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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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The vision in my right eye suddenly went blurry and the eye

seemed numb for about 3... Show More
seemed numb for about 3 minutes. I could not focus from the right eye, felt a little nauseous. This happened while I was composing an email note and I was just seated at my computer. There was no pain involved and the episode lasted about 5 minutes.
Can you suggest a possible cause? I do wear glasses normally.
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Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

hi. Welcome to chat

Dr. Rick :

The most common cause for your symptoms is an ocular migraine. Usually this is associated with shimmering lights, but sometimes it can cause problems with vision like you have reported.

Customer:

from what I have described, can you offer any actions or possible causes?

Dr. Rick :

Here is a little information on this issue:

Dr. Rick :

A typical migraine headache starts with shimmering lights, often times they surround a blurry area or have dots or jaggedly lines associated with them. They tend to progressively increase in intensity and sometimes march across the visual field causing difficulty with reading. Many times this is then accompanied by nausea, irritability, sensitivity to bright lights and/or loud noises. After the onset of the lights (called scintillating scotomas), the headache typically starts and the light show tends to progressively go away.


Many people can have this migraine phenomenon without the headache; it is called an acephalgic migraine. Some people even start having these late in life, or may have had a few much earlier in life that behaved differently and haven't had any for decades and then begin to have them; this is not uncommon. A family history of migraines is often present as well.


This is nothing to worry about. It is not a sign of a more serious underlying condition, brain tumor or anything like that. If the episodes become so frequent that they are bothersome there are medicines that can be used to decrease their frequency or stop an episode once it has started.


 

Dr. Rick :

Now, another possibility is that you are having some sort of tear film abnormality.

Dr. Rick :

If this were the case you might have noticed your vision changing when you blinked during the episode, much like smearing oil around on your windshield in the rain. Was your experience anything like this?

Customer:

Somewhat like this..trying to imagine oil and the experience together ...so somewhat yes

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Well, then the second issue is the more likely one. Here is a handout on a simple home treatment you can do. Don't really get stuck on all the "issues" the handout covers, just pay attention to the treatment.........

Dr. Rick :

Well It sounds like you have a couple of things going on. First is allergies, second dry eyes and third blepharitis.


 


When it comes to allergies it is almost impossible to pin down the offending agent(s) and, therefore, treatment needs to focus on controlling the symptoms. Dry eyes are very common and can be improved by a stepwise series of therapies. First, the use of natural tears 4-6+ times/day to augment your natural tear production, if this doesn’t work then you can try temporary punctal occlusion of the lower puncta, then, if needed, temporary occlusion of all 4 puncta then, if indicated, surgical ( non-reversible) closure of the puncta. The openings to your tear drainage system are called puncta and you have one opening on each lid, near your nose.


 


Blepharitis is a condition where glands in the eyelids are not functioning normally. They become plugged and instead of putting out their normal clear, oily secretions, they put out thick, toothpaste like gunk. You may not be able to see this “gunk” yourself, unless it is really bad, but it shows up clearly on slit lamp examination.


 


The best treatment for this condition daily lid scrubs combined with warm compresses. I like to use baby shampoo for lid scrubs. In the shower, place the shampoo on your index fingers, close your eyes, raise your eyebrows (to stretch the skin on your eyelids) and scrub back and forth along your eyelashes for 3 to 5 minutes. The hot water in the shower helps to soften the plugged oils in the glands while the mechanical scrubbing with your soapy fingers removes the oils.


 


Baby shampoo lid scrubs will also help to wash away allergens and stimulate tear production, thereby addressing all three of your issues. Remember, this is not an instant fix. While you are waiting for the lid scrubs to have affect you can use over the counter allergy pills such as Travist, dimetapp or Zyrtec.


 


Should your symptoms get worse, your vision become significantly affected or things just not get better in 3 weeks or so you should have a complete eye examination by your local ophthalmologist to look for other, less common, causes of your symptoms.


 

Dr. Rick :

And forgot you ever read the info on migraines :o)

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

Still there or did the Gremlins that live in the computer git 'cha?

Customer:

still reading...this is a first episode and I did not want to ignore it and was not sure if it called for an emergency clinic visit.

Customer:

Much appreciated and completely satisfied

Dr. Rick :

I feel very safe in saying that there is no need for you to go to the ER......