Wierd bright arch in left eye: GCA diagnosed aug... - PMRGCAuk

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Wierd bright arch in left eye

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip

GCA diagnosed aug 2020, 9 mg pred.

I may have inadvertently been looking at bright lights over cooker, as now have bright floaters in left eye and bright arch when I blink.

Has anyone else had this, been going on for about 1/2 hour, bit concerned as have GCA having reduced to 9mg a few days ago.

P.S best description 2 parallel lines in shape of one c above another.

PPS hubby just advised me it’s other left, i.e. right eye.

79 Replies

Please contact a doctor ASAP. I would be alarmed at this symptom lasting for half an hour. It could be migraine but with GCA in the picture we must be ultra cautious. The advice I would expect is to possibly take more Pred and go to A&E or the Emergency Room. Good luck!

Many thanks for swift response, waiting call back from doctor.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador

I do agree with SJ - there are other things that can cause that sort of effect and asking once too many times is preferable to the one time it matters. At least seek medical advice asap - 111 at the very least.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to PMRpro

Many thanks for your swift response. Waiting a call from duty doctor, tried 111 but only dealing with Covid and mental health problems at this hour.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to RoadTrip

I know the idea is that the GP is supposed to deal with emergencies when they are open - but obviously they haven't tried calling most practices at 5.30pm on the Friday of a BH weekend ...

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to PMRpro

Typical, that things always happen at the most inconvient times, receptionist at doctors agreed. At least I got through to doctors hopefully will get call shortly, fingers crossed. Have had ocular migraine before but this is different.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to RoadTrip

Oh yes - over the years on the forums I have lost count of the number of such panics that have happened at the weekend - it is ALWAYS at the weekend is what it feels like!

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to PMRpro

It was same before I was diagnosed, Friday night / Saturday morning when severe jaw pain started, our bodies certainly know how to be awkward!

maria40 profile image
maria40 in reply to PMRpro

Or at any other time for that matter. Sorry, growing cynical about the inability to see or in many cases even talk to a doctor.

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

Others have said what I would have- please let us know what advice you get.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to DorsetLady

Will do, thanks.

Many thanks to everyone for responses. Just had call from Doctor described symptoms and she then contacted eye specialist at local hospital. Both are happy not GCA related and think it’s vitreaous detachment. If gets worse need emergency optician appointment to check not progressed to retinal detachment, otherwise can get optician to look at eye and but it should go away on its own. Going to book appointment for eye check anyway.

Thanks again to everyone and have a lovely bank holiday.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to RoadTrip

If it DOES get worse- don't wait too long. Retinal detachment can be serious ...

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to PMRpro

Doctor said to look out for spider web in eye or loss of vision / curtain , said to her latter was also GCA symptom so straight to a&E if that happens.

Telian profile image
Telian in reply to RoadTrip

That’s what happened to me loss of vision but fast tracked and with high dose steroids sight returned. Quick action is key and whether your pred dose should be a tad higher. Keep vigilant.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Telian

So glad you had a good outcome, must have been very scary at the time.

I’m always on the watch for eye problems, this luckily not GCA related, just another sign getting old!

Telian profile image
Telian in reply to RoadTrip

I do know how lucky I was. I wasn’t aware of GCA never mind it was a medical emergency as I went to bed with ‘eye’ problem. Still can’t believe the good outcome and am so grateful. The lead up to the vision loss was months of visual disturbance, lots of investigations and all blamed it on a form of migraine, saying migraine symptoms change as you get older! Don’t take any flack.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Telian

I’d never heard of GCA either until googled thigh pain and headaches and symptoms fitted. It’s so much easier when have multiple symptoms and must be really scary when eyesight is the only thing being affected. I never had sight problems other than couple of ocular migraines which was possibly just coincidental as had had them previously.Have unfortunately learnt that you have to look after your own disease and all the associated drug side effects.

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to RoadTrip

Please keep us informed.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to DorsetLady

Opticians tomorrow, for peace of mind and will let you know how it goes. Overwhelmed by the many kind responses from everybody.

123mossie profile image
123mossie in reply to RoadTrip

Following your thread, so pleased for you that it’s a reasonable outcome.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to 123mossie

Many thanks.

maria40 profile image
maria40 in reply to RoadTrip

Glad you got good service from your GP and find solution quickly.

I have had 2 posterior vitreous detachments and developed visual migraines since being diagnosed with PMR and put on Pred 9 years ago , so I hope the doctors are right as these things are harmless. I had never heard of these before!

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to suzy1959

Strangely my hubby had slightly different eye symptoms but diagnosed with vitreous detachment by optician only a few weeks ago. His symptoms have almost gone, just as mine start. It must be an age thing or it is catching.

I have eye appointment booked for tomorrow.

Many thanks for your reply.

After half an hour any bright light effects should be gone and also cookers lights aren’t that bright are they? You need to have ruled out other eye problems, including GCA, that require urgent treatment so don’t wait, get on that phone or nip to A&E.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to SnazzyD

Many thanks. Have spoken to doctor, who spoke to hospital eye specialist both are happy not GCA and think vitreous detachment. I am seeing an optician tomorrow to confirm and for peace of mind.

Skysey profile image
Skysey in reply to RoadTrip

Just seen this thread. I have GCA and I had bright flickers on the periphery of my vision in both eyes but sometimes just one. My neuroopthalmologist thinks it is vitreous gel breaking up which is an age thing. I have had a few migraines with visual disturbance that go away with 30 mins or so rest in a dark room.I agree with others that it is important to be vigilant when you are experiencing visual symptoms with a diagnosis of GCA. Glad you are being looked after by your medical professionals. Keep us updated. Xx

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Skysey

Many thanks for your response. Agree it’s the age thing, vitreous gel, yet another thing degenerating.

baxternoni profile image
baxternoni in reply to Skysey

I also have GCA and I have gotten optical migraines. It’s like seeing a clear kaleidoscope sometimes followed by a headache. They will last 15-60 minutes. Mine started when I had heart surgery in 2012. I was getting them a couple of times a month now I get them occasionally.

Both my vitreous detachments had very big black floaters and a light flashing at the outer corner of the eye. My last happened on a Saturday night and 111 sent me up to A&E. I was pretty sure it was vitreous detachment as I’d already experienced one in the other eye but wanted to be sure re GCA. After 5 hour wait they saw me and sent me home because they dont have anyone for the eye unit working overnight. Gave me an appointment for the Monday morning at the Eye unit. Good job it wasn’t anything more serious otherwise I would have been up s**t creek as the saying goes😀

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to jaycee444

Doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence if it was GCA related, glad it wasn’t in your case. I did ask the doctor about taking extra pred just in case, which is probably why she got hospital doctor involved over the phone. She did say it would have been very difficult to get emergency examination, had it been needed.

If you go into a dark room (I went in my garage) and if it vitreous detachment you can see the light flashing in the outer corner of your eye. That is what more or less convinced me it was VD as that is what I’d experienced before.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to jaycee444

Many thanks will try that.

It’s an ageing process an in most people it happens without them noticing. The symptoms usually remain until the vitreous detaches properly. The flashes are caused by it tugging on the retina as it detaches. Very occasionally (rarely) it can tear the retina which is what can cause problems (the ‘curtain’) effect. Once it detaches properly you wont see any more flashes . Mine took a couple of weeks but it can happen more quickly. Optician will put your mind at rest tomorrow.‘

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to jaycee444

Thanks for the info. Seems to have calmed down a bit already, was getting very bad when on phone with doctor, hopefully will continue to improve. Thanks again.

Let us know please!

Will do, thanks.

Sounds like an ocular migraine which doesn’t actually happen in the eyes. I had the same thing happen awhile ago before PMR. Mine comes and goes once in a blue moon and lasts maybe for up to 10 minutes max. However, if it’s not like a shimmering floater but a fixed flashing bright light it could be retinal detachment or tear.

My optometrist wasn’t that concerned about the ocular migraine but when the later happened they took a look and saw I had a L shaped tear and referred me to a retinal specialist who did laser surgery and it was taken care of in about 15 mins.

I’m not a doctor, this is just what happened to me and the outcome.

americanmigrainefoundation....

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Boss302Fan

Many thanks for your response and hope your eyesight ok after your retinal tear. I have had ocular migraines in the past, when I see jazzy lines at side of vision which lasts about 10-20 minutes. This is definitely different as still seeing vision lines this morning especially when blink or move eye quickly and getting lots of new floaters, mainly black though. Visiting the optician today so hopefully confirm just vitreous detachment.

Boss302Fan profile image
Boss302Fan in reply to RoadTrip

The very first time it happened to me I was walking across the field after feeding my horses. It was really strange and unnerving. I was able to discern it was my left eye. Here is what I experience one moment vision fine then instantaneously:

-vertical jagged delineation of field of vision about a 60/40 split. Right side (smaller area) of split perfect focus, left side as if looking through water without wearing goggles.

- on the left side there also was a twisted ribbon like floater (in my vision it appeared as if 1 cm long). Its pattern was of 2 rows of meshed triangles. Alternating black solid triangles with bright shimmering mirror ones.

No pain, but freaked me out. Walked slowly back to stable with my left eye closed and sat down and rested for about 10 minutes or so. Didn’t think to check the time.

After the rest my vision was fully restored and I immediately called Advanced Eyecare and my Optometrist saw me within the hour. Ran tests and dilated my eyes for the exam. My eyes were predominately okay, no internal damage. My left eye pressure was 32 mm Hg which is very high and she put me on Timolol maleate drops 2x/d and the pressure now is between the range of 19-21.

The retinal L-shaped tear was observed during a 6-month follow-up. After the subsequent laser surgery and two 3-month follow-up visits everything looks good. I’m glad I’m down to 4mg Pred/day, they think the very high dose (40mg down from 80) I was on could have been a contributing factor for the high pressure in my eye.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Boss302Fan

Glad to hear your problems were sorted albeit after laser surgery. Hopefully the pressure in your eyes has reduced along with your pred dose. I was pleased to find my eye pressure had barely changed from around 13 from last September shortly after Gca diagnosis despite being on 70mg and reducing.

Agree, get checked immediately but you’ve probably done this by now

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Frewen1

Many thanks for your response. Opticians appointment this afternoon to hopefully just confirm doctor ( and hospital specialists ) telephone diagnosis of vitreous detachment.

Frewen1 profile image
Frewen1 in reply to RoadTrip

Oh blimey. Good luck

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Frewen1

Not too bad, if that’s what it is just goes away on its own, not even any medication required. Fingers crossed.

Hope everything turns out OK. The symptoms you describe happened to my mum before she started getting double vision, sparkly halos and a veil appeared from the bottom a day later. They failed to diagnose GCA and she had total vision loss.I'm glad to read you are getting this seen to.

So sorry to hear about your mother’s loss of sight must have been devastating for her.

I’m hoping just vitreous detachment. I have GCA, but on low dose steroids 9mg at moment, any loss of vision, double vision etc. I will upping steroid dose immediately before seeking medical advise.

My husband and I have both had vitreous detachments, but last year he also had 2 retinal detachments, in the left eye, twice. He had wonderful treatment by an amazing eye surgeon and his sight was saved.

Specsavers gave me a leaflet about vitreous detachment called "Flashers and Floaters"!

I hope you get the reassurance you deserve today. Let us know.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Rugger

Hubby got same leaflet when he was diagnosed with vitreous detachment a few weeks ago. Did joke with him about carrying leaflet with “flashers” on it, actually says flashes, much safer.

So glad your hubbies eye sight saved, hopefully mine just lesser vitreous detachment.

The black floaters are tiny specks of blood from the vitreal detachment. Mine looked like swarms of insects, or flocks of birds, and a larger black floater in my peripheral vision was like a glob of seaweed caught in my blond hair, swinging as I moved my head.

The floaters do go away, and your brain learns to ignore any that remain, but in my case, my central vision has remained blurry, as if there was a greasy thumbprint on my glasses that could not be wiped away. The eye doctor said it was because the detachment was central.

Since these things happen to so many of us, it’s surprising that we aren’t made more aware of the possibility somewhere along the way.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to OutdoorsyGal

I have the greasy thumbprint effect - but not due to vitreous detachment as far as I know and have had it probably 15 years and my super-optician at the time would have caught that.

The black floaters are very strange and appear different from the other floaters I have had before. Glad to know they go or are ignored by the brain. Sorry to hear about your blurriness.

Never heard of this before a few weeks ago when hubby had same, seems to yet another one of those ageing things that no one mentions.

(Yeah, like a lot of the unlovely effects of menopause...)

Agreed, especially sweats but I don’t know wether to blame it on menopause, pred or GCA now.

HeronNS profile image
HeronNS in reply to RoadTrip

I must have very old eyes as I've been aware of floaters since my early adulthood. Maybe a function of myopia? They don't distract me as much now that some presbyopia is cancelling out the myopia. 😎 Next up, cataracts?

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to HeronNS

Hopefully not!

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to HeronNS

Sorry previous response was a bit short. Had to look up presbyopia and hit reply button early by mistake. Was going to add that since GCA seem to have had a lot more floaters. I have also had to get use to glasses for driving and reading ( different ones) as eyes seem to have generally deteriorated, over a few years (prior to gca).

HeronNS profile image
HeronNS in reply to RoadTrip

For many years I've worn graduated, or progressive, lenses - the focal distance changes as you look through different parts of the lens. I loved them from the moment I first wore them, but I do know some people felt almost seasick at first, one gave up. Not sure but I think they are easier for the nearsighted to adjust to, people who have worn glasses most of their life, than far-sighted (caused by "presbyopia") who aren't as used to glasses in the first place. Certainly beats needing more than one pair of glasses if they suit a person.

webmd.com/eye-health/about-...

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to HeronNS

May look at these when a more committed glasses wearer. At moment on use distance for driving and watching films and reading for small print instructions. Thanks for the info.

Boss302Fan profile image
Boss302Fan in reply to RoadTrip

I think I started with progressives not long after they first came to market. Tried contacts and just hated those. Progressives have evolved a lot and I really like them, except when looking down and trying to work on something, keep sliding down which is frustrating. I’ve tried all kinds of frames and even those silicon thingys you put over the temple. I’m about ready to try super glue!😂

I had detachment and partial retina tear. Experienced flashing light and floaters in my eye. Luckily eye emergency sent me to the eye surgery centre immediately. They repaired it with laser “gun”. I’ve been good ever since. If left untreated it can cause blindness. Hope you can get help soon.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Sheebo

Thanks for your reply, glad they caught it quickly for you. Optician appointment in 1 1/2 hours time, hopefully nothing that serious.

I have what is called "migraine phenomenon", which symptoms are brightly colored or clear flashing lights of differing shapes (arc is a common shape) which gradually migrate across my visual field . The process usually takes 30-40 minutes and is accompanied by a blind spot . I refrain from doing things during that time which require acute vision such as driving a car. This occurs randomly several times a month. Maybe this is what you are having ???

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to bzjmsn

Many thanks for your response. I have had what I call ocular migraines which as you say lasted a relatively short time, although seems ages when happening and very disconcerting the first time. Mine was in the form of jazzy lines in each eye. This was bad for a number of hours and was still causing problems the following morning. Optician confirmed vitreous detachment.

bzjmsn profile image
bzjmsn in reply to RoadTrip

I had one of those 35 years ago and it scared me badly! But my ophthalmologist said it was not a serious happening. He called it "a vitreous shift". Just left a few floaters. Best wishes for good vision!

well this has happened to me twice in the last five years, once I knew exactly what it was, I fell off of a step ladder outside..the legs on one side sunk in and I tipped..after that I had flashes in one eye and a bunch of new floaters...now a couple months ago for no reason I started seeing that light flash like you describe, when it is darker or when I close my eyes, I also had a couple of new floaters...both times I went to my eye doctor, and both times it wasn't anything to worry about..my cornea wasn't torn which is bad, and the second time he said its rather average thing for an older person to start with flashes..big long explanation but its nothing to get excited about and now it is slowly fading...with the new machines they use now they see right into the eyeball and take a picture...pretty cool..I have yearly appointments because of PMR and prednisone usage, which I've stopped using months ago. Anyways, just get it checked out..

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to daworm

Many thanks for your response. Seems like you had the same as me, nothing to get excited about, but disconcerting and worrying at the time. Hope your non use of pred continues and PMR remains in remission. Best wishes.

BTW, vitreal detachments occur earlier (or more frequently) in nearsighted people.

Both of my myopic younger sisters had detachments years before I, the farsighted older sister, did.

Interesting, I just have old age degeneration of eye sight, glasses for distance and reading in last few years.

Good news, just vitreous detachment so should get better on own. Check up in 6 weeks and contact optician if any problems in meantime.

He checked eye pressure, which was same as previous eye test in September shortly after GCA diagnosis approx. 13 in each eye, took a photo of eye and got drops in eye for the optician to examine closely. Before detailed exam was pretty sure just vitreous detachment as would expect low eye pressure, eye sight deterioration which I was not showing, and signs on photo. which appeared clear if problems with the retina. The eye exam also ruled out peripheral tear of retina. He also said optic nerve looking fine. Very happy with examination and relived nothing worse.

Just had left over beef casserole to celebrate, with no carbs, or wine.

Lutra2 profile image
Lutra2 in reply to RoadTrip

Glad to hear it is vitreous detachment and not more serious. I had similar symptoms to you 18 months ago and that was the diagnosis by my excellent optician. I also have what's called a Weiss ring - the cells surrounding the optic nerve entry point of the retina detach to form a distinctive floater. That was in the top left corner but has slowly migrated to near the centre of vision. The flashes seemed to go away for most of 2020, but I was conscious of them seeming to recur in the late Autumn. As one of your other correspondents commented they were easier to see in a dark garage (in my case, at night, with a street light out of the corner of my eye), Then I had a bout of feeling unwell in January, and was diagnosed with GCA. I was given to understand the GCA and vitreous detachment are not linked. Hope all continues well for you.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Lutra2

Many thanks for your response, I was so glad that it was nothing serious just very worrying at time, as any eye problems first thought is gca flare. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis hopefully it is under control and you are reducing pred ok. I’m 9 months in and down to 9 mg recently. Getting a bit stiff in the mornings so not sure if withdrawal or my previous PMR symptoms recurring will give it a few more days to decide wether to stay at this dose or go back up. Best wishes.

Lutra2 profile image
Lutra2 in reply to RoadTrip

Thanks for that. Yes, tapering off slowly - 12.5mg at present. Thankfully no side effects yet. All the best.

I’d like to thank everyone for their responses and details of their experiences. It shows what a wonderful and supportive site this is and it is a privilege to be a member, albeit under difficult circumstances. Many thanks to all those who make this possible and to all the contributors who make it what it is. Cheers Jenny.

Definitely get it checked out straight away. Bright flashy lines can be a symptom of a detached retina - so a medical emergency.

I went to Vision Express who are also my NHS local eye service round here these days for a sudden onset eye problem and it was a posterior vitreous detachment. They held everyone up in the shop to do an emergency check.

If you can, get to an eye A&E - it may be a visual migraine, but if it’s a detached retina it needs really urgent attention to enable you to keep your sight so any A&.E is good.

Less likely to be GCA but just as urgent to get sorted. Hopefully you aren’t reading this but sitting in A&E!

Many thanks for your reply. Vitreous detachment confirmed as you had. Just got to watch for any significant changes and get checked again in 6 weeks. Vision Express is also our local go to opticians, who examined my eyes, very happy with the service.

Fimckenz profile image
Fimckenz in reply to RoadTrip

I started having similar problems and saw my optician 6 years ago. He told me it was vitreous detachment, nothing to worry about. Two days later a black curtain started moving across my eye, I had no idea about these kind of eye problems at that time. Emergency optician diagnosed retinal detachment and sent me to hospital. Due to a lack of urgency at Shrewsbury, they did not get me in until it had fully detached. So full op required and they could not repair the detachment perfectly. Have had double vision ever since. Be very aware.

RoadTrip profile image
RoadTrip in reply to Fimckenz

Terribly sorry about your problem and outcome. Optician was very good and did warn me about a black curtain across eye and to treat it as an emergency. Said to him that was potentially also a symptom of GCA, so a 999 event. Many thanks for the warning.

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