Oral & Vision Health Blog

What is Kaleidoscope Vision?

You might have a stressful day at work or come home from a super intense workout, but all of a sudden your vision is blinded by a rainbow of colors. It’s scary – no matter where you look, how much you blink, or how much water you splash on your face the multitude of colors are still there! So what does this mean and what can you do about it?

These fractured, brightly colored images come from kaleidoscope vision. The brain usually creates these images during a migraine, and they can last from 10 up to 30 minutes. This visual rainbow can affect people in many different ways, including seeing:

  • Stars, spots, stripes
  • Sparkling lights
  • Colorful lines
  • Fogginess
  • Have the sensation of looking through a heat wave
  • Objects appearing too large, too small, or farther away than they are

Known as a type of migraine aura, kaleidoscope vision is just one type, as it appears when there is a sudden increase in neuro activity such as stress or strain. Sometimes, if you haven’t been stressed and these colors appear, it may mean a more serious problem such as a stroke, retinal/eye damage, or a brain injury. Some of the other auras that can occur after a migraine are:

  • Sensory – Experience a tingling sensation in your fingers that spread all the way up your arm. It can sometimes reach one side of your face over 10-20 minutes.
  • Dysphasic – Your speech is limited, and you start to forget words or don’t remember their meaning.
  • Hemoplegic – Your limbs as well as some of the muscles in your face may weaken.

So now that you know what can cause kaleidoscope vision – what’s the solution? Currently, there is no cure for a migraine. However, it will typically go away within one hour. To help you feel better, you can put on a cold compress and lie down in a dark, quiet room till it passes. You can also take over-the-counter pain relivers to help as well, but please discuss treatment options with your optometrist if you are unable to do so.

While kaleidoscope vision isn’t something you can necessarily prepare for, it’s important to practice caution and try to limit your stress levels and other migraine triggers as much as you can. By being kind to your body and making your eyesight a priority is a great place to start! Download our healthy vision e-book and see how you can do so today!

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