Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Vision and Eye Disorders Forum

Am I Seeing Photopsia? Are These Symptoms Normal?

Must Read
What is pink eye and how long is pink eye contagious? Basic facts on types of conjunctivitis and pink eye here....
Pink eye can be allergic, infectious or chemical. Details about what causes pink eye here....
What to do for pink eye? Learn to identify symptoms of pink eye first, and know when to seek medical help. Start understanding more here....

i am 30 years old and had a successful scleral buckle 5 years ago to treat a retinal detachment in my left eye. I am also extremely nearsighted in both eyes (-9.5d). I have regularly seen retinal specialists for annual follow-ups, and things have checked out okay.

Since the operation five years ago, I have begun noticing a phenomenon in my left eye that has grown more noticeable with time. Whenever my eye moves, a dark silvery region appears for a fraction of a second in the left part of my field of view in my left eye. It has a vaguely "crescent" shape that is located off to the side and somewhat down. Over the past couple years, this crescent-shaped region has grown larger and has gotten closer to the center of my field of view. However, I don't see anything when my eyes are still.

Is this what is called "photopsia" on many web sites? All the web sites describe photopsia as "flashing lights," but I would not describe what I see as "flashes." the regions that appear and disappear instantaneously for me when my eye moves are darker and silvery or grayish.

I'm e-mailing because today I also started noticing a tiny dark zig-zag that appears momentarily. This zig-zag is located where my optic nerve is (at the blind spot) but goes away immediately. The crescent has also become more defined and shinier.

Can someone comment on these symptoms? Are they a likely sign of more retinal tears or detachment? I do not see increased floaters. I'm also wondering if other people experience symptoms like these.

Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 26th, 2009
eye health
Wow, I am having the same thing. I'm 31 but other than bad eyesight have never had any other visual problems. I started getting intense vertigo last week, which has calmed down but comes on randomly. The "flashes" (which i see as black/grey or silvery too) are 3 large circles at the left of my left eye, and started lastnight. They lasted at least 10 min before I fell asleep. I have never had any of these symptoms before. Let me know if you find an answer!
Good luck!
Did you find this post helpful?