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OkBluzman 05-14-2013 03:20 PM

Transient Blindness in One Eye
I'm at my wits end here and am in serious need of some advice.

About 2 years ago I found myself in a marching band performing in a parade at the young age of 50. I had no problem getting through it even though it was quite taxing on my old knees. However, what happened afterward concerned me quite a bit:

After the parade, piled in a car with other students headed back to campus, I went blind. Not dark blind, but white! The color literally just washed out of everything and with the exception of some spots of minimal vision floating around in my field of view it was like trying to see through a white sheet. Everything was just intensely white, almost to the point of being painful, and this lasted for about 30 minutes before my vision started to return.

I passed this off as just being fatigued, and didn't have a problem with it again until about 8-10 months ago when it came back, but only in my right eye.

Within this length of time I've had this happen around 6-8 times. Each time is of varying intensity and length, sometimes lasting only a few minutes, other times 30-40 minutes, sometimes just a mild wash-out, other times (like just a few minutes ago) I go completely blind in that eye.

I've been to two optometrists who, I swear, acted like I was making this up. The last one I saw finally referred me to an opthamologist, more I think to shut me up than because he thought something was actually wrong. Anyway, I went to the opthamologist and he found "nothing physically wrong" and stated that my right eye is "structurally sound". The only "diagnosis" that he made was to state that it could be "something vascular related" and wasn't at all interested in pursuing it further.

All well and good. I hadn't had an episode of this since that time until today when sitting at my work desk things started bleaching out and within less than a minute I was totally blind in my right eye. This went on for about 10 minutes before my vision slowly started to return, and now my vision is back to normal. The only difference between this time and previous episodes is that I'm now noticing a dull ache behind the eye; not horrendous but definitely noticeable.

This is very worrisome, not only for my visions sake, but from the angle that it may be symptomatic of something else! Additionally, I'm getting tired of my girlfriend, the eternal optimist, telling me "Oh, it'll go away" and "Don't worry about it. You'll be fine" when I guarantee you if it were happening to her she would be RUNNING to a doctor somewhere!

Does anyone else here know what this is, what could cause it or who I should seek out to nail down a diagnosis? This has never happened to me while driving (yet), but if and when it does... well, I don't know.

Any advice or comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.

GM663 05-14-2013 04:16 PM

Re: Transient Blindness in One Eye
Not sure if this is the cause but a retinal migraine typically effects one eye and can cause symptoms similar to what you describe. I believe these have different causes than the typical migraine with aura that affects both eyes simultaneously. The retinal kind can be cause by vascular constriction. Another thought may be TIA which is serious warning sign for a stroke. But then again your opthalmologist would have mentioned this to you if they thought it was that serious. Maybe give your doctor a call and ask them about it. Best of luck!


OkBluzman 05-14-2013 08:41 PM

Re: Transient Blindness in One Eye
I'd considered that possibility as my 24 year-old son has what the docs refer to as "ocular migraines". During his episodes he becomes so light sensitive that all he can do is curl up in a dark room and shut his eyes. From what I've read however, retinal migraines cause dark vision, not like someone's shining a spotlight in your face. Are there different kinds of these migraines (dark vs light)?

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