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Dr. JLB , Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 86
Experience:  General Ophthalmologist, Fellowship trained in Refractive Surgery
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stroke, so I simply closed my eyes until it passed..left eye..vaseline

Customer Question

I have had an episode three times now.... the first time I thought it was a stroke, so I simply closed my eyes until it passed....but the second time, while at my computer, my left eye (it's always my left eye) goes totally blurred, like having an inch of vaseline in it....if I close my right eye, I can see a pin hole.... through this blurr, but that's it...the last time it happened, was yesterday and it freaked me, as I was driving....this time I pulled over and it was a small slit like the shape of a horizontal sliver that I could see through...when I closed my right eyelid and looked out, I could see only black, but when I closed my left eyelid I looked and it looked like a whitewashed picket fence...crazy, heh?...These only last for about 7 minutes......
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. JLB replied 7 years ago.



Can you give me some additional information?


1. Your age and gender?

2. Do you suffer from any medical conditions

3. Are you taking any medications?

4. Do you suffer from allergies to any medications or foods?

5. Are the episodes ever followed by a headache?

6. Do you mean when you closed the left eye, the right eye looked like a white-washed picket fence?


This information will help better evaluate your case...





Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Dear Doctor,

I am a 59 year old female, the only medical condition I have is deterioation of my neck area...I take only vitamins and one asprin and two beers a day...and have for 30 years.

I am not taking any meds and the only alergy I have are to sulpha and darvon...

No, these started about 3 weeks ago...When the first one hit, I simply thoght I was having a stroke, closed my eyes and waited for somekind of big explosion of some kind, but there is never any headache or pain...
it somes just as fast as it goes...there is no warning and all three times, have been in a different scenario... standing, sitting and driving...   What I meant about the white, was I held my finger on my closed eyelid and opened my eye ball .... the right eye ball saw nothing, but the left eye ball visioned my eyelid like a white picket fence...bright white.

I am under a lot of stress with hours being cut and even loosing one of my part time jobs, and when it first happened, I thought that might be it and therefore anticipated the possibility of a stroke. But the second and third time, I was very happily doing something I enjoyed with no stresses on my mind. My neck (where I have degeneration) has been kinking a lot lately...are they possibly connected? My insurance got cut back just last month, so I am trying to get an idea of what kind of doctor I should be leaning towards.

Here are the only medical condition I am aware of: In October of 2008, I woke up and it felt like my back, shoulders, etc. had been hit with a baseball bat...I could hardly move. I went to a chriropractor and he sent me to my medcial doctor...and he did an MRI and sent me to a neurologist...that's when I found out about the neurologist said it was not bad enough for surgery yet...During this time I developed horrible nosebleeds....I went to emergency twice...they said it was the dry air and so I treated it with the peroxide, and polysporin....

My Dr. gave me several perscriptions for pain, but I could not use them because of side effects, etc. so he perscribed for me a medicine called skelatil(a new med on the market)....It seemed to block my pain from my brain.... It was January by now and the only thing I really knew was pain and I couldn't shovel or get into an accident.

I took the skelatil to sleep at night and one morning, I woke up no pain, no nose bleeds, nothing...I am wondering if the discs in my neck could be causing all of this, as they are down to almost bone on bone...and they were at that time pinching on a nerve going into my shoulders and back....

Thank you for your patience and for sharing your wonderful knowledge.
I wish I were in a better position to offer you more, but am afraid of what kind of expenses lie ahead of me. Thanks, Candy
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Please forgive my delay, but I now leave my office at 1pm central time...I came back in tonight to receive your correspondence but I do not have computer access at home. I don't want you to think I am not attentive to this matter, but I will be back in the office at 8 am...thank you for you
Expert:  Dr. JLB replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for sharing your experience in such detail. First, I would like you to know that your symptoms are not related to your neck and back pain. The nerves that supply the eyes are in a completely different location from those that supply the neck and back. In fact, the nerves that supply the eyes do not even course through the spinal cord. They come directly from the brain.

Your symptoms may be due to a couple of conditions. The most likely possibility is a condition termed ocular migranes. Ocular migranes manifests themselves as sudden changes in vision. These can take the form of sudden blurrying of the vision, flashing lights, wavy lines, etc... These may be followed by headache but often are not. They also may disappear just as easily as they began.

Another less likely possibility, but one that must be strongly considered is amaurosis fugax. In amaurosis fugax, there is a temporary loss of circulation to the eye. This can frequently be caused by cholesterol particles (termed cholesterol emboli) that become temporarily lodged in the blood vessels that supply the eye. In amaurosis fugax, the cholestrol emboli will dissolve or pass through the blood vessels and the event is resolved. Usually the event last a few minutes, although it mostly causes a complete loss of vision during the event. It is important to check for this condition because it could be a sign of an impending permanent blockage of a blood vessel and ultimately affect the vision permanently.

In order to differentiate between the above conditions or to discover any other possibilities, you should be under the management of a neurologist and an ophthalmologist. I would recommend that you first visit a neurologist as they are primary doctors and can oversee all the blood work, imaging tests and consultations needed for accurate diagnosis and management. The neurologist will probably ask for a complete eye exam from an ophthalmologist. Frankly, I expect this eye exam to be normal.

I think it is important that you have an evaluation at your earliest convinience, but I do not want you to become overly concerned. I do believe that the most likely possibility is ocular migranes. If this is in fact the diagnosis, it is not a dangerous condition; although, as you have experienced, quite scary.

I hope this is helpful and I wish you the best of luck as you look for some answers...


Dr. JLB, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 86
Experience: General Ophthalmologist, Fellowship trained in Refractive Surgery
Dr. JLB and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so very much ... Again, thank you for your time and patience...Candy
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Dearest Dr... I did go to my MD and he referred me to a neurologist and he took some blood tests and nothing showed...I recently went in for a "Stop Smoking Clinic and they found a blockage in my cartoid artery on the left side....funny, heh? am planning on surgery very soon....was I lucky or what? Thanks....Candy
Expert:  Dr. JLB replied 6 years ago.

Maybe lucky or maybe someone watching over you.... Either way I'm glad this problem was found before you became affected permanently by any complications.

God Bless,


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