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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7851
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I got a semicircular prism effect in my eye this morning that

Resolved Question:

I got a semicircular prism effect in my eye this morning that lasted less than thirty minutes, I did not get a headache or migrain after. Nothing much after really. It was like there was a bit of darkness, the very bright prism on the edges in an upside down c shape. Very distracting and worrisome. Can you shed some light on this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

It sounds like you experienced an acephalgic migraine.

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 :

This is something that I, personally, have been dealing with for over 30 years and professionally treating for almost 20 years.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

Visine is not necessary.....

Customer :

I suppose it does. I don't have to actually have head pain to have a migraine? I did have a minor headache this afternoon, but didn't think it was related.

Customer :

What causes the prism ?

Dr. Rick :

No. As a matter of fact getting the migraine headache almost never happened to me, except for a few years in my 30's when actually went on meds for a bit due to the headaches. In my practice I'd say that about 2 in 10 patients get the headache after the shimming lights.

Customer :

Should I expect to see this happen on any kind of regular basis now?

Dr. Rick :

That is a great question. It is caused by a lack of blood flow in the part of your brain that runs your vision. It is actually possible to map out the specific areas involved by plotting the shimming light/ c shaped thing you see.

Dr. Rick :

It is not a sign of a brain tumor, stroke risk or anything like that....

Dr. Rick :

Yes, it very well may recur and, if it does, don't worry.

Customer :

When I had my eyes examined a few years ago by my optometrist , she said I had a sausage effect in the blood vessels of my eyes and should be seen by an ophthalmologist. They said nothing was wrong with my eyes however.

Dr. Rick :

Here is a good article on the topic from the Mayo Clinic:

Dr. Rick :

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ocular-migraine/AN01681

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina specialist and, it my belief that an optometrist really doesn't have enough training to diagnose abnormal retinal vessels.

Customer :

so I'm basically okay then

Dr. Rick :

If you did have "sausage" vessels it could be from high BP, diabetes etc....I would suggest that you have your next yearly exam by an MN

Dr. Rick :

MD

Customer :

I have that, my blood pressure is normal and I am not diabetic nor borderline .. we looked into those.

Dr. Rick :

Yup. Both you and I are basically OK.....well, maybe my daughter would not agree with that statement....but from a migraine standpoint...nothing to worry about :)

Customer :

those were the things my optometrist had suggested too

Customer :

lol

Customer :

good to know we are both basically okay

Customer :

thanks for listening and reassuring me

Dr. Rick :

Optometerists have been given the "right" to treat eye disease.....but they don't have the training to diagnose it or treat it even if the State gives then a piece of paper that says they can....see an ophthalmologist for a routine eye exam in the future and I bet you will be fine.

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure :)

Customer :

I'll just learn to enjoy the colors the next time it happens.

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)



 

Dr. Rick :

I must admit the colors are pretty vibrant, eh?

Dr. Rick :

I once had to pause during retina surgery during an attack as I had lost part of my visual field and couldn

Dr. Rick :

't see well enough to operate.....but other then that I've never had a problem.

Customer :

crazy brilliant, it was very cool. Wow, that must have startled you. That's how it was for me today.

Customer :

I teach school and I was having trouble discerning the book from the colors

Dr. Rick :

ya, we just all stood around in the OR listening to the music for 15 minutes....I never told the patient :)

Customer :

and then it just goes away

Dr. Rick :

ya, you might find it impossible to read during an event.

Dr. Rick :

just goes away....

Customer :

that's how it was, I was reading to the children and I kept seeing the lights and colors

Customer :

I just told them my eyes were acting up

Customer :

and they waited

Dr. Rick :

But you described the visual findings very well.....must be the teacher in you.

Dr. Rick :

How old are the kids?

Customer :

third grade, mostly eight year olds

Customer :

I work in a school for gifted students

Dr. Rick :

That's a fun age. My kids are 15 to 29....got 5 of them. Actually, all the stages have their fun days....

Customer :

ahhh mine are older too, my two are 17 and 22.You're right, all ages are pretty cool, but I do have to say

Customer :

my lease favorite age was 16 for both of mine

Customer :

they had serious growing pains during their 16th year

Dr. Rick :

would be nice to skip some of the teenage years, eh? The government should have a preserve where they could be stored until they came back to their senses lol!

Customer :

that is something I have always said! :)

Dr. Rick :

Anyway, I'm glad you are not as worried now and that you didn't spend billions of dollars on a ER visit. Let me know if I can do anything else to help you.

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)



 

Customer :

Thank you for your help. It was much nicer to find this out sitting in my living room. Where do I go to do the feedback?

Customer :

I click on the accept button?

Dr. Rick :

It should pop up on your screen after you push that Pretty Green Button :)

Customer :

lol

Customer :

thank you.

Customer :

you're funny

Dr. Rick :

Nice chatting with you...

Dr. Rick :

my pleasure.

Dr. Rick :

:)

Customer :

nice chatting with you too.

Customer :

bye

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7851
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
It was my pleasure to help you. Say hi to the kids for me tomorrow.

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