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Doctor insights on: Photopsia

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Can photopsia appear as a circle?

Can photopsia appear as a circle?

Yes: Photopsia, a sensation of light when one is not present, can take any shape, size or location, depending on what is causing it. ...Read more

Flashes Of Light (Definition)

The term is used to describe a retinal phenomenon associated with both vitreous and retinal detachments. Light flashes can also be seen as migraine auras, and rarely with occipital tumors and some rare epilepsies. This is basically a symptom, not ...Read more


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What should I do if I have photopsia in both eyes?

Eye exam: Photopsia is a general term. It may be due to migraines is if it lasts for minutes. It is of retinal origin if it lasts for seconds. You need to see an ophthalmologist to determine the cause. Flashes and floater can be a sign of a retinal tear which can lead to a retinal detachment. ...Read more

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Intra ocular hypertension 23hgmm visual field still clear. Glaucoma meds 13 till 16yrs with only slight decrease in iop off meds since. Rare photopsia?

Intra ocular hypertension 23hgmm visual field still clear. Glaucoma meds 13 till 16yrs with only slight decrease in iop off meds since. Rare photopsia?

Ocular hypertension: The term ocular hypertension (oht) implies that the eye pressure is high without optic nerve damage or visual field loss. In many cases oht can be followed on no meds as long as periodic optic nerve testing is done (visual field, oct, photos). The corneal thickness has been found in influence the pressure measurement, and in cases of very thin corneas, treatment might still be recommended. ...Read more

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What's the difference between photopsia and visual seizures? I had split-second flashes of light so i saw my eye md, but he found nothing wrong.

What's the difference between photopsia and visual seizures? I had split-second flashes of light so i saw my eye md, but he found nothing wrong.

Photopsia is a flash: Of light that will nearly always occur unilaterally, or in one eye only. A migraine causes "scintillating scotomas". This is a scintillating absence of vision which typically does not lateralize - meaning it is not possible to say that it is in one eye or the other. A "visual seizure" or occipital lobe seizure mimics retinal migraine as both are due to occipital lobe dysfunction. ...Read more

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Went to eye doctor because i thought i may have seen a flashing light in my peripheal for a split second. He found nothing wrong. Is photopsia hard to miss when you experience them?

Went to eye doctor because i thought i may have seen a flashing light in my peripheal for a split second. He found nothing wrong. Is photopsia hard to miss when you experience them?

Yes. Often.: Clinicians cannot see your flashes. Only you can see those. We can however, explain flashes on the basis of subtle changes in the vitreous gel and signs of traction on the retina. Most unilateral flashes are a result of vitreous traction - also not always evident on exam. So, if exam is normal and no (retinal) defects were found, i wouldn't worry. Inform your doctor if you have any rd signs. ...Read more

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I went to eye doctor because i had photopsia. He found nothing wrong but i worry about having a brain tumor. What does photopsia caused by brain tumor look like?

I went to eye doctor because i had photopsia. He found nothing wrong but i worry about having a brain tumor. What does photopsia caused by brain tumor look like?

An eye doctor is you: Eye doctor is your best source to answer this question. Unless you have headaches or any neurological symptoms, it is unlikely that your eye problem is due to a brain tumor. If the eye problem persists or gets worse you need to go see your doctor again and ask him this question. ...Read more

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My eye doctor told me that papilledema (i don't have) often accompanies visual symptoms (vision loss, photopsia) caused by brain tumors. Why is this?

My eye doctor told me that papilledema (i don't have) often accompanies visual symptoms (vision loss, photopsia) caused by brain tumors. Why is this?

Eye = external CNS: The eye is the only externalized part of the central nervous system. Papilledema, swelling of the optic disc, is due to elevated intracranial pressure (icp) at the level of the lamina cribrosa, where the intraocular pressure (iop), if lower than the icp, permits swelling of the nerve fiber layer. Brain tumors or idiopathic intracranial hypertension (iih) can cause papilledema and visual loss. ...Read more

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How common is it for somebody to get flashes of light?

How common is it for somebody to get flashes of light?

Light flashing: Medically called photopsias, these are the sensation of light streaking from retinal stimulation. This can occur if the eye is struck, and occurs spontaneously in middle to older age from fluid changes in the eye. If associated with floaters and loss of vision, you need to see your ophthalmologist to rule out detachment of the retina. ...Read more

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What besides a retinal tear would cause bright flashes of light in the corners of the eyes?

What besides a retinal tear would cause bright flashes of light in the corners of the  eyes?

See below: Floaters, flashing lights, or part of the peripheral vision missing (like a curtain or veil obscuring your vision) indicates the need for an urgent dilated retinal examination to rule out retinal tear or detachment. It could also be an ocular migraine, posterior vitreous detachment, retinitis, or tumor. Get it checked. ...Read more

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Can a 'complete' posterior vitreous detachment (pvd) be sometimes not associated with flashes of light at all, and have symptoms of only floaters?

Can a 'complete' posterior vitreous detachment (pvd) be sometimes not associated with flashes of light at all, and have symptoms of only floaters?

Absolutely: Many patients do not notice any symptoms of the pvd. Others note floaters and some note flashes. The point is that you should get an exam if you notice such symptoms. Remember that a posterior vitreous detachment is the culmination a long natural process. ...Read more

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