Filamentous threads of light bursting from the lights

Last couple of days have noticed with my left eye, filamentous threads, or rays of bright white light bursting from recessed ceiling lights as I lie in the bath. They can shoot out a couple of feet and grow and shrink back. The pattern of dispersal about the light source changes frequently, sometimes two are shooting out at 180 degrees from each other like spokes; then there may be just one which will flare out at its end like the cone of a trumpet. They can leave at any angle and also be projecting towards or away from me. At other times I saw three or four curved threads but these were looped or entangled about the light rather than radiating straight from it. Around the periphery of all of these bright threads I see a steady streaming of vaguely shapeless scattered white bits and blobs as if they are moving in a fluid. No I was not smoking anything! Anybody know what this is?

It’s beyond my experience or knowledge, but I would say that the first clue is the fact that you’re seeing this when you’re in the bath - increased body temperature tends to exaggerate neurological problems.

The second clue comes from my hubby who is into photography - what you are describing sounds like flare in photography and that’s about the lens - light not going through it properly and instead scattering. In the human eye this might have something to do with the back of the eye not absorbing light properly, but I would guess that a problem with a misshapen lens might have the same effect? It’s really a question for an ophthalmologist though.

The shapeless scattered bits and bobs in fluid - that sounds like floaters to me. Floaters are precisely bits and bobs in fluid: debris floating in the vitreous fluid of the eye. These are particularly noticeable in bright light / when looking at a bright light.

Karen x

Thanks karen, havent been able get onto the side for a couple of days, but appreciate your taking the time to reply. I wondered if it could be the lens distorting somehow. Will give the optician a call.

A number of things can cause some of what you describe. Phosphenes can be associated with optic neuritis, flashing lights can be associated with glaucoma, can be floaters, cataracts causing distortion etc Sounds like you need to pay a visit to the ophthalmologist if not at leats the optician. Hows your vision/ colour, any pain etc? Vision is so precious - I’d definitely get this checked out.

Hope you get better soon.



Appointment at Moorfields Eye hospital on 12th December, so I hope it can wait until then. I think this is more of a flare. I do get phosphenes but not with my eyes open. Thanks Gokr