Here at BA Eye Site in Broken Arrow, many of our patients have experienced spots in their vision. Sometimes it is a serious indication of a major problem while others are just part of the normal aging processes. The problem is we can not tell which ones have a major issue that needs to be timely addressed versus the ones that can be monitored without actually looking. So the question, “what are those spots you see in your vision sometimes?” isn’t easily answered without doing an eye exam.
Seeing Spots? What could be the problem?
If you experience strange visual changes, you need to call your eye doctor or our office at (918) 893-3769 and be seen to determine if what you are seeing is normal or an indication of a serious medical problem. So what could they be?
- Vitreous Floaters: Small, transparent or dark, in long chains, individual dots or irregular shapes
- They typically move rapidly when your eyes move.
- They are easily seen against a blue sky or in bright or white backgrounds like computer screens.
- It can be considered a normal change as the vitreous breaks down during our teenage/adult years.
- If you have a sudden swarm of new dark ones, see your optometrist immediately as this is a sign of a retinal tear and is an ocular emergency.
- Phosphene Discharge: a flash of light that is experienced even when the eyes are closed
- Mechanical pressure can cause photoreceptors to trigger a neural pulse to the brain.
- Orthostatic hypotension a quick change in positioning, blood flow to the head causes those photoreceptors to pulse as well due to the momentary loss of oxygen and nutrients than they crave. When the blood flow recovers the spots go away. This phenomenon also happens when you are about to pass out or faint.
- Visual Auras are associated with migraines and headaches, particularly ocular migraines.
- Described as a kaleidoscope type of change, tunneling of vision, or a light that is wiggling.
- Auras usually can last from 15 minutes to an excess of 2 hours.
- They may or may not be followed by a migraine headache.
- We believe a vascular spasm is the cause of these auras.
Because the retina does not have pain receptors, retinal tears and detachments are painless and you need to get into an optometrist the same day if you experience flashes of light, sudden increase of floaters, curtain lowering or rising in the vision or if you notice a sudden color vision difference between the two eyes. The only way to know what is happening is to have your eyes dilated and checked by an eye doctor. BA Eye Site, your Broken Arrow eye care provider has an emergency line to help you get a hold of our staff after hours. We offer convenient emergency eye care for Broken Arrow, South Tulsa, Bixby, Jenks, and Coweta.
Dr. Matthew Ozment
Optometrist, Broken Arrow OK