An Overview of Dysphotopsia
Dysphotopsia is a condition that occurs in about 10% of people who have just had IOL implantations to correct cataracts. There are two types of dysphotopsia, positive and negative, both of which involve seeing shapes and dark spots that are not really there. The condition can be extremely annoying and is often intolerable for many patients.
Negative dysphotopsia, also known as temporal darkness, is the most common symptom. In this type of dysphotopsia the patient sees a dark shadow temporally, in the periphery of the person's vision. The shape of the dark spot is usually crescent shaped. It is currently unclear what causes negative dysphotopsia although it has been found to occasionally go away on its own.
In the case of positive dysphotopsias there can be a wide variety of images that the patient may see, including rings, arcs, flashes and other light related objects. Arcs are usually the result of the patient perceiving the edge of the intraocular lens that has been implanted into the person's eye. This typically occurs more often at night. Arcs are fairly common and seeing the occasional one is normal. This may go away on its own over time. Other objects are less common but can still occur. The frequency differs depending on the type of intraocular lens used in the surgery.
Nearly all patients that have a cataract replacement surgery will experience some type of unwanted images. It is important that people who are going to undergo the surgery understand that this is a possible side effect and that they may have to deal with this. It is also important to understand that these images don't mean anything at all and that they will go away over time. People should also try to avoid focusing on the object, allowing their brain time to do its job. The images go away much more quickly if they are not focused on. The brain will eventually learn to cancel them out.
It is best that if you suffer from this disorder it is best to try and avoid more surgery, which may result in some serious complications. Replacing the intraocular lens will only help if the problem is really with the lens, such as if it is out of place. Try using eye drops that will help to reduce the size of the pupil, which may help to lessen the occurrence of the dark spots. Try your best not to focus on the spots and to do everything possible to avoid more surgery.