Old 09-27-2008, 07:24 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Fluctuating brightness of vision

I recently got a new symptom (surprise-suprise), and curious if anybody else seen it. I suspect that it is a part of a broad process of neuro-degeneration, ALS being another part of it.

Imagine a room lit by 5 light bulbs, and one of them starts flickering at a rate of approximately 3 times per second. That's what happens to my vision sometimes, for a minute or two. When I close my eyes, the flickering continues. After a minute, it becomes less pronounced, and then disappears.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:34 PM #2 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if this is the same thing you're describing, but many, many people see "auras" occasionally, and they are benign. I have had them occasionally ... once or twice a year ... since high school. Some migraine suffers see an aura before their headaches start ... but like many others, mine are not connected to migraines.

This is what my auras are like. I see a pulsing, flashing circle of light. While it's going on I can't see out of that eye. Still pulsing and flashing, the circle slowly shrinks to a dot and disappears. It usually lasts two or three minutes. Mine also continue when my eyes are closed.

I don't think there's anything to worry about with auras. They are not a symptom of anything that I've ever heard of ... but I know, the first time they happen, they can throw you for a loop! (I was sure I had brain cancer the first time I experienced one.) You could mention it to your doctor if you are concerned about it, but my impression is that they are harmless.

Hope this helps,
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:31 PM #3 (permalink)
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As Beth said, Auras often precede migraine headaches. Mine is a" Blind" spot, typically when coming outside on snowy days. This is when I take ibuprofen and drink a coke to try and stop the headache. I have had them since I was a child, thankfully only about 3 a year. Thats nothing compared to chronic migraine sufferers.

Another thing that can cause auras- not to scare you, but seizures can cause auras as well, though I am not sure if they are what you are describing. I think you should definately mention it to your Dr. along with when the symptom began.

Hope it goes away soon!

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Old 09-29-2008, 01:45 AM #4 (permalink)
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I don't think it is an aura; it's just that brightness of what I see fluctuates, at 3-4 Hz. It seems to correlate with attacks of high blood pressure, which I have regularly. BTW, one of my earliest UMN symptoms - clumsiness of the left hand, which started about 5 years ago - also initially corellated with high blood pressure episodes. I guess it all fits into a picture of some neurological degeneration.
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