Faint vision or photopsia is a condition when we seem to see bright objects, such as stars or lightning in our view. This light can disappear very quickly or permanently.
Photopsia usually appears as:
Photopsia is generally a symptom of another condition, primarily one that affects the eyes. This time, we will discuss what are the possible causes of dizzy eyes or photopsia.
Detached retina or retinal detachment occurs when the retina detaches from the back of the eye and loses its blood and nerve supply. According to the National Eye Institute, this usually occurs as a result of aging or injury, but can also be a complication of diabetes.
When this happens, the eyes will be dizzy or as if there are spots in front of the eyes. It can also cause vision loss in some areas of the eye. If you don’t get treatment right away, vision loss can be permanent.
Age-related macular degeneration
The macula is the part of the eye that helps you see straight ahead. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that can affect the retina, causing poor vision and triggering photopsia.
AMD is more common in older people, and can occur in one or both eyes. AMD is not treatable. However, lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, can help slow the progression of the disease.
If the condition worsens, the doctor may recommend injections of medication into the eye to improve symptoms or laser treatment to slow vision loss.
Posterior vitreous detachment
The vitreous is the jelly-like part inside the eyeball. This is the part that makes the eyeball appear full and round. The vitreous is attached to the retina. As we age, the vitreous becomes less taut and begins to shrink or pull on the retina.
If the pull is strong enough, the vitreous can separate from the retina, which is called a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). If this happens, you will see floating spots, flashes of light, or stars.
Reported by Verywell Health, PVD can cause damage to the retina. Although it can be a normal part of aging, you need to take action if there are signs of PVD.
Headaches or migraines may also be accompanied by visual changes, such as light-headedness. These visual changes usually last about 20 to 30 minutes, then go away on their own without any treatment.
If you see stars or flashes of light and have a headache, the episode will be diagnosed as a migraine. However, if you see stars without pain, it’s called a migraine without a headache, according to the American Migraine Foundation’s website.
Dizzy eyes can be a signal of a problem in the area of the brain that handles vision. For example, blood is not flowing properly or because there is damage to the brain.
Vascular disease or systemic low blood pressure can cause reduced blood supply to the brain. When it doesn’t get an adequate blood supply, the brain may not function properly.
Postural hypotension or a sudden drop in blood pressure can also cause dizzy vision for a few seconds. This condition can occur when a person who has high or low blood pressure lies down or stands up quickly.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that causes inflammation along the nerve that connects the eye to the brain, called the optic nerve. It causes a condition called optic neuritis, cites the WebMD page.
Optic neuritis is inflammation that damages the optic nerve, causing changes in the way visual images are processed in the brain. The perception of seeing flashing lights, along with pain, loss of color perception, and eventually loss of vision are some of the signs of optic neuritis.
Optic neuritis doesn’t always mean you have multiple sclerosis. So, talk to your doctor to find out the cause. The problem often goes away on its own, but your doctor can give you some medications to help you heal faster.
Cancer-associated retinopathy is a rare autoimmune condition in which the body develops autoantibodies against retinal antigens, explains the Health Jade page. This condition often presents with decreased visual acuity due to photoreceptor dysfunction. As a result, individuals who develop this condition may experience photosensitivity, increased glare after light exposure, and decreased color vision.