Sunlight flashing through trees.

compo

Veteran
Location
Harlow
Firstly as far as I know I am not epileptic or subject to blackouts. Over the past couple of winters (mostly winter because the sun is low in the sky) sunlight flickering through the trees or hedgerows is causing very bright lights in my eyes and the flashing lights are just like being punched in the face. This morning was the worst event yet. I had to keep stopping to allow some level of recovery. After a clear spell I went through a wooded area and the flashing lights in my eyes were intense, so much so I actually lost control and came off my bike. I didn't lose consciousness, it was just as if someone had hit me in the eye with their fist. This is the first time things have been that bad. Previously I have experimented with sunglasses but they make it worse, especially if the sun is slightly behind me, by reflecting the light off the lenses and back into my eyes. This spoilt my ride, as I became very nervous everytime I saw a high hedge or trees, difficult to avoid in the countryside. I had to keep slowing right down to walking pace to avoid the flashing.

Is this something I have to learn to live with or is it a doctor/optician matter.
 

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
Polarised lenses?
 

MrPie

Telling it like it is since 1971
Location
Perth, Australia
Sounds very much like migraine.....welcome to the club. There's lots to read about triggers, especially specific foods, but I've found no correlation here. Light and sound on the other hand can have me on the floor within minutes. There are a number of approaches - one is confront the triggers and try to desensitise your brain over time. Another is to avoid the trigger. Frustrating trigger for me is but bit of hows-yer-father!!!!!!! There are abortive medications if that's what you fancy. Have suffered for a couple of years now and I just try to live with it.
 

MrPie

Telling it like it is since 1971
Location
Perth, Australia
Practical solution may be to ride faster, or ride slower to offset the flicker frequency. Deffo don't recommend keeping your eyes shut!
 

numbnuts

Legendary Member
Location
North Baddesley
Hold hand up and shade eyes?
I had to do that just before Christmas as it was so bad.
 

sight-pin

Über Member
Location
Floating about
Know what you mean, i find the flickering annoying
A trip to the optician as already advised, they may able to suggest frames with a tinted side shade on or something to cut down the peripheral flickering.
 
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BrynCP

Über Member
Location
Hull
I get from this where the light is rapidly appearing and disappearing, such as a fence. Gives me a headache and makes me sick and dizzy, so I just slow down to avoid the rapid effect. As above, I have suffered from migraines a long time and suspect this is triggering the migraine.

I am also epileptic, but not photosensitive, according to the strobe testing I have had. Funnily enough, the strobe testing did not trigger a migraine either.
 

Oldbloke

Guru
Location
Mayenne, France
I get affected by this too, only way I've found to reduce the effect is a cupped hand protecting the eye.

Close fitting wraparound dark glasses should help...but see an opthalmologist to be sure.
 
OP
compo

compo

Veteran
Location
Harlow
I have made an optician's appointment just to make sure my eyes are OK. For now I just wont go out when the sun is bright for the next few weeks until it sits a bit higher in the sky.
 

classic33

Legendary Member
The intensity of the actual light can be part of the problem. As can the actual colour of the light.

Have you had similar problems at other times of the year, when the sun is lower in the sky?
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
I can understand this. On the rare occasions when sunlight reaching my eyes flickers as I pass trees I find it very uncomfortable. I can see how it could trigger some kind of seizure or migrane.
 
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