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Does anyone have light streaks while blinking?

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  • Does anyone have light streaks while blinking?


    I'm an 18 years old woman, who, since half a year ago, began seeing light streaks radiating from any kind of light, be it lamps, on my phone, computer, sun reflection on cars or objects, like say a white chair etc... The thing is, these things only appear when my eyes are "half-closed", so basically every time I blink I can see these light streaks. They are different from starbursts, they are more like straight lines that stream downward from the light source.
    The brighter the light source is compared to its "environment" and the worse it is, so I can't go to the cinema because everything is dark beside the screen but if everything around is well lit, I can mostly get by with minimal discomfort. So everything has to be the same brightness, for example, even in day, the sun reflection on cars is too much for me and most of the lighting used in stores too.

    When I searched for this symptom I saw a few posts about it but none found the answer to what could cause it.
    A lot suggested it was eyelashes because the light streaks stream downward when the eyelid margin, where the eyelashes reside, "block" the pupil when blinking, and also when I push my upper eyelid up, the streaks disappear magically even when I squint, but I quickly found out it wasn't caused by that because I also get "upper" light streaks from my lower eyelid if my pupil is near it, like when I'm squinting, and I have very few eyelashes on my lower eyelid but they have approximatively the same light streaks.
    It's also not keratoconus or any kind of cornea problem because I got a topography done by a specialist.

    I was really down in the dump, this problem decreased my visual quality a great deal, to the point where I can't drive or do things at night, but since doctors saw nothing at all in my eyes, most assumed it was because i was too stressed (even though just a little before this problem, my stress was at an all-time low).

    But I actually think it could be from dry eyes.
    For about one year, my eyes felt very dry and one day, I got a sudden onset of photophobia that gradually worsened + some ghosting, I scheduled an appointment with my usual ophthalmologist at the time but it usually took months for one and so, shortly before it, I got the light streaks.
    At first, I really didn't think it was connected and since my doctor never heard of anything like that, he also dismissed it, but here's what I collected about it.

    What makes them WORSE:
    -Eyedrops: The principal reason why i thought they weren't connected. They give my eyes some relief but make my eyes watery, worsening the light streaks for a minute or two.
    -Crying: Same as eyedrops
    -High contrast situations: What I explained before, at first I thought the pupil size was the problem but since I also get them in the day, just less severely, I don't think the pupils are the problem but more so something connected to the eyelid.
    -Clogged oil glands: Sometimes I get clogged oil glands under my eyelid, it's why I believe I have MGD (I'm currently searching for a dry eye specialist in Paris but it's not easy), and when they come, they sometimes last for days and during those times, I see more light streaks. The "extra" light streaks disappear when the clogged oil gland is not visible anymore under my eyelid.

    What makes them BETTER:
    -Holding up my eyelid : Maybe the tear meniscus can cause it? So separating it from my eyes eliminate the streaks?
    -Blinking repeatedly: Blinking every second for a minute or two make them less bright/more transparent and shorter, but the benefit doesn't last long if I then blink like a sane person every 4 second or so. This also confirmed for me that it wasn"t the eyelashes.
    -Rubbing my eyes: Seem to have the same effect as the one above, but I refrain from it since it's bad for your eyes.
    -Closing my eyes for a long period of time: When I wake up I get no streaks for a very few seconds, then they come back in the periphery of my vision (like when I see directly the light source, no streaks are present but if the light source is seen from the corner of my eyes, I see them) and after a few minutes they're back to "normal". If I blink continuously I can delay a bit this process.

    So, since blinking make them better, it could be dry eyes? But the thing is, some people mention dry eyes as an explanation for these symptoms but never the other way around. From what I gathered a lot have redness,pain, discomfort,photophobia, some ghosting, but light abberations never seem to get mentioned. So I figured that asking in a dry eye forum if any got this symptom seemed like the most straightforward idea. The most posts I found on this symptom was in forum related to visual snow, but I don't have it.
    If you don't have these light streaks but read the whole thing, do you think it could be caused by this? I'm gonna keep searching for a specialist anyway even if it does not come from dry eyes for my other symptoms.

    If you read this huge wall of text, thank you for your time.

  • #2
    I don't know what kind of symptom it is but I could also see some light streaks at some lights but not as worse as you are experiencing. I'm also 18 by the way, add I'm also experiencing this condition with no proper treatment because of my financial difficulties. And you should try going to a eye specialist or some expert if it comes to what you're experiencing. If you need someone to talk to, you could just reply to this post, I may not be a doctor but i could be like some spiritual guide hahahaha, but don't worry, just keep searching for some specialist, I believe there is someone who could help you


    • #3
      Hey, thank you for writing! To be honest, life got busy with college and I kinda forgot about this post after 2-3days because no one was responding and I figured no one will but came back after my ghosting became worse and I'm pleasantly surprised haha. But I don't have much to say after all this, the streaks are still the same but my ghosting became worse and since life got incredibly busy I didn't have time to do anything for my eyes. But I will purchase an eye Compress and dial a clinic that I saw did meibography soon. I hope you figure something out and we both get better


      • #4

        I have the exact same symptoms as yourself. I couldn't have described it any better myself including what makes it worse /better.

        Mine started however about 2 months after lasik. That was over 9 years ago now though and never been able to find a doctor to help with this. Have you had any surgery?

        All of the scans came back as normal and i do suffer dry eye so i am quite convinced that's whats causing it.
        I have spoken to a few people online that have had the same issues both after surgerys and not having any.
        It seems to be something to do with the tear prism and/or eyelids causing light to diffract differently during the blink.
        It seems to only be a hypothesis though as i don't believe there is any type of equipment to diagnose this type of issue.

        Have you found any specialist that understands or can help yet?




        • #5

          Really late reply sorry. I was trying to contact the clinic I saw to no luck, I can't seem to reach them and then I got into an argument with my current eye doctor about it so I kinda ignored the problem.

          Which is, as you guessed, a bad idea. It's been six months since I stopped treating my eyes because I didn't see any effect after doing things for some months. My ghosting worsened a little but my streaks remained the same.

          Now, I'm going to contact a new eye doctor but if I still have no luck I will go to my last one and try to be more rational with her.
          I'm going to start treating my eyes soon but I can't help but notice, well, the streaks haven't changed but other symptoms have worsened, what gives? I'm still sure it's dry eye, but maybe this symptom function differently, as in, maybe the dry eye "worsened" my eyelid shape like it can sometimes worsen the cornea? That seem plausible and rejoin the idea of the tear prism you raised. I actually made a few post in reddit about it and realised I just recognized you from your username, I will finish this post and if you come across it you can contact me again on the platform, it was really reassuring to hear from you.

          I'm assuming it's not completely irreversible as when I blink I can still reduce the effects.

          The ghosting actually bother me more now, especially when I'm in the dark and trying to see something far away there will be ghost images everywhere. But what calm my worries somewhat is that it's still a relatively well known symptom of dry eyes, so people take you a little more seriously if you mention it.

          This post got kinda long, but what I really meant to say is that I still have no doubts that this came from dry eye as I personally have no other eye condition but I can understand why people that did surgery or have visual snow could doubt that, seeing as the symptoms doesn't seem to be behaving the way the most commons symptoms does. However, a surgery, if you already had dry eyes prior to this without knowing can exacerbate the conditions and provock the symptoms you already knows.

          And even "normal symptoms" like ghosting behave differently from person to person, I saw a lot of post with ghosting that behaved differently from mine but some that were more akin to mine.

          Dry eye seems to be a really niche thing right now actually, here in France I am really struggling with people and even doctors seeing this as an actual thing. And even in the USA and the UK where things are more developed there is still plenty of people that go with these treatments and aren't even cured after years.

          Sadly, I think the only things we can do right now I go through treatment to not worsen it, hope the issue gain more traction among doctors and researcher and wait for things like "Implanting new meibomian gland" in 40 years.

          But the only thing that raise attention to issue like this in the first place is lots of people suffering from this particulary uncommon side effects of dry eyes, and I wouldn't wish it for anyone. I did see, since my absence, new posts about this issues even thought two years ago I found it hard to find posts with my problem.


          • #6
            i have the same thing. Had it for months now.. every time I blink I see streaks from light. They disappear when I open my eyes..

            Did anyone found out what this is???
            I have dry eyes, but a lot og people have dry eyes and did not see streaks..