Seeing flashes? a little PSA

Discussion in 'Chatty Pad' started by KimJ, May 24, 2021.

  1. KimJ

    KimJ Did you check in the refrigerator?

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    Saturday morning I was graced with the oddly unsettling experience of seeing jagged brown arcs flashing brightly in the periphery of my left eye. I'm normally a wait and see what happens kind of person before heading off to the doctor, but this really freaked me out, so I called my eye doctor, who fortunately was open and able to fit me in.

    Long story short, it turned out to be vitreous detachment. Basically, the goo ball inside of my eyeball is shrinking and detaching from the retina. (Yay for being over 50 and nearsighted! :giggle) It takes several weeks to a few months to fully process. The condition itself is annoying but not dangerous, but it can turn into a retinal detachment, which is much more serious. My doctor told me I'd done the right thing by coming in, saying that her neighbor had a retinal detachment but waited a few days before coming in. The story trailed off into ominous silence from there. :eek:

    For now I just need to avoid physically jarring activities like running and horseback riding, which fortunately won't be an issue for me :P, and if I don't see any worsening (lightning storm of flashes, lots of new floaters, black curtain across my vision), just come in for follow up visits in the coming weeks so they can monitor it. I'm finding that my eye is a bit more sore and sensitive than usual, but I don't know if that's mainly just because I'm hyper-aware of it. :rolleyes:

    So the PSA is that if you see weird things happening in your eyeball, don't wait to get it checked out! :thumbsups
     
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  2. Angela Toucan

    Angela Toucan I keep looking for THAT wardrobe

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    bless you Kim.
    That happened to my mum, it has managed to heal well though. I hope yours heals quickly, bless you.
     
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  3. HavaDrPepper

    HavaDrPepper Space. The final frontier

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    Agree about getting things checked out immediately. I don't have your issue but I had several bouts of losing vision while at work for short periods of time. I was having an aura (flashing lights and blind spots) then would lose all focus. I'd put my head down and cover my eyes and within a few minutes, it would clear up. I went in to see the eye doctor about it and I get what are called ocular migraines. I had them more when I worked and I determined at that time that it was the fluorescent desk light that could be a trigger (also had a ceiling fluorescent light above my work area). When I stopped turning that light on, I didn't have as many episodes.

    I don't have as many now that I'm retired but I do have them at times if I'm on the computer and a website has lots of flashing items or lots of gifs on the page. And, scrolling through it just makes it worse. I have learned to avoid those things. My longest spell of losing vision was about 45 minutes, maybe an hour and luckily it happened here at home. Most vision loss is about 10 minutes for me. But it is scary. Add the chronic dry eye and cataracts (that aren't bad enough for surgery yet) to it...
     
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  4. Nemla

    Nemla Stretching my skill set

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    Good reason to relax and take it easy. Wishing you well.
     
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  5. KimJ

    KimJ Did you check in the refrigerator?

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    @HavaDrPepper That does sound scary! My husband has a somewhat similar thing where certain lighting situations will cause his vision to go wonky and he gets kind of a rainbow haze thing happening. It makes him nauseous and he has to go lie down in a dark room until it passes. He's spoken to the doctor about it and they haven't been able to find anything. Fortunately, it doesn't happen very often.

    My daughter has had 2 episodes (about 8 years ago, and 3 years ago) where in very stressful/upsetting situations her vision went black for a few minutes. I suspect maybe her blood pressure spiked. It was very scary.
     
  6. BevG

    BevG If I can't remember it, it didn't happen

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    I saw spider webs across my eyes one summer when looking down at the pool water. Turns out they think I had a retina detach and then re-attach by itself. They lasered it in place to make sure it was stuck on. It was not fun - not fun at all. So yup - all those things. The retina exams are painful and the laser treatment very painful. Our eyes are made to close when there is really bright light -- but it had to be open to shoot the laser in there. My eyes hurt and the tears were everywhere. It was worse than the Lasik surgery I had done - of course, they also gave me some valium for the Lasik.

    And also bad - I did not know they were going to treat me so I had driven myself to the appointment. I should have called someone for a ride home.

    So yeah, anything unusual - get it checked!
     
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  7. KimJ

    KimJ Did you check in the refrigerator?

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    @BevG Wow, I didn't know it could reattach by itself. In my case, I didn't find the retina exam painful, but maybe it was different. I had the pre-dilation "photos" that I get done every year, and then when dilated, the doctor thoroughly checked the retina with a bright light while I looked in different directions. They did warn me that I would be dilated, so I had DH drive me. The first time I was ever dilated, they told me I would be able to drive, but the dilation was so strong that the entire dashboard was a blur. I really should NOT have been driving. I've never had such a strong reaction since, and it turned out that I probably would have been fine to drive myself this time, but I don't risk it anymore if it can be avoided.
     
  8. HavaDrPepper

    HavaDrPepper Space. The final frontier

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    @KimJ Has he talked to the eye doctor about it? One time when I was having issues in the eye area and called to see my doctor, they suggested the eye doctor first. They would see me if the eye doctor said everything was OK. Eye doctor got me in and turns out my eye had been scratched (accidentally by my dog the night before). Never did see the physician for it. I knew my dog has pawed me in the face in bed but didn't realize he actually got the eye!

    Stress can also be a contributor. I loved my job but there was a lot of stress in the workplace as well. With retirement there is a lot less stress!
     
  9. KimJ

    KimJ Did you check in the refrigerator?

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    Yes, he has. They haven't found a problem. It only happens to him a couple of times a year now. I don't know how to specifically identify the lighting that triggers it, but it seems to be related to the way the natural and artificial light at different brightness levels within the room combine.
     
  10. cfile

    cfile My bags are packed for Platform 9 3/4

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    oh gosh.. rest your eyes Kim.. I was told to do that when I ws a kid and it started with floaters... anyway... just please take care of yourself. Hugs
     
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  11. LivyBug

    LivyBug Well-Known Member

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    Oh my, Kim! So glad you were proactive. Hoping your process is easy, not painful, and without complications. :heartlub
     
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  12. gonewiththewind

    gonewiththewind I choose joy.

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    @KimJ I used to work for Retina Specialists in our area. I learned quite a bit about eyes even though I was doing coding and billing! You are SO right to make sure that you are seeking immediate evaluation if you are having flashers, floaters, or other disruption of vision. Praying you heal quickly and with no further problems!
     
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  13. IntenseMagic

    IntenseMagic I like my pillow Rock hard

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    Oh my goodness, so glad you went and had it checked right away!! Hope you heal quickly!!
     
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  14. Cherylndesigns

    Cherylndesigns All glasses should be bigger than 1.5 oz

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    Oh my goodness, Kim!! That's so scary!! I have floaters and there's nothing they can do about them. Fortunately, they're not there all the time. When they're "there" it's really annoying. SO glad you got into the eye doctor right away. Our eyes are nothing to mess around with!!
     
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  15. BevG

    BevG If I can't remember it, it didn't happen

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    They told me as long as they keep moving they are not a problem.
     
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  16. BevG

    BevG If I can't remember it, it didn't happen

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    @KimJ - Yeah, I just had the "dilated bright-light look in this direction" at the regular eye doctor recently - not too bad. When I went to the retina specialist they used some machine which took pictures of the inside of my eye - had lots of green flashing lights - not fun. They also did the "look in this direction" but used a much brighter light than my regular doctor - and pulled my eyelid around to make the opening bigger -- I have small eye slits.

    The whole thing was weird, as in unexpected. I had seen some floaters, mentioned it to my eye doctor, who checked and she saw the place where it looked re-attached. She referred me to the specialist, who did the laser treatment. I had to visit them periodically for about 2 years - glad that is over.
     
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  17. meganmecrazy

    meganmecrazy Hanging with the Oompa Loompas

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    Oh wow! Glad you got it checked!! Now I'm reminded that I haven't seen the eye doctor in a while and probably should go. I am way overdue for a new pair of glasses for bad nearsightedness!
     
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  18. Cherylndesigns

    Cherylndesigns All glasses should be bigger than 1.5 oz

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    Right. Mine definitely move. Sometimes, I think I see a bug but nope - it's a floater.
     
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  19. norton94

    norton94 Thank goodness I'm still a Well-Known Member

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    Feel better @KimJ and I hope it stays stable!
     
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  20. LynnG

    LynnG Designer

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    Good PSA Kim. That has now happened to me in both eyes. :flirty I ignored the sporadic flashes that I would notice when I shut my eyes at bedtime, until I got a massive floater in the affected eye while overseas. They would not let me fly home until I had it checked by a specialist to rule out a retinal detachment. So be like Kim and don't be like me peeps! Second time round I had it checked as soon as the flashes started. Very annoying, especially the floaters. Hope yours settles soon.
     
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