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bright light in left eye ?

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Every month or so i will tend to get a bright light in my left eye, it doesn't flash it simply just stays there for about half an hour. It feels like I would be looking at the sun but only with my left eye, then looking down, but 10x worse. My eye feels heavy afterwards, leading with a headache. Once the light goes away after 30-45 minutes, My headache still is there. A few months ago, I got total vision loss in both eyes for about 2 minutes, and fell over. Went to an ENT doctor and said I might be getting migranes. But I didnt go to get an MRI so it wasnt really diagnosed. I want to believe I dont get migranes. Personally i think it is much more then migranes. Could this be something else?
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replied August 2nd, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Why do you want to believe you don't get migraines? I know they aren't any picnic, but it's a lot better than something more serious.

The bright light could be what is referred to as an "aura." These are common for some people when a migraine first starts or right before that. The auras can be flashes of light, blind spots, or even tingling in an arm or leg.

Do you have sensitivity to light, sound, or smells when you get these headaches? What about nausea or vomiting? Those are also migraine symptoms.

An MRI is a good idea to check for other possible causes. I would advise that you see a neurologist, rather than an ENT. There are also ones that specialize in headaches.

If they are migraines, the good news is that there are a lot of treatments out there for them. There are preventative treatments like antidepressants and anti-seizure medications (Zoloft, Topamax, etc). There are also medications you can take right when you get a headache to make it go away quickly (Imitrex, etc). People with very bad migraines that don't respond to other treatments have found relief from Botox injections. In other words, if these are migraines, there are proven, effective treatments that can reduce or even eliminate your symptoms. If one treatment doesn't work, go back to the doctor and try something else. It may take several tries to find out what works for you, but it's worth it.

You should also start a headache diary to find what may be triggering your headaches. Do a search for "migraine triggers" and you will see foods and other things that are common triggers. If you write down what you eat and do, along with your symptoms, frequency and severity, you can identify your own triggers.

Good luck.
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replied November 11th, 2009
Ring of flashing light in left eye
Can I ask a follow-up question please? I have something similar at fairly regular intervals - a ring of bright, jagged, flashing white and coloured light in my left eye that interferes with my vision. I do not though develop a migraine as a result - I am left with tired and sore eyes and a general feeling of fatigue, but that wears off too. Any advice in what to do to prevent this happening would be appreciated.
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replied November 11th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Have you seen an ophthalmologist? Not an optometrist (which only handles eye primary care. An Ophthalmologist is an eye MD that can treat eye diseases and conditions. Your eyes need to be thoroughly checked and if everything is ruled out there, you may need a CT or MRI.
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