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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11159
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I WOKE UP LAST NIGHT AND MY LEFT WAS COMPLETELY BLIND IN MY

Customer Question

I WOKE UP LAST NIGHT AND MY LEFT WAS COMPLETELY BLIND IN MY LEFT EYE.I OPEN THE LIGHT AND IT WASN'T ALL BLIND BUT THERE WAS STILL A DARK SPOT IN THE MIDDLE BUT IT WENT AWAY FAST. IT'S THE 4 TIME IT HAPPEN.I AM VERY NEARSIGHTED AND WEAR CONTACT DURING THE DAY.VERY SCARED. READ TOO MUCH ON INTERNET. ..MS ETC WHAT SHOULD I DO? IN VACATION WITH TRAVEL INSURANCE.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.

Hi. My name is***** and I am online and available to help you today. Thank you for your patience.

Question and answer is just one of the services I offer. I can also provide you with additional services, such as live telephone or skype consultation, at a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested.

How long do you think each episode lasted?

Was there some shimmering in your vision when this was all happening?

Did it interfere with your ability to read with both eyes open?

Did you have any other symptoms, such as nausea, headache, "weird feeling"?

How tall are you and how much do you weight?

Do you have any other medical problems or take any medications?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am 5 foot 9 I smoke a pack a day and drink a bottle wine daily. .. ex elite athlete but unhealthy habits. I AM MTFHR but genes test show no increases of risk of stroke with the mtfhr. SO TAKE BABY ASPIRIN DAILY by precaution.no pain no shimmer no nausea never happen during the day just at night complete blindness in one eye or big black rectangle in the center vision. I hadn't notice but thought it was just a spot due to light but yesterday realized it was completely dark in the left eyes for about 2 minutes .the right eye could see in the dark but the left was dark. As I decided to open the light the vision resumed but there was a dark spot for about 30 second.I have been having headaches twice a week on either one side of the head tylenol and ibuprofin help. Thought it could be due to a borderline highblood pressure...this morning it's all good. Have a bit of hypoglycemia due to past drastic diets..dad had detach retina around 65 years old and grandmother.cataracts.no family history of ms diabetes cancer. ...just hypochondriac! I KNOW YOU CANNOT GIVE A PERFECT VERDICT BUT JUST WANT TO ***** SOME POSSIBILITIES. ..Sorry for the mistakes
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry weight 160lbs.its when I wake up at night .half of these times I had looked at my cell phone time very closely in the dark without my glasses because blind like a bat ! It's just weird that is only in one eye. It's not like if a was blinded suddenly it last a little longer. ..
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you...I am currently in the middle of my morning clinic and my head tech gets a bit uppity if I spend too much time here in my office ;)

I am a retina surgeon and from what you have posted I do not believe you have to worry about having a detached retina like your father had.

The other good news? I believe I know what is going on....and you should be OK.

Please allow me to explain:

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.

There was one time, I was in the middle of a very delicate retina operation, when an attack started. After a few moments I lost most of my central vision and the inferior part of my visual field. I, calmly, removed my surgical instruments from the patients eye and we all sat around in the OR for 15 minutes until my vision returned. Other than that my ocular migraines have not really caused me any significant problems :o)

Does this make sense to you?

Don't forget to mash the positive feedback button for me...the one labeled "excellent" is the most fun to push by far ;)

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.

Dr. Rick MD FACS