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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can eye inflammation cause intermittent flashes of light in one's visual field?

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Dr. N. K. Misra

Ophthalmologist

Practicing since :1977

Answered : 1213 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 4 Jun 2018 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Question: Hello,
About 2.5 weeks ago, I first saw some a tiny but very black dot in my left eye when I would move my head. That quickly went away in about 10 minutes but at that point I started have flashes of light in that eye. I sat down and it went away and I did not experience flashes until 2 days later. At that point I went to my optometrist who did a regular full exam, dilated eyes and looked in my eyes with a bright light. Also a photo of my eye and visual field test. She felt like my eyes were really dry, she saw no tears but said it could be strain or potential something that happens with the vitreous. After several days, I decided to see an ophthalmologist who did the same type of exam and said she saw no tears in the retina or vitreous at all but diagnosed it officially as vitreous synthesis and said that at some point likely within 10 years there could be a retinal detachment.
She was super nice and professional, however I feel like with just those minimal test and a unique inflammatory medical background, I really wonder if it could be something else. I have had
Adult onset stills disease for 27 years and vasculitis for 12. I also had a bout of psoriasis about 6 years ago. I am having similar although very mild nerve pain on a nerve root near the temple of that eye, where I had two bouts of shingles about 8 years ago (I did not have shingles in my eye or super close, just a lot of the referred pain I guess in that area). The flashes have moved out of my lower eye only occurring on the side now and the floaters are much much better. I never go for additional opinions (have been with my rheumatologist for 30 years) but something about this tells me to go to a retinal specialists for all available tests. My eye feels irritated and mildly (very) swollen or inflamed, although not a ton of redness. Do you think there is any possibility it could be a strange inflammation situation?
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Answered by Dr. N. K. Misra 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Get the periphery of retina examined.

Detailed Answer:
My dear,
Thanks for sending your query to us.
The flashes of light are significant and need looking into.You have to get a retina specialist to see you,though there is no urgency about it.
There can always be a level of dryness,assiciated with stills disease,which can be taken care of by lubricant eye dtops.
Though your retina has already been examined after dialation,still you will be better off if examined by a retina specialist.
Do get back to me in case of any further query in this regard.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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