Hi Doctor, I have been having dry eye condition for a little less than a year. 8 weeks ago started to see floaters. 6 weeks ago started to notice a constant shimmering light at the left eye (outer, left, bottom), diagnosed as vitreous degeneration. 2 weeks ago checked again by a retinal specialist, diagnosed as white without pressure, vitreoretinal degeneration. A few days ago, started to see something like the light is flickering (checked with other two lights, still see flickering, so it is not defect lights). This happened 2 or 3 times, each flickering lasted less than a second, but the whole process lasted about 4 or 5 minutes. the question is what might be causing this? and what should I do to help to find the cause? Thanks
These flashes of light that you are reporting are likely part of the vitreous degeneration or vitreous detachment process. This is a process in which the vitreous jelly of the eye pulls away from the retina.
The entire process can take several months to complete. Though the flashes of light are most often a part of this normal vitreal process they can be signs of a more sever problem called retinal detachment. I know you have already seen several eye doctors, but I recommend you be seen yet again for this type of problem.
Most often there are no concerns and the condition is placed in a wait and see category. Retinal detachments are a serious enough problem that it needs to be ruled out with another eye examination.
a 2nd opinion of some sort?
Not just a second opinion, but a second examination of the problem that may or may not be worsening or turning into something else.
Symptoms of a retinal detachment include these flashes of light, a sudden increase of new floaters or a curtain like effect being drawn over the eye. If any of these are noted you should seek help within a few hours.
what about the possible cause of the "seeing light flickering"?
Otherwise it is generally ok to wait until the weekend/holiday to be seen.
Usually the light flickering ("flashes") is caused by traction or tugging on the retina.
The vitreous jelly, as it pulls away, often pulls on the retina. The concern would be if it pulls too hard that it might tear or break the retina.
I will stay on for a few minutes to answer any other follow-up questions. Please don't forget to offer a positive rating once your question has been answered fully.
I saw the flight flickering, not the flickering light.
This can still be due to the same process. The same advice would hold true for any other changes in the vision related to potential detachments. The flickering light appearance is not a sign of impending problems.
flickering light is something brighter than the surrounding. light is flickering is the surrounding turns dark? they might be the same process?
The vitreous detachment often casts shadow-like effects over the vision. Especially during the process of vitreal detachment.
Again, what you have described sounds like a low-risk symptom.
I think you do have general knowledge in this area, but my case is a little more complicated. Thanks. The rating is OK.
Thank you for allowing me to help you tonight.