Reassure me - red blotch in my vision after I woke

I’ve searched and read various web sites. I haven’t really found anything like this.

I have neck problems. Last night I slept on a new pillow. I woke up in the middle of the night. I saw a red spider-like splotch on the pillow next to me. I realized this was actually something happening with my vision.

I had the presence of mind to close each eye. The splotch was there no matter which eye I used.

It was also moving, the thin leg-like spikes grew and shrank.

I got up and rubbed my neck. The blotch faded a bit. When I turned on the light I couldn’t see it at all. I switched pillows and went back to sleep.

My vision is normal today, but my neck is sore. I don’t have insurance or money to go to the doctor. I was wondering if anyone ever had this happen? I’m hoping it was just a harmless thing caused by a pinched nerve, or something like that.

I do have migraines - maybe one every two years. However, my migraines cause flashing white triangles, not a red blotch.

You could have retinal detachment or hemorrhaging. It could also be a sign of coronary artery disease depending on your age. You really should see a professional immediately.

Or you could have burst a capillary and a tiny amount of blood mixed with your aqueous humor. Either way, seeing a professional immediately is probably still a good idea.

The fact that the OP mentions both eyes suggests that it is unlikely to be related to one retina, and the same thing happening simultaneously in both eyes is unlikely. That suggests if it is a problem, it is further down the chain. If it persists, contact a doctor, but even then start looking into free clinics in the meantime.

If it was an actual image in both eyes, then it would suggest something wrong with the vision center in the brain, but reading it as described - IE, the blotch going away when the lights went on - makes me wonder if it wasn’t actually localized to one eye, and simply still visible with the eye closed. Sort of like a flash image.

Have you ever (or recently) been tested for glaucoma? Do you have issues with blood sugar? Are you diabetic? Obese? A smoker? This could be a sign of bleeding in the eye, in the early stages of retinopathy. I wouldn’t ignore this. Retinopathy is the most common cause of blindness in young people.

If it *was *a (minor) bleed, your eye would re-absorb the blood overnight (which would explain why you didn’t notice it in the morning). I don’t know what the neck pain means, though. It could have been a coincidence because you slept funny, or it could be something more serious (like a blood clot? ministroke? I dunno). This is worth scheduling an appointment to get checked out. And while you’re getting tested for glaucoma, bring up the splotch to the eye doc and see what he says. He can look in your eye to see if there are any busted retinal capillaries.

Since my vision is absolutely vital to me, I’d seek medical attention immediately.

Problems in the retina could have a visual appearance, and it wouldn’t depend on whether the eye was open, right? I think CandidGamera is on to something.

Visual migraine?

I’d see someone. It’s your eyes, why risk it?

Since he says “Reassure me,” I’ll tell him one of the more innocuous things it could be: A hypnagogic hallucination. In other words, you were still partly asleep, and turning the on the light woke you the rest of the way up.

That said, these other conditions are a real possibility, so I’d get that checked. Any hallucinations I’ve had go away as soon as I open my eyes or move my head (if my eyes were open). And they are never red.

Go to a doctor.

However, it sounds rather similar to a different manifestation of your migraine aura, which I get. Particularly the movement round the edges that you describe, and the fact that it persisted no matter which eye you used. IF it is that, it’s not serious, provided the rest of the migraine symptoms don’t knock you out.

However, go to a doctor.

Do they manifest in both eyes, though? Mine are always concentrated on (in?) my right eye.

I get visual migraines occasionally, always in both eyes.

Mayo Clinic on ocular migraines.

I also get the ocular migraines. They are always in both eyes, though the vision isn’t red, but rather blurry, like your looking through water. The spot becomes bigger, turns into a ring, and expands outward until it finally fades away.

It’s worth having it checked out, but ocular migraines are not dangerous.

Mine don’t, but I know they can be rather variable.

Interesting, and contradictory of a bunch of health sites I looked at this morning that said they happen in one eye. And if they consider “Shimmering spots or stars” to be ocular migraines themselves rather than a precursor to one, I get them a lot more often than I would have guessed. “Shooting stars” are definitely easier to banish with advil than visual distortions so bad you can’t read/drive, anyway.

If it’s persisting, do you at least have the cash to at least go see an optometrist. Mention what you experienced, and see if he/she can see anything of concern.

This site has a visual of what I get - my brother also gets them and agrees that the little graphic there is just what he experiences as well. A small sparkly distortion in center vision, which slowly expands in a ring until it fades from peripheral vision.

No headache, last about 20 minutes. Mine are triggered by a flash of light - accidentally looking at the sun, camera flash, sunlight flashing off a car bumper, like that. I can see, but it’s shimmery so if I’m driving I pull over until it passes. The first one alarmed me! I’ve been getting them for over 30 years, never been tested, have mentioned it to the occasional doctor and my optometrist and none thought it was a big deal.

OP, is there a community health clinic you can go to? Chances are it’s nothing to worry about, but you probably ought to see someone, especially if it happens again.

Well, it did happen again last night. I’ll ask my parents to take me to a doctor. (I’m 47, they’re in their 70s and living on social security.)

Would any eye doctor be able to help me with this? Or would I have to see a specialist? I really need new glasses, it would help if I could just see a regular eye doctor and take care of both things at once.

Thanks to everyone for your input, it means a lot to me. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s an ocular migraine.

I would see an ophthalmologist.