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Did you look inot the sun directly with both your eyes yesterday?
Yes, looking out of a window
Immediately after that did you notice any change in the vision in both the eyes? Any blurring of vision in either of the eyes?
Are you short sighted? Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Do you have any known history of migraine? Have you experienced flashes of light or floaters any time in the past?
No, I just noticed flashes of yellow light in my right eye later that evening and this morning when I look at a white background. I had blurry vision for the past several weeks and had my eyes examined last week for glasses.
This was before looking into the sun yesterday afternoon.
I have experienced floaters recently (prior to looking into the sun).
The main concern after looking into the sun is that of a macular burn . But it is highly unlikely in your case as the vision was not affected after looking into the sun.
I have no history of migraines, though I have had headaches recently (prior to this)
I notice that it seems a little less this morning
The causes of flashes of light include migraine, posterior vitreous detachment(PVD), retinal detachment(RD).
You have mentioned that you had blurry vision for a few weeks prior to this incident and were tested for glasses. What was the eye exam result? Were you given glasses?
I am wearing glasses now and I will be returning to the opthalmologist for an updated prescription in another week.
Do you still notice any blurring of vision( with the glasses on) in the right eye now?
Only flashes of light with a few flaoters is very likely to be due to PVD.
I do notice blurry vision in both eyes with my glasses on but my prescription needs to be updated. I will be returning to have my lens changed in another week.
RD is more of an ocular emergency and is characterised by flashes of light, sudden shower of fresh floaters along with a sudden blurring of vision as if looking through a veil or curtain and the blurring of vision persists.
I don't have a sudden shower of fresh floaters or sudden blurring of vision as if looking through a vein or curtain.
What would you recommend?
Since you have noticed flashes of light in right eye alone along with blurring of vision in both eyes, one would not consider RD ( which is a good news). I would suggest that you go ahead with your scheduled eye exam by the ophthalmologist in the coming week.
If the yellow spots continue to fade in my right eye over the next few days, can I assume that my eyes have not been damaged?
In PVD, the thick gel at the back of the eye( called vitreous) gets detached from its surrounding retina . This results in retinal traction which results in the symptom of flashes of light and includes color distortion. Flashes of light may not be prominent in some individuals. Once the vitreous gets detached completely , it may form clumps or strands and cause symptom of floaters such as dark spots, cobweb or thread like strands in the visual field. More often it is not a serious issue and does not require any specific treatment. A routine retina examination needs to be done by an ophthalmologist just to check for the intactness of the retina and to look for any peripheral retinal tears or holes, which if found, can be sealed by lasers. The only concern is that of a remote possibility of a retinal tear extending into a frank retinal detachment, which is characterised by symptoms of sudden increase of flashes or floaters and a curtain or veil falling in the field of vision. This requires urgent treatment by a retinal specialist. This is not a common feature and is more predisposed in myopic and diabetic individuals. You do not seem to be having any of these acute symptoms, so as of now a routine eye exam should suffice. PVD can occur suddenly at anytime and is a diagnosis of exclusion and does not show any signs as such on eye examination. What you would need at this stage is a routine eye exam ( not an emergency) to look at the back of the eye. If PVD is confirmed then there is nothing much to be done.
Yes, if the yellow spots fade away , then it should not be a matter of concern. Since these flashes have been noticed only when viewing at a white background, it is most likely to be due to PVD only.
Can PVD cause blindness?
No it does not cause blindness.
How is PVD treated?
It is usually left alone and does not require any specific treatment. Rarely in case of peripheral retinal tears, laser treatment is given so as to seal the tears. In some individuals the floaters tend to be very large and interfere with day to day chores. Such individuals are advised to undergo vitrectomy.
I see. Thank you for responding to my questions, I really appreciate it.
You are most welcome.
Thank you and best wishes.
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Views expressed are for information purpose only and cannot substitute a visit to an ophthalmologist