1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Ergonomics and ME/CFS: Have You Hurt Yourself Without Knowing It?
Having a chronic illness like ME/CFS can make it hard to avoid problems that come from bad ergonomics. Jody Smith has learned some lessons the hard way ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

"Flickering" Vision

Discussion in 'Neurological/Neuro-sensory' started by Forbin, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Forbin

    Forbin Forbin

    Messages:
    256
    Likes:
    278
    When I first became ill, some 27 years ago, one symptom I developed within days was “flickering” vision.

    This really took two forms:

    At first, usually when sitting in a room with fluorescent lights, such as a doctor’s office, it would occasionally appear to me that all the lights in the room would blink off for a split second – actually faster than a literal "blink of the eye." When I asked others present about this, no one else seemed to notice the “blink” of the lights. I assumed that the lights really were blinking very occasionally (fluorescent lights can blink like that) and that somehow my vision had become hypersensitive to an effect that others simply ignored. That was my theory, at least.

    The other form “flickering vision” was less subtle. After a few months of illness, I noticed that, when standing in bright sunlight, my vision would sometimes rapidly flicker. Again, I was not actually blinking. Sometimes this effect went away if I stayed in the sun long enough, but sometimes it persisted. I think this can happen normally for a few moments if you move rapidly from a very dark environment to a very bright one, but it would typically happen to me well after I should have become light adapted - and sometimes it would not go away.

    I’m not really sure if these two forms of “flickering” vision were a manifestation of the same underlying cause. I suppose this might have been some kind of photophobia, but my vision did not seem "painfully bright." This kind of thing also seems like it might be a symptom of migraine, but I never had any headaches associated with it.

    I mention all this because it was definitely associated with the sudden onset of my other symptoms. Fortunately, this one did seem to diminish over time.

    I wonder if anyone else has experienced something similar.

    Thanks,

    Forbin
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,230
    Likes:
    11,362
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    HI

    I don't have the flickering light issue, but I became convinced about ten years ago that the way I see is different to everyone else - neurologically different. I was in a course at uni that had a section discussing the neurological basis of diseases. One prac was where all the students were subjected to an optical illusion as subjects in an ongoing study. In one of these tests, one eye sees only vertical lines, the other only horizontal, but otherwise exactly the same (colour, size, spacing etc). After a bit the brain tends to see either horizontal or vertical, then switches after while. The pattern of the switching is different for different people, including very smart people and people with disorders like bipolar disorder. These neurological changes precede the onset of bipolar disorder, or at least were hypothesised to. I did get a little of this but with veeeeeerrrrrrryyyyyy long delays between switching, but then I got something funny that I don't think the lab tutors believed. I saw both patterns with an interference effect at intersection (intersecting points disappeared). This became stable and was the only way I saw it. My neurological response to this test was unique in their experience, but then they hadn't tested anyone else with CFS.

    Bye
    Alex
  3. sleepy237

    sleepy237 Senior Member

    Messages:
    246
    Likes:
    12
    Hell
    Hi Forbin, yes I have this symptom, it comes and goes like split seconds of losing vision. For some reason I have found mine happens more at night and I think it may be linked with artifical lights although I am not sure at all, but often when I switch lights on, it's as if there is a very brief pause. So puzzling. I have had acute symptoms for a year now and I think I have had near every symptom that appears on the CFS list. It's good that you bring this up because I think that this too should be put on the list. Glad to hear that yours went away. Wish you well.
  4. Athene

    Athene Never give up

    Messages:
    1,130
    Likes:
    150
    Italy
    Hiya Forbin,
    Yes, I also used to have this symptoms but, like yours, mine also went away after a few years and hasn't returned. Like you, I reckon it is something neurological and nothing to do with my eyes themselves.
  5. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

    Messages:
    952
    Likes:
    421
    Canada
    Interesting! I would like to try this optical illusion as well, if it is somewhere on the net. I've had flickering vision at night in dark rooms, but not really in bright light. I generally have to wear sunglasses in bright outdoor light(even bright overcast) and am not comfortable under flourescents. I think there is something neurological about the way our vision can differ from other peoples'.

    I had an odd sensation in an outdoor crowd once when it was noisy and there was a lot of movement. Something about the quality of the light and sound caused an effect in my brain and I felt a sort of pulse go through my head and sound went funny for a moment. It wasn't an unpleasant experience, just odd. I don't know if it was related to CFS, and it didn't make me feel ill the way other experiences of 'sensory overload' have done.

    Anyway, thanks all for posting your experiences.
  6. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

    Messages:
    846
    Likes:
    44
    South Texas
    (raises paw) yep been there done that.
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,230
    Likes:
    11,362
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi L'engle

    I don't think this is on the net: we wore virtual reality goggles and different images were sent to each eye from a computer.

    Bye
    Alex

  8. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,268
    Likes:
    5,478
    I get a flickering affect when I'm migrainey. CFS and migraines have been linked together in the past.
  9. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

    Messages:
    952
    Likes:
    421
    Canada
    Wow, that's cool! Wouldn't it be great to have CFS-specific research on these things...
  10. Forbin

    Forbin Forbin

    Messages:
    256
    Likes:
    278
    Odd as this sounds, I had the exact same thing happen to me a few times in the first couple of months of being ill. I quickly learned that it was useless to try to tell doctors about such things. I was very dizzy at the time and thought that the "pulse" might be related to that in some way.
  11. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

    Messages:
    952
    Likes:
    421
    Canada
    Interesting! It happened a couple of years into my illness, when I was less sick, but after a lot of exertion. I don't know if it counts as some kind of small seizure or not.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page