What does scintillating scotoma look like? It might not be quite as terrifying as it sounds. It is the technical term for a condition in which the iris of the eye becomes inflamed, often because of eye allergies or some other cause unrelated to the eyes. In some cases, the iris becomes completely blocked and photophobia develops. When this happens, even the light from bright light cannot affect, rendering people in dim light or darkness frightening.
People suffering from scintillating scotoma experience symptoms such as burning pain in the eye (photophobia), blurred vision, and a feeling that you are surrounded by needles. The sensation of light coming into the room is unpleasant. People who have suffered from migraine headaches sometimes report having these symptoms after they lie down for several hours. Some have been unable to fall asleep because of the intensity of their migraines. Often, they wake up feeling like they have been hit by a car and cannot bear the pain.
To deal with this condition, the first step is to see your healthcare practitioner who will perform a series of tests to assess whether you have scintillating scotoma.
Your healthcare practitioner will want to exclude other potential causes of your headaches by doing a series of tests, including venepuncture, blood tests, and allergy testing. He will also ask you some questions about your family medical history, such as if there are any allergies. In some people, exposure to metals, such as aluminum, can cause this condition, so it is important to find out if you have any metallic traces in your hair or eyes or your sinuses. Once all of the causes are excluded, your healthcare practitioner may conclude that you do have scintillating scotoma, and recommend treatment options.
Treatments often include antibiotic ointment or drops, which are typically used for cases such as chronic sinusitis and the like. These medications are designed to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Light therapy usually consists of a device that emits a faint, flickering light that stimulates the visual field, along with a special type of medication.
The treatment options may vary depending on the severity of your scintillating scotoma. If your headache symptoms are mild, your healthcare practitioner may choose to use over-the-counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or steroids, like prednisone. These types of medications generally provide relief from pain and fever, and the visual field may also improve slightly. For more severe cases, oral steroids and surgery might be recommended.
Since it usually only affects one eye at a time, surgical procedures can be performed simultaneously with Ocular Steroid Injections.
While these procedures are less effective than those listed above, they are better suited for scintillating scotoma, because only the visual field is affected. Surgical removal of the affected scrotum may be necessary if the scrotum is seriously damaged.
When scintillating scotoma affects both eyes, it is known as hemifacial retinal degeneration. The treatment consists of the same basic steps as for bilateral scintillations: reducing pain by reducing inflammation, slowing the progression of the disease through the use of oral NSAIDs, and the use of surgery to remove the afflicted scrotum. The most common treatment approach uses drug therapy; the goal being to reduce the loss of vision that occurs in addition to the visual field loss. A regimen of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium is prescribed. These drugs are highly effective in patients with hemifacial retinal degeneration.
If the pulsating or flickering light associated with photokeratome tumors causes significant visual impairment for the patient, the physician may prescribe neuro stimulating drugs (NRTs), which are often used in the treatment of migraine headaches. This type of drug can help reduce nausea associated with scintillating scotoma and thus improve quality of life. In some cases, it also produces relief from migraine headache pain. These drugs, such as alprazolam, are effective in the treatment of photokeratome tumors and have been shown to produce results in about one-third of patients who undergo treatment.
Aura Visual Disturbance – What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Scintillating Scotoma?
For many people who suffer from migraine headaches, they would want to know what the common treatment for scintillating scotoma is. The answer lies in two areas: neurology and oncology. Although both share some common characteristics, neurology often deals with more profound conditions, while oncology goes after less severe or focal issues. It is therefore important that the proper protocol is followed when dealing with any of these conditions. Moreover, when it comes to scintillating scotoma, a summary of the most common treatments can be given below.
* Visual Blinding. In cases where patients have visual blurring with their eyes closed, this is one of the most common symptoms of scintillating scotoma. The visual field is actually divided into three regions: peripheral vision, central vision and peripheral vision with the very last region being completely surrounded by the retina. In blind spot visual blurring, a patient may experience a blurred or double image in the area where he has the blind spot. The blurred image is often accompanied by some flicker, which is common as part of the neurological process.
- Eye Pain/head Pain. When a patient experiences a sharp pain in either or both eyes while experiencing migraine, this is one of the symptoms of scintillating scotoma. The pain usually occurs just above the eyes while moving and seems to intensify when moving the head. Some patients even describe the pain as having an electric shock.
- Temporary Visual Blurring. A few patients report having a brief flicker that lasts for only a few seconds. This fleeting flicker is called photophobia and is not really a headache at all. Photophobia is sometimes mistaken for migraine because of the similar symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances and sometimes even fever. This is one of the few transient visual blurring experiences that are classified as a headache along with other temporary migraine experiences.
- Aura Blurring. Auras are normally clear and colorless. But some people have been known to experience “aura blurring” in which certain parts of the visual field becomes tinted, blurred or otherwise disorganized. This is one of the primary symptoms of scintillating scotoma and often accompanies other vision disturbances such as tunnel vision, spotlights and flashlights.
These are all temporary effects that resolve themselves once the cause of the tingling or shimmering has been identified. For high blood pressure, medication is usually not necessary. Treatment for scintillating scotomas can be through surgery, medications, or drugs to control high blood pressure. If scintillating scotomas are present, it is recommended that treatment be started immediately because they can lead to vision loss. Waiting too long may even lead to permanent damage or blindness.
If you experience any of these visual phenomena, see your doctor immediately. It is important that you seek immediate treatment if you have high blood pressure or if you are experiencing other vision problems. Your doctor will perform tests to identify the cause of your scintillating scotoma so that you can begin treatment. While you are waiting, take every opportunity to appreciate the beauty of your world around you.
Scintillating scotomas are not classified by the American Ophthalmology Association and the Visual System Diseases Association. Doctors sometimes call the condition amblyopia but it is sometimes called ocular migraine in order to co-ordinate the term with migraine. In most cases, the problem can be treated by use of eye drops.
The majority of people with a mild degree of retinal migraine do not experience significant pain in either eye.
This is not true for all people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity. In addition, many times people with a scintillating scotoma might report having mild pain in one eye only. This pain usually clears up shortly after being treated.
The majority of people with a mild degree of scintillating scotoma are unable to identify the source of the light that is seeping through the top part of their retina. This blind spot condition is often associated with a visual problem that is not progressing as rapidly as expected. For example, a patient might be having a normal vision attack one minute, and then have a blurred vision of the next. In this case, the person’s visual system is not processing the information that is being presented to them.
A person can have a serious aura of blind spots if they also experience auras of migraine headaches. Sometimes a serious case can be linked to a medical condition that is pressing on the top of the head. For example, tumor growth in the area of the ocular cavity can cause serious pressure on the eye. If this problem is left unattended, it could lead to bleeding that may progress to retinal hemorrhage, resulting in severe headaches.