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I see semicircular swaths of defocused images in the right…

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I see semicircular swaths...
I see semicircular swaths of defocused images in the right side my left eye, usually when I am stressed.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Eye
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
1/3/2012
Eye Doctor: Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD replied 6 years ago
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 12,083
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

How long do these events last when they happen?

Dr. Rick :

Hi. Welcome to chat.

Customer:

usually for about 5 to 10 minutes

Dr. Rick :

do you sometimes notice that these events interfere with your ability to see words on a page for a period of time?

Customer:

no - they usually happen when I am driving, I can still see all the things in my direct vision, it's as if the image is refracted through a number of crystals existing in a periferal ring at the lower right edge of my vision

Dr. Rick :

Have you had cataract surgery?

Dr. Rick :

And do these events seem to be correlated in any way with lights, such as from oncoming cars, or do they happen wherever you tend to be, such as at home, watching TV, driving, walking etc?

Customer:

No. I was a naval aviator, my eyes were 20/15 until I was 41 and going to law school, but my left eye is now weaker, so I sometimes have trouble seeing print clearly, especially in lowered light situations

Dr. Rick :

My father was in the Airforce. He likes his runways to sit still :)

Customer:

no correllation with lights, these image discontinuity usually occur in daylight.

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Well the most common cause of symptoms like you are suffering from is an ocular "migraine"

Dr. Rick :

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 and, hopefully, this will continue to be your experience.


Customer:

they may be physcosomatic, as they go away if I relax

Dr. Rick :

I am always slow to use that as a reason for physical symptoms......While I believe nothing serious is going on it might be best for you to have a complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist in the near future just to be sure.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

The ocular symptoms from migraines will also go away with relaxation...

Customer:

Yes, it seems describe the situation - I will get an eye exam. Thanks

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Have a good day.

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
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Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Eye Doctor: Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD replied 6 years ago
Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
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