also do you find tilting your head a bit makes it go? Or looking out the top of your eyes (chin to chest) or bottom of your eyes (chin into air) helps?

Well if this is what you've got, I'm sorry, but it's a relief when you know what it is, knows it's nothing more scary and can talk to others who have it. It's helped me loads. Only about 6000 in the world hence most Drs not knowing a thing about it. If this isn't what you have - i'm sorry I couldn't be of more help.
Avatar universal
As the doctor here mentioned, get some good medical attention.  You need to know what you have, and perhaps more importantly, what you don't have before you can begin to address your eye problem.

I am the manager of the MSN Groups site mentioned by Jo.  Before you self-diagnose your condition, please seek the help of a good neurologic-ophthalmologist.  A thorough examination and testing are the only things that will help you receive a definitive diagnosis.  If you do have Superior Oblique Myokymia, the best doctors to see are pediatric neuro-ophths, as they are the ones who treat strabismis and nystagmus and are more likely to have encountered SOM.

If you are so diagnosed, the good news is that it is not fatal, and will probably deepen in symptoms slowly, over a long period of time.  Many of us have had this disorder for twenty-plus years.  Many of us have experienced remissions of varying degrees and lengths of time.

But, you must first see your doctor, or find a doctor and get a diagnosis.
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