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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10608
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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This morning I woke and had strange coloured mosaic type patterns

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This morning I woke and had strange coloured mosaic type patterns in my left eye. It went away but now I have it happening across all my vision even when I close my eyes. what is going on?
Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Do you have any other symptoms?

How long did it last this morning when it happened?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It probably lasted about half an hour until I noticed it was gone. It is actually cascading down the sides of my sight now. I once had a torn retina and had laser surgery and it has been fine. approx 7 years ago.

I have been in europe and came back with a virus. I have been coughing a lot and have sinus trouble and it's taking a long time to go away.

Thanks for that extra information.

As a retina surgeon I can assure you that, from what you have posted, you are not experiencing a retinal detachment at this time.

What you are describing is consistent with ocular migraines, a condition that I not only treat in my office but that I have been dealing with personally for decades.

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.

I, personally, have been suffering from this condition for almost 30 years. I almost never got the headaches after the visual effects.

Does this answer your question to your satisfaction?

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick

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