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Eye & Vision Message Board

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When I was 23 I had a detached retina in my right eye, which required surgery (and the placement of a permanent buckle), I was also given a laser treatment to handle lattice issues in my left eye. I also was left with some tiny floaters, which donít obstruct my vision, but are annoying at times, especially initially when going outside into the sunlight.

For the past twenty years I have had yearly appointments with an ophthalmologist (past ten with the same one) specializing in retinal and vitreous problems. About 8 years ago, he gave me an additional laser treatment on my left eye, as he determined that the lattice would be less likely to tear with additional treatment. Everything has been fine with my yearly appointments since.

However, 6 years ago, I started to suffer from visual migraines, which would occur once every four or five months. No headache ever accompanied these events. My ophthalmologist, to be on the safe side, sent me to a Neurologist, and he sent me for an MRI with contrast. Nothing unusual was discovered. These migraines involved transparent/shimmering segments/crescents that moved from the center of my vision in both eyes to the periphery, and would be over in about 15-20 minutes. During that 15-20 minute block, when my eyes were closed, I could still see these figures. I have read a good deal about these visual migraines, and I am aware of the possible causation.

Five weeks ago, when I left my office on a particularly bright day, I noticed out of the bottom corner of my right eye, a tiny shimmering/sparkling area - somewhat like a very small circle of little sparkling dots - very subtle and transparent.

This is in just one eye (unlike my ocular migraines); does not move on its own from center to periphery (unlike my ocular migraines); cannot see it when I close my eyes (unlike my ocular migraines). It follows my line of vision, so if I rotate my eye right, it moves further to the right; when I look straight ahead, it is at the bottom of the corner of my glasses (right eye) - it acts just like my ďfloatersĒ - as my eyes move, so do they. It has been with me every day for the past five weeks (unlike my ocular migraines).

As a matter of fact, the only time I can see it is when I am outside during the daytime, and sometimes when I walk into a light room from a pitch black room. I donít see it when I am indoors, whether in a car, or in a building. It may still be there - I simply donít see it. Moreover, the longer I am outside, the less obvious it typically becomes. If I am walking from my office on a sunny day, I can see it out of the corner of my eye. However, after 5 minutes or so, I typically canít see it, even if I specifically try to locate it. However, I see it every time I initially leave a building or car and walk out into the world (even when it is a bit overcast). The only exception to the inside vs. outside rule is that in both instances when my pupils have been dilated for examination, I can see the shimmering/sparking area inside a building - when I look at my computer screen for example.

I went to see my ophthalmologist a couple of days after first noticing it, and he gave me a thorough examination (dilation/retinal exam) , a visual field test, typical visual acuity test/glaucoma test, etc. Vision was fine (nearsighted but correctable to 20/20) and he didnít see anything wrong (no new tears/lattice/detachment), and told me to come back in a month, though sooner if symptoms change. He indicated that given my history, and the symptoms, and the absence of a clear indication of anything wrong that typically the issue is a visual migraine, though he indicated that this would be a diagnosis by default (i.e. not finding any other clear causation). I came back today (a month later), and everything from his perspective still seems fine with my eye. He does not know what to make of the small shimmering area.

Any ideas?

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