by kellyo19 (192 Posts), Sat Apr 16, 2011 02:53 pm
I have a chronic eye condition called retinopathy of prematurity due to my own premie birth. The ROP causes retinal tears and breaks, one of the common symptoms of this (for me) is the flashes of light and black squiggly things called floaters. For me they look like little blobs or tadpoles that wriggle around my vision field, sometimes arcing from left to right. The flashes or stars look like camera flashbulbs going off, like your picture is being taken. Sometimes it looks like an uncovered lightbulb that arcs around in small circles or waves.
From what I understand, preeclampsia can cause cerebral swelling which puts pressure on the optic nerve... the pressure on the optic nerve comes across as flashes and floaters. When I had PIH with my son in 2009, my flashes, floaters, and "colorful sparkles" were more frequent and lasted longer, signs my PIH was progressing towards PE. However, within a wk of delivering my son, the colorful sparkles disappeared and the flashes/floaters settled down to my baseline levels.
In my specific case, the undiagnosed and untreated pre-eclampsia with my daughter in 2005 triggered my dormant ROP to become active. Since then I've had a retinal tear treated with a scleral buckle and multiple laser surgeries on the opposite eye to treat smaller tears and breaks. In my case, my eyes are aging rapidly. The dr explained it as a jello salad with coconut fibers in the salad, as my eyes age the gel inside the eyeball shrinks, and little fibers (the coconut) gets stuck on the inside of the eye, attached to the retina, and as the fibers tug on the retina, I get breaks and retinal traction, causing my floaters (actually drops of blood) and flashes (from activating the retina).
Probably more info than you wanted to know, but hopefully I helped answer your questions. If your symptoms persist, you need to inform your regular eye dr and hopefully be referred to a retina specialist at a more advanced medical facility. Only the specialists can advise you for treatment if any, and what to watch for. At the end of my pregnancy with my son I was seen every other wk by my eye specialist, to make sure my ROP wasn't out of control.
2005: PE/IUGR pregnancy with Daughter, born 40+2 induction. Diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (or Sensory Integration Dysfunction) in 2010. Diagnosed with ADHD in 2011. It's getting better with OT and treatment!
2009: PIH pregnancy with Son, born 38+5. Diagnosed in 2011 as Developmental Language Delays, Social-Emotional-Communication Delays. More testing Nov. 2011.
2011: I'm undergoing neurological testing. Praying for the best!