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View Full Version : Any eye doctors here? Temporary loss of peripheral vision today..


MBHockey
01-21-2006, 10:35 PM
This was really odd and scary. Today i was in a store buying a new suit for internship interviews, and all of a sudden, really out of nowhere, i started getting really blurry vision.

My peripheral vision was the one that seemed most affected...anything that wasn't directly in front of me was extremely blurry, and even spots straight on were blurry. I believe it was more in my left eye than right eye, but i can't really remember. I looked at my eyes in the mirror there, and everything looked fine. No redness or anything, nothing stuck in my eye like an eyelash or something. But it lasted a good 10-15 minutes before it went away.

I bought a bottle of water, and on the way there i almost clipped two people because i just didn't see them off to the side of me...really scary stuff.

I was very relieved when it went away, but it's got me concerned. I do wear glasses/contacts. I am near-sighted. What if that happens when i'm driving or something? :(

NovaScotian
01-21-2006, 11:27 PM
First off, let me say I'm not a doctor (of medicine, anyway), but I have had a similar experience, so let me ask a question: Did your vision seem to have become "pixelated"? By that I mean did things look like they do on TV when the station is intentionally obscuring a face? Was the screwed up portion of your vision crescent shaped? If so, that's called an ocular migrane. Apparently they aren't dangerous, but they are very disconcerting. They seem to be stress related in most folks.

MBHockey
01-22-2006, 12:04 AM
it was more like extreme tunnel vision...where i could only see straight ahead, and even that was spotty. The spots weren't dark...they were translucent...but the image was all blurry. Like if there were blue and red lights to the left of me as i'm walking straight, i would have vaguely made out a red/blue swirl of color, but i wouldn't know how far off it was or any more detail about it.

It also seemed like it was constantly moving, like it was a clear liquid or something that kept moving through the outer edges of my eye obstructing my view. I really don't know how to explain it, but i got my eyes checked recently and they said everything was fine.

Maybe it's my body's way of telling me i spend too much time staring at this screen?

It hasn't
happened since, i hope it doesn't happen again.

mclbruce
01-22-2006, 12:49 AM
I did some computer work for some eye surgeons a while back. Actually one of the surgeons there had operated on my eye when I was a kid. When I worked there I was very curious about what I'd gone through with my eyes when I was growing up. The Docs let me learn about what they were doing and gave me access to the medical library at a nearby university.

I can think of a few things that could have happened, but I'm not going to make a guess. I suggest visiting a good ophthalmologist. It could be nothing. It could be something that can be dealt with easily - if you go in soon. By soon I mean days, not weeks.

Tell the office what happened when you call for an appointment. Don't downplay things, go ahead and be dramatic. Let them fuss and worry over you if they want, and hopefully you and they will be all smiles at the end of your visit.

Jay Carr
01-22-2006, 04:40 AM
A few things. One, I'm not a doctor either, but I have had similar experiences. Every now and then my vision will do all sorts of funny things, blur suddenly, turn grey around the edges (and it bubbles and moves like you described), sometimes they grey out completely and I even see stars on a semi-regular basis.

But for myself the reason is totally unrelated to my eyes, I have poor circulation. And all of this usually happens when I stand up way to fast, quickly relieving my head of any blood that might have been there. It's a condition my whole family deals with. It also makes my legs fall asleep really easily...

I don't know if that helps, but even a healthy person can have days when their circulation is poor (or so I'm told, I'm no doctor.)

But I'm with mclbruce, don't treat this like something that will just 'go away', because it might not. If the optomologist said you were okay recently, you might try seeing a regular doctor and describing the problem to him as well.

In the end hopefully nothing will come of it, but it's better safe than blind or dead.

ALT147
01-22-2006, 05:13 AM
I've had a similar thing several times, some years ago now. One whole side of my vision greyed out, and appeared to be oscillating or pulsating: closing either eye made no difference. Next time I saw the doctor he said it was a fairly common form of migraine. Apparently in some cases when blood vessels constrict in the brain you get severe pain, other times you get no pain but distorted senses.

It's very scary while its happening, but I think it's not something to be too worried about... *crosses fingers*. Of course, in your case it could be something entirely different and much more serious... I suppose it's better to err on the side of caution.

NovaScotian
01-22-2006, 09:02 AM
I've had a similar thing several times, some years ago now. One whole side of my vision greyed out, and appeared to be oscillating or pulsating: closing either eye made no difference. Next time I saw the doctor he said it was a fairly common form of migraine. Apparently in some cases when blood vessels constrict in the brain you get severe pain, other times you get no pain but distorted senses.

It's very scary while its happening, but I think it's not something to be too worried about... *crosses fingers*. Of course, in your case it could be something entirely different and much more serious... I suppose it's better to err on the side of caution.
Having been first to post, let me add this to what has been recommended here: Go see your family physician and ask him!

MBHockey
01-22-2006, 09:03 AM
Yeah i think i'll get it checked out.

I don't think it's headache-related, because i'm pretty sure i've never had a headache in my life.

Photek
01-22-2006, 10:17 AM
I had the exact same thing about a year ago, lasted for 15 mins, felt a bit odd and disorientated, edge of my vision was blurry... didn't matter how much I rubbed my eyes it didn't go away...

never had it again since!

your falling appart mate!
first your wrist... then your eyes... actually come to think of it there is one thing that is rumored to give you a sore wrist and turn you blind! :D

CAlvarez
01-22-2006, 10:48 AM
This happens from excessive use of Virtual PC and Windows. These are the first stages. Soon the tunnel will tighten you will see nothing but Windows programs; nothing else is a "computer" just Windows. Any problem can be solved with the use of Windows computing. You will tune into speeches by Bill Gates (handsome and charismatic devil that he is), and you'll start using the phrase, "It's perfectly normal to have to reboot your computer twice a day. It's a good time to take a break really." You're probably already looking forward to the second Tuesday of the month, aren't you (that's MS critical patch release day)?

Ok, no, in all seriousness, your mom told you this would happen if you didn't stop, right?

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week, please remember to tip your waitresses.

My girlfriend is epileptic and has described something like that as a precursor to a seizure. Apparently lots of people have little seizures, hers just escalate. So it could be nothing, a symptom of age, or could be more serious. As noted by others, you should be on the phone with a doctor at 8am. I don't know that I'd go for an eye doc specifically, I think this is a neurological issue, but any doc is a good place to start.

NovaScotian
01-22-2006, 11:10 AM
I was a pilot in the RCAF in the late 50's and the symptoms being described here are very similar to a high-g blackout. At first, peripheral vision is lost but if the high-g persists, vision narrows to a pinpoint and then turns off all together. Comes on again as soon as g goes back to normal (you get out of the turn or loop manoevre). G-suits prevent this by squeezing your lower extremities and abdoman with built-in air bladders by an amount proportional to the g-forces, which forces your blood back up to your head.

When I asked my doc about mine, he said it's caused by a transient ischemia of the retina (helpful, no?). But in English, that means that some small spasm of the blood vessels of the eye has reduced the blood flow to the retina the same way that high g does and vision "winks out" starting on the outside and moving in toward central vision. He said not to worry unless they recurred frequently, which they didn't. I had a few over a span of months a few years ago, and have never had one since. Retirement is good for stuff like that.

Reacher
01-22-2006, 12:51 PM
Next time I saw the doctor he said it was a fairly common form of migraine. Apparently in some cases when blood vessels constrict in the brain you get severe pain, other times you get no pain but distorted senses.

My wife gets these from time to time, manifesting as a moiré pattern in the corners of her vision.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migraine#acephalgic_migraine

macminicooper
01-23-2006, 12:52 AM
Yeah i think i'll get it checked out.

I don't think it's headache-related, because i'm pretty sure i've never had a headache in my life.

I had it happen without the headache a few times. You don't have to feel pain to have a migrane. In fact when I have a bad headache my vision is usually fine. Went to urgent care one day and then ended up giving me a shot of imatrix (sp?) and naproxen. They had me stay there to make sure I wasn't allergic to the imatrix. They wrote the prescription and I was out of there.

I haven't had to take any imatrix for a couple year now. That's all it was for me but as others have said I would see the doctor because there could be a bunch of other causes like something pressing on the optic nerves, etc.

ALT147
01-23-2006, 02:41 AM
I don't think it's headache-related, because i'm pretty sure i've never had a headache in my life.

As macminicooper said, I don't think you need to have had headache problems to experience this. I'd never had a real headache in my life before this happened to me. As far as my doc told me it's *either* pain or the stuffed vision (or something else), you don't necessarily need both.

Anyway, let us know what you find out :confused:

olealf
01-23-2006, 04:47 AM
I think the only good advice you can get here is to go and see a doctor asap.

Some years ago my left eye went blind within ten minutes. It lasted for another 15 minutes and slowly got normal again.

I went to a doctor a few weeks after that happened and he was very angry at me that I had waited that long. His advice was to come on the day it happens.

Irene
01-23-2006, 05:54 PM
Call an ophthalmologist today. Tell the appointment person you need an emergency appointment and get it checked. There are numerous conditions that can cause such symptoms, and you need to be properly diagnosed and treated. Do not accept an appointment for four weeks from now.

MBHockey
03-03-2007, 04:04 PM
Admittedly, i did not get it checked out when i should have.

I just had another one of these episodes. It was solely in my right eye, but exactly as I had described in my original post. It again lasted about 15 minutes and vanished just as quick is it came on.

It's Saturday, and I'll be home on Tuesday from school for a little mid-semester break. I'm going to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for Wednesday to get this sorted out.

Scary stuff :\

DeltaMac
03-03-2007, 04:39 PM
I had something similar happen a few times, until I got my high blood pressure under control.

NovaScotian
03-03-2007, 05:36 PM
This time, really do it MBH - ocular migraine is one, and the most likely, possibility but there are other nastier possibilities and you really should have it checked out pronto.

jonjonc
03-03-2007, 06:36 PM
I've had an episode kind of like this before, but mine was caused by spider bites. One morning last September I woke up feeling a little off and when I took a shower I noticed I had four or five big red bumps on different parts of my body.

Later when I was in math class, I started having shaky/blurry tunnel vision but accompanied by a mental effect the venom had that I can really only describe as me thinking I was losing my mind. It was really strange. It was like I could actually hear someone was speaking my own thoughts to me and all other noises around me became unbearably loud. Also, one of the bites was on my neck and the whole right side of my face became numb.

The doctor said that most likely it was some kind widow or recluse spider that bit me and the neurotoxin in the venom was responsible for the losing-my-mind effect.

Not a fun experience.

MBHockey
03-03-2007, 06:43 PM
Jeez, that does NOT sound like fun at all. How did you get past it? Medications?

::runs to check self for spider bites:: :)

jonjonc
03-03-2007, 08:17 PM
The doctor gave me some anti-inflammatory steroid stuff to help with the swelling of the bites themselves, but he said I just had to let the venom run its course through my body.

Lets just say it wasn't the most comfortable day.

ArcticStones
03-04-2007, 03:58 AM
.
MBHockey, you really do need to get this checked immediately. Seriously, I wouldn’t wait til Wednesday. And having waited more than a year is ... well, not brilliant.

I’m not terribly good at getting myself to the doctor either. A couple of years ago I felt totally drained of energy and was struggling with allergies and asthma -- both my quality of life and my work were suffering. Anyway, I followed up my doctor’s referral to a specialist.

He measured my lung function as being less than 40% of what it should have been. Chastised me strongly and put me on a customised battery of medications. This time I also took the cortisone based inhaler, which he claimed was the key, and which I had refused to touch when previously prescribed.

Within 3 months I was up to 90%. Wow!
Felt like I had been given a new pair of lungs.

The lesson for me, of course, was that I should have gotten myself to a specialist looong ago. And followed his advice. I struggled needlessly with problems for years, thanks only to my own obstinacy.
.

johngpt
03-04-2007, 01:17 PM
Admittedly, i did not get it checked out when i should have.

I just had another one of these episodes. It was solely in my right eye, but exactly as I had described in my original post. It again lasted about 15 minutes and vanished just as quick is it came on.

It's Saturday, and I'll be home on Tuesday from school for a little mid-semester break. I'm going to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for Wednesday to get this sorted out.

Scary stuff :\
When home on Tuesday, as well as making an appointment with an opthalmologist, please get seen by your primary care/family practitioner. Among the things we in physical therapy would want to know when a patient describes these events are any recent changes in blood pressure, is the person a diabetic, is the person taking anti-depressants, many of which are inappropriate to ask/report in a public forum.

schneb
03-05-2007, 11:21 AM
I second the possibility to an ocular migraine. If you look in the mirror, you will not see what needs to be seen. An ophthalmologist needs to use his tools to look into the back of your eye and see what is up.

MBHockey
03-07-2007, 11:33 AM
I saw a very well respected ophthalmologist today. He examined me for about 20 minutes and asked me a bunch of questions. He determined that it is an ocular migraine.

He said I'm lucky to not have any of the other symptoms, and that my eyes are in excellent condition. He also told me the episodes are not related to blood pressure, as he could see just from examining my eyes that I do not have high blood pressure.

He basically told me not to worry about it, unless I get them much more frequently and they begin to be accompanied by severe headaches.

schneb
03-07-2007, 05:24 PM
Excellent, glad to hear it. Yes, you do not want the other symptoms. My wife gets them and she is out of circulation for an entire day.

blubbernaut
03-07-2007, 07:07 PM
You might want to get your neck seen to by a physiotherapist, myotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath, masseur, shiatsu masseur (insert your favourite physical therapist here), as I know that a lot of head and eye problems can be caused, or at least exacerbated by tight, misaligned necks. And doing a lot of work on a computer (plus the posture of a hockey player) makes you a prime candidate!

I know I have to see someone at least once a month otherwise I get all sorts of problems that you might not necessarily equate to your neck (Pain behind, around the eyes, fogginess etc).

MBHockey
03-07-2007, 07:11 PM
I actually do see a chiropractor regularly -- he's a family friend and has adjusted me for a long time now. He's also my weight lifting trainer in the summers.

MBHockey
03-07-2007, 08:05 PM
Grr.

It's happening again, right now. Except no real loss of peripheral vision this time, just the other stuff (floaty lines of swirled colors). Quite annoying...trying to get some work done, but it makes it impossible to read text.

Should I get a second opinion?

Edit:
It seems to be going away, but isn't gone completely. Something funny i noticed, though. When using my 24" iMac, the symptoms seem much worse than when sitting at the 15" LCD my parents have on their Mac Mini. Could this be somehow caused by this monstrous screen?

johngpt
03-07-2007, 09:32 PM
Grr.

Edit:
It seems to be going away, but isn't gone completely. Something funny i noticed, though. When using my 24" iMac, the symptoms seem much worse than when sitting at the 15" LCD my parents have on their Mac Mini. Could this be somehow caused by this monstrous screen?

Should it be, you'll no doubt have many offers to relieve you of the burden of that monstrous screen.

When looking at the photos you'd posted of it sitting on your desk, it seemed rather close. I don't recall if you'd posted that you had changed that ergonomic set up.

Glad to hear you went for the check up. I also concur with blubbernaut's idea regarding how the cervical spine influences the head, including how we see, circulation into the brain, etc. You might make a point of seeing your chiropractor soon.

MBHockey
03-07-2007, 10:02 PM
I had done some research, and I am about 3-4" over my arm's length away from the screen at all times. Is this not sufficient?

I am seeing my chiropractor this weekend.

johngpt
03-08-2007, 07:00 AM
I had done some research, and I am about 3-4" over my arm's length away from the screen at all times. Is this not sufficient?

I am seeing my chiropractor this weekend.

Seems okay both from what I've researched and what I've seen with patients. I've not yet worked with patients who have 24" screens. I wonder if the effect of scale changes things. Research with which I'm familiar with screens that are that size involved television. Recommendations for TVs were often distances such as across the room. I'll have to search for newer info.

Stress has been known to influence the frequency of migraine, so I suppose that is likely to be a factor for ocular migraine as well. I know you do lots of the right things to minimize the adverse effects of stress with the exercise that you do.

MBHockey
03-08-2007, 08:02 AM
I'm not sure stress is the case. I'm fairly stress free. I've only got two classes left to take before getting my BS in ME, so my semester is light. And I'm training for a triathlon in June...so i'm very physically active. I swim 3 times a week and run twice, in addition to weight lifting around 3-4 times a week.

Even though i had one before i had the 24" iMac, I'm beginning to think the sheer size of this thing can't be great for my eyes (granted that is a "gut" feeling...not sure how useful those ever turn out to be.)

johngpt
03-08-2007, 07:58 PM
I'm not sure stress is the case. I'm fairly stress free. I've only got two classes left to take before getting my BS in ME, so my semester is light. And I'm training for a triathlon in June...so i'm very physically active. I swim 3 times a week and run twice, in addition to weight lifting around 3-4 times a week.

Even though i had one before i had the 24" iMac, I'm beginning to think the sheer size of this thing can't be great for my eyes (granted that is a "gut" feeling...not sure how useful those ever turn out to be.)

It'll be interesting to see what happens with the migraines after the triathlon. Sometimes a demanding training regimen can increase stress (physical/exertion type) to the system. The prevailing point of view is that such training is good for us, but perhaps in certain circumstances there can be too much. Reading your posts here in the forum suggests that you would follow a smart regimen, ramping up your training over time to be ready for the competition at the right time, and not over-train and peak too soon.

Irene
03-08-2007, 10:30 PM
Has anyone told you that migraines are often triggered by any of the following (it varies amonngst individuals, so keep a diary of these and learn which, if any, YOU need to avoid):

cashew nuts
aged cheeses such as brie
red wine
chocolate
too much bright sunlight without a hat and sunglasses
aspartine (the sweetner in most diet soda, the same as Equal)
MSG


Fortunately for me, I can handle chocolate and red wine. All the others are taboo. Eliminating them reduced the frequency of my my migraines about 85-90%.

AHunter3
03-08-2007, 10:44 PM
As a long-term Mac afficionado I hate to be the first person to bring up MS as a culprit and not be referring to Microsoft, but the symptoms you're describing could be optic neuritis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optic_neuritis), which is considered to be a signature of multiple sclerosis, or MS.

Please take it seriously and rule out ocular neuritis and MS, or, if you should turn out to test positive for it, become the regular patient of a good neurologist in your area and get treated.

johngpt
03-08-2007, 10:58 PM
As a long-term Mac afficionado I hate to be the first person to bring up MS as a culprit and not be referring to Microsoft, but the symptoms you're describing could be optic neuritis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optic_neuritis), which is considered to be a signature of multiple sclerosis, or MS.

Please take it seriously and rule out ocular neuritis and MS, or, if you should turn out to test positive for it, become the regular patient of a good neurologist in your area and get treated.

Good point. The opthalmologist that was seen would be on the lookout for that given the age of MBH, but it wouldn't hurt to directly ask that question of the opthalmologist.

MBHockey
03-08-2007, 11:08 PM
I went to a neurologist today.

She said my exam was normal, but that my blood pressure is a bit high (the readings were 140/90, and 150/90...however two weeks ago when I had bronchitis, the doctor said my pressure was 120/70). I think i just get nervous about doctors taking my blood pressure, though. Some time ago i went to see a specialist in nyc about my blood pressure and he concluded that it just fluctuates a lot, and we would keep an eye on it.

When the neurologist said my blood pressure was high, my mom called the specialist we had seen and he said that even at those readings they aren't high enough to cause the ocular migraines. So it's something else i'll have to look into separately.

Also, i went for an MRI on my head today (standard procedure for a neurologist visit, it seems) and I'll have the results by noon tomorrow.

If everything turns out to be OK, it seems it's just something i'll have to deal with...and doesn't directly point to something worse.

Irene, i did not know about those foods. I do not think it is sunlight -- unless my ridiculously bright 24" iMac counts as sunlight ;) -- i stay away from Aspartame because it just weirds me out (how can something have no calories?!?!), and I rarely eat take-out Chinese so I don't think MSG is the cause.

I actually lead a quite healthy lifestyle (it's a concerted effort)...and I'd be surprised if any of my symptoms are caused by what i eat/my exercise.

johngpt
03-09-2007, 07:05 AM
After my last brain scan I was told, "Don't worry John, nothing's there." :)

GemsyR
03-09-2007, 11:32 AM
Hi,

I am completely new to this and am wondering if there will be anyone to give me some advice.
I have been having some problems with my peripheral vision. I have had two field test which shows that my vision on my left side is severly effected.

I am not having headaches, sickness, dizziness, loss of consciousness etc.

Now my doctor has sent me for an MRI scan next week and this has got me worried.

Please be honest with me as I would like peoples opinion.
Many thanks.

hayne
03-09-2007, 01:20 PM
GemsyR:
I merged your thread into this existing one on a simialr topic

tommaso
03-17-2007, 09:37 PM
MBHockey, I agree with NovaScotian about the "ocular migraine" bit. Glad you checked it out proper, though.
I used to get the ocular bit then a while later the full migraine headache. Hasn't happened for awhile (knocks on head).