What causes a kaleidescope halo in the eye?

Written by sumei fitzgerald
What causes a kaleidescope halo in the eye?
You may see images as if you were looking through a kaliedoscope. (kaleidoscope cross: hearst tower 2 image by Carbonbrain from Fotolia.com)

Halo vision is more common than kaleidoscope vision when it comes to abnormal eye problems but they can both combine to produce dramatic visual distortions. Halo or rainbow vision involves seeing auras, halos or rings around objects. Kaleidoscope vision involves "fractal" sight: a splintering or shattering of images into parts the person must struggle to assemble, in order to make sense of what they're seeing. There are many possible causes for kaleidoscope vision and halo vision.

Corneal Edema

What causes a kaleidescope halo in the eye?
Swelling in the cornea can create visual distortions. (visionary image by Robert Kelly from Fotolia.com)

Corneal oedema refers to a swelling of the cornea, the clear lens of the eye. Fluid builds within the cornea so that light is refracted incorrectly. This can result in kaleidoscope vision or rainbow vision.

The Swiss eye clinic Perret Opticiens reports that there are many possible causes of corneal oedema. These include acute glaucoma, cataract surgery, contact lens overuse, Fuch's endothelial dystrophy and eye trauma.

LASIK Eye Surgery

What causes a kaleidescope halo in the eye?
Kaleidoscope or halo vision can result from surgery. (Eye glasses image by petrovit from Fotolia.com)

Kaleidoscope vision and halo vision may also occur after LASIK eye surgery. Certain conditions, such as diabetes or dry eyes, can affect how well you heal according to the website All About Vision.

LASIK surgery involves cutting a thin corneal flap to reshape the eye. Problems with how thick or thin this cut is or how it re-adheres can cause vision distortions such as kaleidoscope vision or halos.

Ocular Migraines

What causes a kaleidescope halo in the eye?
Many migraine sufferers see auras or halos. (HALO image by Ragga from Fotolia.com)

Migraine headaches commonly cause people to see auras or halos and can cause kaleidoscope vision as well. Not everyone who experiences kaleidoscope vision or halos gets a migraine afterwards, reports Perret Opticiens. Blind spots, lightning-like flashes, shimmering and travelling colours and fragmented vision are all symptoms of ocular or ophthalmic migraines.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment

What causes a kaleidescope halo in the eye?
Tugs on the optical nerve can create flashes of light. (flash image by LiveAndStereo from Fotolia.com)

Ageing causes the vitreous gel of the eye to shrink and pull away from the back wall of the eye. This can lead to posterior vitreous detachment and vision distortions such as halo vision or kaleidoscope sight, according to Edina Eye Clinic in Minnesota.

Posterior vitreous detachment can lead to a more serious condition: retinal detachment. As the vitreous pulls away from the back wall; it tugs on the retina and optic nerve, reports Perret Opticiens. These tugs can produce flashes of light or leave debris suspended in the vitreous. These floaters can create patterns like cobwebs or nets across the visual field. These same symptoms can be seen if the retina detaches or tears due to trauma or vitreous detachment. Retinal detachment can lead to blindness.

Uveitis

What causes a kaleidescope halo in the eye?
Many medical conditions can affect vision. (eye image by Yuri Tuchkov from Fotolia.com)

A number of conditions, collectively referred to as uveitis, can cause inflammation of the eye and distorted vision. Halos or kaleidoscope vision can occur because of medical conditions such as candidiasis, endophalmitis, histoplasmosis, HIV, toxoplasmosis, sarcidosis and Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome.

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