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Bright light / blindness while exercising (Page 1)

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I am a male in my 30s. I was exercising tonight and about 15 minutes into it I noticed a small spot of light that was obscuring my vision in one eye. At first it was small and round, at 9 o'clock in my visual field, but it eventually extended over the entire central visual field; interestingly, it was doughnut-like: it had a small circle in the center of it (which was near the center of my visual field) that was dark. Simultaneously, a different spot in the opposite eye appeared; this one was also off center at around 7 o'clock and did grow larger but not nearly as large as the first spot; it did not extend over the center of my visual field and so it's center was not missing. The best way to describe how these vision-occluding spots looked would be to have you turn out the lights, take a bright flashlight or camera flash and shine it in your eyes, and then see the bright greenish spot that occurs after. The spots were present whether my eyes were opened or closed. I noticed the first spot, and stopped exercising, the second appeared, they both got larger then subsided, the smaller one disappearing first and then the larger one; They were present for a total of about 1 minute to 2 minutes. It was painless; it didn't completely obscure my vision in either eye. It was definitely bilateral - one eye worse than the other. I have no visual deficits now - the spots are gone and my vision does not seem to be affected at all.

I have never had any unusual visual or neurological problems; I don't have a history of headaches or migraines.

I have seen similar spots before - when I was a kid and bored I used to push on my eyes, and I noticed that if I pushed the superior aspect of my eye then I would get a bright spot in the inferior portion of my visual field. I assume that the bright lights I saw as a kid where probably caused by pressure on my retina, and thus the top-bottom inverse relationship. Of course, I haven't pressed on my eyes like that for years.

Anyhow, I am worried that the spots I saw tonight might be related to some type of retinal ischemia. A quick google search on the topic turned up nothing helpful.

As a side-note, I may have hypertension. My left arm systolic blood pressure is about 20 points higher than my right arm, and sometimes my pressure can read up to the 150s in the left arm -- my primary care doc told me I have "white coat" hypertension (although I am not a terribly nervous person) and she didn't want to start me on any anti-hypertensives.

If anyone has experienced something similar, or can point me to some literature describing similar symptoms and their cause(s), I would be grateful.
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replied January 7th, 2010
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If you are worried and get stressed about this, it could possibly get worse...You may want to check with an Opthamologist, about this to get his/her thoughts...May make you feel better...Take care..

Caroline
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replied February 23rd, 2010
I also get this when im running and im pushing myself. It has done it again today at the gym whem i was running hard on treadmill. I am now looking on the net to try and get some answers before I book into doctors. I had to stop running as it was just getting worse and worse. It cleared away after a minute after stopping. Im wondering if its blood sugar levels ? I thought I was fit and healthy Sad
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replied April 29th, 2010
I get this as well - particularly after hard running. Your description perfectly mirrors my own - down to the similarity between the symptoms and what I remember from fiddling with my eyes as a kid. I''m a 27-year-old male, BP the last few times I''ve donated blood has been 120/60. It was a largely doughnut-shaped round spot, the middle unaffected, with an area from about 1- to 2-o''clock unaffected. I couldn''t tell if I was seeing it in both eyes, or if it was "still there" in the visual field even with the affected eye closed. Regardless I seemed to experience it with either eye open/closed.

I may bring it up if I remember the next time I''m at the doctor/ophthalmologist, whenever that ends up being.

My dad''s got high blood pressure, my mom has diabetes... I have neither, but I wonder for how long. Razz
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replied June 2nd, 2010
Experienced User
Please seek out an ophthalmologist asap, as these could be signs that can be corrected now. Your vision is very precious. please don;t wait and let us know how your doing! thanks wanda
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replied January 13th, 2011
I have something similar. I have episodes on a regular basis...every few weeks or so. I will suddenly realize my vision is impaired to the point that I am slightly blinded in one eye or the other. There is a white-bright-flashy lighted C form in my vision. Sometimes in a reverse C form. I can't tell which eye it is in and it is present both when my eyes are opened or closed. It is extremely bright and almost makes me sick to my stomach. It lasts maybe 15 minutes while it gets larger and larger until it disappears outside of my vision and (whew) goes away. It is very annoying and sometimes I have to stop what I am doing and just let it go away. It started immediately after I had major surgery about 10 years ago and has been with me ever since. I mentioned it to my doctor and he said that he had heard of it before and wondered if it had anything to do with hormonal imbalance...just thought I share my experience too.
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replied August 8th, 2012
Blind
I too experience the same thing... And im scared..
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replied January 13th, 2011
Experienced User
have you seen an eye doctor?
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replied January 25th, 2011
I also experience the same issue whilst running. I have seen an optician and a GP, neither were abke to offer anything which helped - other than stop running once the condition occurs, which, whilst being very good advice, leaves me none the wiser. I am considering private medical help. Does anybody know what this is (I have been experiencing this for quite a few years now)
Duncan
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replied January 25th, 2011
Experienced User
I have a sever floater that came on after i got stung by a bee, i would seek out more experienced doctor as our eye site is so precious. let us know what you find. good luck ww
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replied February 5th, 2011
Bright lights while exercising
I've had the same experience many times. I'm now 38, and have had this condition on and off while exercising since my early 20's. Oddly, it hadn't occured much at all over the past 5 years, until again just recently.

Same condition as described above - bright lights starting as a relatively small spot near the outer-center of my vision (both eyes for me), gradually spreading to cover nearly the entire field of vision over ~10 minutes or so. I can still generally see through the "light" - though it does appear very bright. No dark spot in the middle for me - the light starts as a solid circle and becomes somewhat bean- or C-shaped as it grows (nearly identical mirror images in each eye). I usually just continue my workout - and the lights fade and then disappear about 5-10 minutes after they finish spreading out.

I've asked doctors about it over the years (including my opthamologist), but have received no clear diagnosis or even any real concern.

Another twist - once the lights start, I typically develop a very intense hunger, which usually subsides about 10-15 minutes after the workout (even if I DON'T down an entire bag of doritos after the workout, which I actually used to do back in college - which kinda defeats the purpose of exercising and I don't do that anymore). Sometimes I'll also feel a bit lightheaded or even "shaky", but not faint or dizzy. No hunger at all prior to the workout. Due to the odd hunger issue, I always figured this phenomenon was just an electrolye or blood sugar balance effect. But I'm not diabetic, I have a normal BP, I have 20/20 eyesight, no headaches, and I don't have any other medical problems (that I know of, anyway).

I've stopped worrying about it over the years. The effect is actually kind of interesting when it happens nowadays. No pain or other negative effects (other than the hunger effect) when it occurs. I usually just keep running through it.
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replied December 11th, 2013
I am a 37 year old male, with almost identical symptoms. After 10 - 15 minutes of running my vision starts to become obstructed with these bright shapes. If I close my eyes I can make them out perfectly and clearly. Bright, purple-ish, kidney shapes. The same every time. If I continue running I start to get shaky, and after that, very intense hunger. I really wish I knew what was causing this.
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replied March 24th, 2011
I had the exact same experiences, the eye doctor said it was Ocular migraine. Get checked out to make sure there isn't some other problem. I had a retina scan, ultrasound of the vessels in my neck, and an ECG of my heart. Everything checked out.
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replied May 1st, 2011
After doing some exorcising a few days ago, for a fitness test to get into the army ( running/push ups/ sit ups ) I was standing in line. I started to get a loud ringing sound in my ears. Then every thing went bright, as if someone had cranked the sun up times 1000 000 000. After that subsided. all i called see was the outline of the guy standing next to me. After a few minutes and a few prayers, it went away. Any idea's as to what it was?

P.s im 23 years old and consider myself healthy and pretty fit.
About 20 minutes after that, i went on to do some rather physical exorcising
( military squats etc...)

Thinking possibly low blood sugar level?
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replied May 3rd, 2011
Experienced User
Hey friends, make sure you eat. generally ear ringing can lead to fainting, if the sound around you is fading your going to faint, so sit down. so you don;t hurt your self.. always eat something before working out.. Ear ringing can also because by meds for those in sever pain after surgery, so SIT DOWN.. my floaters seem to be getting so sever, hard to see out of the right eye.. if in doubt, get your eyes checked, nothing to loose right!!
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replied May 13th, 2011
Seeing Lights while Exercising
Hello,
Maybe I can help; I've looked into this as part of my medical studies.

There are optic nerve blood vessels in the brain that are very sensitive to drops in glucose/dextrose in the blood, which happens when expending energy, i.e. exercising.

If this happens, visual disturbances will occur as explained above. The thing to do is eat a highly-concentrated food rich in dextrose that is most rapidly taken-up by the bloodstream. If left un-treated, an ocular migraine can be triggered as a result of the blood vessels going into spasm through the lack of energy and water.

Typically, I find a good dose of raisins, rich in Dextrose and plenty of water before exercising, coupled with some nuts for energy, usually does the trick - unless I haven't eaten properly that day, in-which case there's no point exercising.

Best of luck and Shalom from Israel!
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replied May 12th, 2012
Thank you. I am a healthy 57 yr ald. I have similar fireball images in my left eye and was diagnosed with CRVO. My retina had a blockage in the vein. I received avastin injections and later had a cataract removed due to the shots. My vision has improved but the fireball in the left eye comes and goes.
I see this when I wake up and turn on the light or when I come in from outside. It is possible I am not eating or drinking enough as I am A-typical, always on the go. Will try to see if the diet works! Many thanks!
Shalom!
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replied October 5th, 2011
From the Livestong Website

Overview
Seeing spots or flashes of light or experiencing blurry vision in general are all common complaints after physical activity. In fact, many refer to these spots and colors as "seeing stars." Such vision issues are caused by a variety of factors that are easily fixed. However, if you experience ongoing vision problems or if seeing spots and colors is accompanied by additional, ongoing side effects, consult a physician immediately.

Blood Shifting
During and after a workout, blood is often pumped away from the brain and eye muscles. This causes an array of strange vision side effects, such as flashes of white light, blurriness and splotchy colors. If you experience this while working out, stop momentarily to allow adequate blood flow. Wait until your vision is corrected to resume physical activity or cease completely.



Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/372473-w hat-does-seeing-spots-colors-after-exercis e-mean/#ixzz1Zw8PlT6I
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replied October 18th, 2011
Bright lights in eyes
Hi I thought I might add to this because I am also experiencing the same sensation, however it is not after excercising. I do run a few times a week, but since friday (now Monday) I've had three episode where the lights were so bright I couldn't see my phone/tv/ computer screen. Talking to my boyfriend it seems to be after I've eaten a large meal, either straight away or the morning after, therefore it could be relates to blood sugar? My dad is diabetic but I'm not & have no other symptoms such as exessive thrust. I should also Nordic than once the lights begin to subside, i get a really heavy ache behind my eyes & sometimes feel nauseous. Going to try & see a doc today.
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replied January 13th, 2012
Fiery scotoma (donut-shaped): blood sugar issue or stroke?
I have just experienced a similar phenomenon upon waking after an unusually long sleep: a very bright donut shape (starting as a fiery C shape) in the centre of my vision, visible eyes open or closed. The brightness of it was like metal reflecting sun - nothing like as faded as an after-image, and totally different to a migraine scotoma/aura (which I have also experienced). It only lasted two minutes, during which time I felt trembly, dizzy, nauseous, hot, weak-limbed, hyper aware of everything and urgently hungry. I drank some sugary syrup and ate a handful of peanuts and it finally subsided, but left me feeling very weak. My own guess is that it is to do with blood sugar levels. (I am not diabetic, but take metformin for another condition.)
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replied October 5th, 2012
I am an adult Male, 49, and have had similar issues during running/exercise over the years - I get them sometimes and not others - but found that if I keep exercising, they eventually go away after a few minutes. I get periodic Migraines, and although these are similar, they are different (most significantly, no pain). The idea of an "Occular Migraine" related to blood sugar levels, hydration, etc. seems to make sense. Just thought I would share and appreciate everyone's posts
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replied December 7th, 2012
I think we are discussing two different things. I get both.
I think we are discussing two different things. I get both.

Ocular migraines are the ones that are "C" shaped, last 20-30 minutes and start off small and grow to periferal area and sometimes leaves me with a headache.

The other one, first described at the beginning of this thread is what has been happening to me. A bright donut of light with a dark center. The donut sparkles and only lasts a minute or two...but can be scary.

The donut of light happens to me 10 minutes into a workout. I thought it was heat related since they had come back this past summer after not having them for 8 or so years. I had one today while on the treadmill and only at 3.5 mph. It does freak me out. I close my eyes and I always have it in my right eye.

When I got home from my workout I tested my blood sugar (even though I don't have diabetes I have the testing kit at home) and it was normal at 98. I wondered was a temporary low blood sugar...but I guess I don't know since I didn't take it at the moment of light.

I've looked online about this over the years whenever it happened and this thread is the first time I have seen the exact donut description.

ACTUALLY, about ten years ago I found a drawing online of it and the person called it "Uhthoff's Phenomonem". Now I can't find the photo but it can be the first sign of MS and/or a symptom of optic neuritis. Look it up.
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replied December 8th, 2012
I just found what I think I have: Blood Shifting.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/372473-w hat-does-seeing-spots-colors-after-exercis e-mean/

I also have migraine auras and that is what some people are discussing here, too. Two different things.

The dough-nut shape that lasts only a minute or two is what the originator of this thread was speaking of and I think I found it...for me.
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replied December 8th, 2012
As I mentioned last night, I think we are speaking about migraine aura ("C" shaped flashing lights that grow and then vanish after about 20-30 minutes and can leave one with a headache) and what I now realize 'might' be blood shifting.

When I read this article it made sense to me. My bright, sparkly lights are shaped, like the first person mentioned at the beginning of this thread, like a sparkly dough-nut and dark in the middle. I also realized that it happens to me at 10 minutes into my workout.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/372473-w hat-does-seeing-spots-colors-after-exercis e-mean/
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replied May 28th, 2013
Fitness and Visual Aura/Migraine..
I have the same visual auras as decribed, approximately every week or two. Fit 50 year old (cyclist commuter, racer). They have been getting worse in last few years.
The main triggers I can find are;
1. Tiredness. Late nights/interupted sleep within the last 3 days.
2. Dehydration - esp forgetting to drink after workout in morning
3. Working at computer (like I am now)
4. Most often occurs in day - rarely at night.
5. Stressed
5. Sometimes none of the above (grrr...)

Warning signals
1. Spacey feeling
2. Stiff neck
3. Sensitive to light
4. Faint(ish) when stand up suddenly - not always related though

Emergency fixes
1. Aspirin/paracetamol - but only if you get it early
2. Darkness, rest, sleep
3. Vigorous aerobic exercise has worked, since I have never had it in the middle of riding somewhere.

The only times in my life I was completely clear of it was;
1. Very fit (competition racing fit, hours/day)
2. Stopped cycling and did recreational gymnastics - where I got used to being upside down. I've got a feeling the handstands caused the brain to get used to pressure changes and toughened it up somehow. That conditioning seemed to last a few years.

So here is a question for everyone...
What type of "workouts" are we talking here? Lower body? Is it mostly running, cycling, walking things in standing position.

I'm tempted to try the upside-down conditioning trick again, I notice I am very poor at this now - very readily see stars in a short handstand. but I reckon I could ease in by doing it properly warmed up...

Thoughts?
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