The symptoms | Flickering eyes

The symptoms

Flicker scotomas can occur in the context of various clinical pictures and can be the expression of a number of disorders. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the symptoms accompanying the flickering of the eyes. Often these are e.g. an increased sensitivity to light or headaches.

If headaches occur in combination with flickering eyes, this can indicate a so-called ophthalmic migraine or eye migraine: By definition, these are temporary, bilateral visual disturbances which are often (but not always) accompanied by headaches. In addition to visual disturbances in the form of a flickering of the eyes, which persists even with closed eyes, flashes of light can also be perceived. In addition, visual field failures and a general dizziness are also observed.

The symptoms usually last for a few minutes, but rarely last for half an hour to an hour. Especially young adults are frequently affected. The causes of ocular migraine are not clear, but it is assumed that there is a circulatory disorder of the brain tissue of the visual cortex, which is located in the occipital lobe.

Since the ocular migraine is quite harmless in itself and does not cause any consequential damage, treatment is hardly necessary. A calm and darkened environment during the attack is perceived by many affected persons as pleasant and helpful. Painkillers such as ibuprofen or Aspirin® usually bring relief.

If certain factors triggering the attack are known, it is advisable to avoid them. An ophthalmologist should be consulted if the eye migraine occurs repeatedly, as in this case more serious conditions could be the cause of the eye flickering and headaches. Tinnitus is an unpleasant noise in the ear, which is perceived by the brain without a suitable acoustic stimulus.

Flickering eyes and tinnitus can occur, for example, in the case of migraines. Migraine is a form of headache that can be accompanied by a so-called aura. This can cause visual disturbances such as flickering eyes or hearing disorders.

Subsequently or simultaneously, severe headaches occur. However, brain disorders can also lead to flickering eyes with tinnitus. Both phenomena can be based on the fact that the brain misjudges small stimuli due to disturbances in the transmission of nerve impulses. Therefore, diseases that damage the nerves in the brain can lead to eye flickering with tinnitus.

The diagnosis

Those affected who try to get to the bottom of the cause of their flickering often find themselves at a loss as to what to do. Diagnoses range from migraine, through psychosomatic causes, to psychiatric conditions, as well as depression and anxiety disorders. Entopian phenomena are also sometimes held responsible for the visual disturbance.

The “entopian phenomenon” is a term for visual effects caused by refractions of light within the eye. These diagnoses are often considered inadequate by patients, so that going to the doctor is often very frustrating for both the patient and the doctor. Of the many widely scattered attempts at explanation, two diagnostic pictures seem to be the most promising: the hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), which presupposes hallucinogen abuse, and the visual disorder known as “persistent migraine aura without brain infarction”.