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Central vision black out
April 28, 2010 6:30 AM   Subscribe

Apart from many floaters, in my central vision I sometimes get black, sort of sparkly black outs, which only appear for a second or two and diminish.

It tends to happen more when I am looking at a darker object, more so around the edges of the object where dark meets the illuminated background.

I am male in my 30s. I have been experiencing this since I had inflammation in my eyes and had steroid injections into my eyeballs by an ophthalmologist 10 years ago. The inflammation was cleared quickly. No reason was found.


I saw an ophthalmologist again last week, he diluted my pupils and checked the back of my eye and he confirmed I have a lot of floaters and the eye pressure, retina,macula, optic nerves are normal.

His explanation/theory to what I am seeing was that because of excessive floaters my eyes may have adapted this way and slow at adjusting in light changes.

While I was relieved to hear my eyes otherwise look healthy, I'd like to get a definitive answer to my condition if possible. I will get a second opinion from another doctor.

I know you are not my doctor, I wanted to ask here maybe you have an idea or thought to help me understand what might be happening with my eyes.

Thank you
posted by neworder7 to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
 
The next doctor you should see is a neuroophthalmologist. The battery of tests they ran on me when I was having a problem a couple years ago was exhaustive, and I really felt reassured when I left that they had done everything they could do to get the diagnosis. I can recommend a fantastic neurooph if you're in Chicago, but regardless I think that should be your next step.
posted by phunniemee at 6:38 AM on April 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


> black, sort of sparkly black outs, which only appear for a second or two and diminish.

It could be due to:

-migraine headache (you can have a migraine headache which manifests as vision problems, even without ostensible head pain);

-high blood pressure

Maybe ask your family doctor about it.
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 8:25 AM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought there were called phosphenes (phosfenes?). Like the kind when you do cart wheels? That would make me think its blood pressure.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 9:17 AM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apart from many floaters, in my central vision I sometimes get black, sort of sparkly black outs, which only appear for a second or two and diminish.

It tends to happen more when I am looking at a darker object, more so around the edges of the object where dark meets the illuminated background.


I'm going with your ophthalmologist's theory that this is an adaptation to your many floaters.

Specifically, I think your eye/brain system deals with (big) floaters by tagging big dark floater-shaped objects that track across the visual field in a floater-typical trajectory as 'ignore' and blocking your conscious perception of them. (There are some phenomena that occur with some migraines that are a lot like this, actually.)

However, when you look at a dark object against a light background, your eye/brain would lose track of any ignored floater that enters the area of the visual field taken up by the dark object.

But then, when that floater comes out another side of that dark object field, it's like the dark object is growing a new pseudopod, or something, and you perceive that as a sparkly blackout around the edge where the floater is reemerging.

Then over the next second or two, it's recognized as a floater again and disappears.
posted by jamjam at 12:37 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


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