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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes unusual visual disturbances with flashes of lights?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Ashok Kumar Dash

Ophthalmologist

Practicing since :1969

Answered : 12702 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 4 Apr 2016 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Question: My name is XXXXXXX Cook. I would very much appreciate talking with an ophthalmologist about unusual visual disturbances, spots, central vision issues.. I enjoy very good vision and do not require glasses to drive but they help to read. I was examined by a Neuro-Ophthalmologist Dr. Epstien Spring 2015 and later Dr. Mauger, a Cornea Specialist, Chief of Staff at Ohio State Havener Eye Clinic in December and they said my eyes look fine and had no other test for me other than for retinitis pigmentosa and I do not have those symptoms. I see another neuro-oph. partner in March. They said as long as anything I see goes away, it' s OK. Just so it's not detached retina symptoms. They are stumped about seeing a flash at 12:00 as light is blocked from my right eye.

Note: I take a 1/2/ grain of nature thyroid and my M.D. Dr. Chappell has me on a detox from mercury and metals. I tested very high and am nearly through the program. My husband is a dentist. I had many fillings replaced before I met him and then he removed them again to place crowns. I was double exposed to the mercury vapors through all that.
My symptoms include:
1)In 2013-14, I saw lots of spots..In July 2014 my M.D. asked to check to see if both eyes see the same. I found this.
When I close my left eye and blink, I see a 1 inch flash spot at 12:00 for a split second. I don't like to check it by covering the Left eye, because it seems to increase the occurrence that I see the flash with both eyes open. I sometimes can also see the flash (Like an old fashoined light bulb-less intense) if I pass my hand or something over my eye and block the light. I don't have to blink. This was very exaggerated a month a go when washing my forehead made me see a fuzzy grey spot an inch wide appear in my vision on the washcloth as it moved back and forth. The next day as I rubbed my nose and blocked the vision I saw a few flashbulb spots flash. I noticed seeing the dark spot when I blinked as I read that next day. That has not happened again.
2)
Often when I blink first thing in the morning, I see a light circle on a dark surface or a dark circle on the light carpet or wall when I blink. It is several inches in diameter. It flashes as I open my eye from a blink. I try to open my eyes slowly to adjust to turning the lights on. I notice the circle or a white flash when I blink several times a day. Dr. Mauger said everyone sees a flash every time they blink and I am just over sensitive to normal events.
3)
I can look right at the tiniest star on a black sky and see it, I have great night vision for driving with no problem. It surprises me that 26 years ago I noticed that in a dimly lit room I see a grey fuzzy spot when I tried to see if my baby had closed his eyes. I still have a central blind spot in dim light. My eye exams do not show any problem. I have been told some blue eyed northern european descendents have fewer rods of cones to see at night.
4)
When my eyes are closed in daytime or a lighted room, I see a blue light spot in my central vision. This started about XXXXXXX 20, 2014 when I awoke one morning to see a shadow-like circle on the wall. It dissappeared when I blinked. I saw it several more times in the next month. I had been reading for 4 hours past bedtime the night before with a fan in the room.
I also started seeing colors with my eyes closed at bedtime and a still colorful picture as I awoke on this day.
Wikipedia describes these as Hypnagogia and hypnapompia. I still see these events sometimes. Dr Mauger said he has experienced seeing colors at night like I experience. Dr. Epstein calls some of it light to dark transition.
I wonder if dry eyes could be the issue causing the circle.
I have been using Blink tears and Thera tear drops several times a day for the past few weeks and I see fewer disturbances.
5)
I have noticed that when I see a bright white computer screen I briefly see yellow spots an inch wide in a figure 8 shape. They fade away soon. My eyes have been examined twice in the past 2 months and I forgot to mention this but the doctors said my eyes look very healthy, no macula issue.
6)
I sometimes see sparkles in my peripheral vision when I go out in to sunlight for a few seconds as my eyes adjust to light.
7)
I sometimes see random blue spots or tiny stars in my peripheral vision.
8)
My eyes have become light sensitive. I find the bright sunlight through a window or reflecting off cars is too bright. I hold an afterimage easily after seeing bright objects. I hate LED camera flashes.
9)
On several occasions in the past two years, My left eye has seen like a star in the left corner of my vision like it is literally perched on my bottom eyelash, when an overhead light is present. I blocked the light with my hand and it would come and go as I blocked the light...
Dr. Epstein and Dr Mauger have said eyes just see things and that this does not represent a disease pattern. The 12:00 o'clock flash and it's response to an object blocking some light seems to be the biggest question.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar Dash 32 hours later
Brief Answer:
visual disturbance with flashes of light and increased light sesitivness.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for asking HCM.
I have read your description and i understand your concern.
It is not possible to have discussion with you regarding your problem. You have been examined by n euro ophthalmologist and they have ruled out any disease. I will agree with them.
After going through your history I can presume few things which is exclusively my opinion. I can divide your problem to two parts.
One is psychological problem for which you have to consult clinical psychologist for counseling. Other aspect is your probable disease. It can be dry eye and you have to test it strip test ad observe tear marks. It can lead to corneal erosion giving rise to problem working on computer. can see colour circles and at-times hazy vision and dizziness.

Other doubt is degenerative body in Vetrious which gives rise to overstimulating and makes you see tiny sports, flashes of light.
You can exclude glaucoma by getting measured IOT( intra occular tension) and field tracing. which can clarify on central scotoma and peripheral vision problem. You need indirect ophthalmoscopy to have wider view of field and rule out peripheral detachment. Should have given your visual status.
Regarding Retinitis pigmentosa(RP) it is a clinical examination. It is hereditary and runs in family. Your light sensitivness can be linked to dry eye with corneal erosion. mercury vapor can create problem of heavy metal poisoning. Retinal angigrapy can be done after injecting XXXXXXX Macula can be studied for maculopathy. Most of your problem are akin to vitreous generative bodies, dry eye. Psychological problem can not be ruled out.

Suggestions given are my personal opinion to the best of my knowledge.
Hope i have answered your query.
Kindly get back to us if you have further query.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Deepak
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