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Dr. Stevens
Dr. Stevens, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 1404
Experience:  Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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I had a brain stroke in 2005 and have had a marvelous recovery

Customer Question

I had a brain stroke in 2005 and have had a marvelous recovery but occasionally I see prisms on the sides of my eyes. what causes them? I have no pain, discomfort or headaches and my vision returns to normal in 5 or so minutes. Thank you xxx xxx
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Stevens replied 7 years ago.
What exactly do you see? are there colors to it? is it zig zag in nature?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It usually happens when I am watching tv and I see whatever I am watching in the normal colors but the sides of the picture and possibly an expanded area as if looking through a slowly moving prism.
Expert:  Dr. Stevens replied 7 years ago.

Hello again DJ

I see patients with similar symptoms quite often. Folks often describe a bright or colorful pattern (sometimes wavy or zigzag in nature) and it can be in one eye and moves to the other, sometimes affecting the central vision. Sometimes there is a headache following this as well. This is called an ophthalmic migraine. The names can be confusing. Think of it this way:

only the visual symptoms - no headache = ophthalmic migraine (also known as ocular migraine).

headache with an aura is called a classic migraine (headache with some peculiar visual warning / episode prior to headache)


Migraines are common and typically require no treatment, except for more rest, less stress, etc. Sometimes caffeine can help shorten the episode. I hope this helps answer your question, if not, just let me know, Regards

Dr. Stevens