Since the mechanism behind the ocular flicker as well as its causes are not clear, all therapeutic approaches are based on experience and the presumed causes. Various anticonvulsants (or antiepileptic drugs) such as valproic acid, lamotrigine and topiramate, as well as the benzodiazepine Xanax® are used in drug therapy. Each of these four drugs exerts its effect at least in part through its binding to the GABA receptors in the brain. Therefore, it seems obvious and is being discussed in professional circles that the cause of eye fibrillation is a disorder of the GABA balance in the human brain.
The occurrence of eye flickering
Anyone who regularly does intensive sports has probably already been confronted with symptoms such as trembling, dizziness, headaches, weakness and eye flickering. All these are symptoms of overwork and a significant exceeding of one’s own performance limits. The symptoms are most likely to be due to low blood pressure and hypoglycaemia.
This results in a temporary slight undersupply of glucose and oxygen to the brain tissue and ultimately leads to the symptoms described above. A vitamin and mineral deficiency often blamed on heavy sweating during sport is, however, rather unlikely to be a cause of flickering eyes during or after sport. Nevertheless, it is important to keep the body’s water and electrolyte balance in balance – for example by drinking isotonic drinks.
To counteract hypoglycaemia, quickly absorbable, short-chain carbohydrates – for example in the form of glucose – can be dissolved in the mouth in the case of flickering eyes. In addition, general tips on how to behave during sports are recommended. These include sufficient calorie intake in everyday life and taking sufficiently long breaks during exercise units.
What to do in case of hypoglycaemia? If symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, flickering eyes or other visual disturbances occur in the morning after getting up, this can usually be attributed to the circulation: Overnight, when the heart has to do comparatively little work and the body’s vessels are dilated and relaxed, low blood pressure is sufficient to supply all organs with sufficient oxygen and nutrients. If we then get up too quickly in the morning, the blood sinks into the large veins in the legs.
This results in a temporary undersupply to the brain, which is reflected in the above-mentioned symptoms. Especially people with generally low blood pressure therefore need more time in the morning to allow the heart activity and tension of the vessel walls to adapt to the suddenly increased demands. Doing sports and drinking enough fluids can help to a certain extent.
Flickering at the edge of the field of vision occurs mainly in older people with retinal diseases. Typically, the slightest damage to the retina occurs over time. This can be promoted by metabolic processes such as increased blood sugar (diabetes mellitus).
Other risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and alcohol consumption can also damage the retina over time. In addition, the weakness of the retina can also be a pure sign of old age. In the course of time, the retina detaches from the underlying layers.
The acute detachment is usually accompanied by the seeing of flashes of light, because the nerve cells in the retina are falsely irritated and thus send an electrical signal to the brain, which is interpreted as a light signal. A detachment of the vitreous body in the eye can also be noticed by visual disturbances at the edge of the field of vision. However, dark spots are more common than bright flashes of light.
Other causes of eye flickering at the edge of the field of vision can be caused by the circulation. Especially when the circulation slowly weakens (for example, when you have to stand for a long time), it can lead to a narrowing of the field of vision. At first, you can no longer see clearly at the edge of the field of vision and flickering of the eyes at the edge of the field of vision occurs.
This blurred edge then moves from the outside to the inside, until you finally feel completely black. Spikes at the edge of the field of vision as well as the eye flickering at the edge can indicate a detachment of the retina or the vitreous body. The jagged edges are typically caused by distortion lines.
Normally, the retina lies against the wall of the spherical eyeball. Light rays entering the eye are bundled by the lens in the front part of the eyeball and then fall on the retina. There, so-called photoreceptors perceive the incidence of light.
They form an electrical signal which is transmitted via several nerve cells and the optic nerve to the visual cortex in the rear part of the brain. When the retina begins to detach, it no longer lies smoothly against the wall of the eyeball. As a result, light rays that enter the eye from the environment directly next to each other arrive at different locations on the retina.
The brain can no longer put together a “smooth” and “straight” image. Instead, objects that are actually straight suddenly appear curved, bent or even jagged. More information about retinal detachment can be found here.
Even with closed eyes, eye flickering can occur. The causes can be found in various places from the eye to the visual cortex in the brain. In the eye itself it can be caused by small malfunctions of the retina or the nerves connected to it.
Electrical signals are transmitted to the brain even when the eyes are closed. The visual cortex of the brain interprets these electrical signals as light signals and projects an image from them, which is characterized by flashes of light and flickering of the eyes. Especially in older people, flickering of the eyes when the eyes are closed can be an indication of a retinal disease such as retinal detachment or circulatory disorders of the retina.
Diseases of the optic nerve or the visual pathways behind it can also lead to false messages in the brain and thus cause a flickering of the eyes with closed eyes. If the visual cortex itself is damaged, flickering can also occur with the eyes closed. The visual cortex of the brain is permanently busy creating an image of our environment.
Under certain circumstances, the visual cortex may try to create an image even when no real light signals reach the eye. This malfunction leads to unclear images, which can result in eye flickering or other visual disturbances. .