U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Health and Wellness
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 11-08-2011, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Due North of Potemkin City Limits
1,237 posts, read 1,579,684 times
Reputation: 1121

Advertisements

I've had about 20 of them in the past 5 years. A few have included severe headache and a general cashed-out feeling after the aura leaves. The last one I had was brutal. The aura was really intense, and I experienced some confusion and speech problems with it.

I had a CT scan when they first started, which revealed nothing wrong. They strike without warning, and with no triggers that I can figure. They are totally random. The visual effects can be best described as a collapsed space in my vision. A few of them occurred while I was driving, and it seemed as though the car in front of me was missing the wheels on one side, if that makes any sense. From this collapsed space, the Arc slowly makes it's appearance. It grows in size and intensity, then slowly fades to the left side of my field of vision. It's like a C-shaped lightning bolt that flashes and pulsates intensely. These things suck. The first time it happened, I was terrified! I thought I was having a stroke. Once I discovered what they were, I just dealt with them as they came....basically enduring 30 or so minutes of near blindness, followed by a severe headache sometimes.

The last time with the confusion and speech issues....that really freaked me out. Is there any natural way to prevent these things or at least limit their frequency and intensity? Why am I getting them now when I never got them when I was younger? What exactly is the Arc (I call the Aura the "arc")? Someone here has to know more about these things than I do.....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-08-2011, 06:20 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,613,675 times
Reputation: 20198
Reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake. That would include tea, coffee, and chocolate. Get your blood pressure checked - and get your blood *sugar* checked. Sometimes, spikes in either can trigger migraines, and you don't have to be aware that they're spiking, and therefore won't necessarily recognize the trigger.

20 migraines in a 5-year period isn't bad at all; I used to get one every month, for two days a month, when I got my period. It's tapered off dramatically. My sister and mother both have migraine syndrome, and have to take daily medication to prevent attacks, which can come as frequently as every day, or as spaced as once a month.

If it's bad enough that you're worried about harming yourself or someone else when they appear (such as driving while literally blinded), you might ask your physician if he could recommend a neurologist, and see about getting an EEG. No idea if it'll be helpful, but it might rule out various anomolies in brain function.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-08-2011, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,638 posts, read 10,495,562 times
Reputation: 3536
First - if you are experiencing any visual distortions or mental confusion due to migraine while driving, you must immediately pull off the road and call someone to get you or take a cab or something. You could kill somebody trying to drive in that condition.

Migraines with aura are really variable, with different people experiencing different symptoms. Mine were preceded by a strange numbness of the skin over only the entire left half of my body, with a clear dividing line right down my body's meridian. When I recall the moment I first realized something was wrong, I can smell Obsession which someone had been spraying near me. I think it triggered the first one, I still get nauseous if I catch a whiff of that cologne but thankfully it has fallen out of fashion. So anyways - numbness first. Then my peripheral vision would go black from the outside of my field of vision to the inside. I saw some sparkling zigzag lights at this point on only one occasion, but lights like your arc are pretty common in migraine with aura. Once my peripheral vision has closed down so much that I am seeing down a long dark tunnel, the pain begins, a terrible pain behind my right eye. Then the nausea arrives and once I am done puking the tunnel vision effect is gone. But that's no relief because the pain remains, and next comes extreme light sensitivity and that "Alice in Wonderland syndrome" thing where it seems like everything is soooo far away, like the world is distorted. How long until it subsides is variable, sometimes it would be gone in the morning, sometimes it went on for several days. I don't think I've ever personally experienced aphasia (trouble speaking) with my migraines but I know someone who does and it is pretty common. Usually it manifests as the sufferer trying to say one thing, but saying an unrelated word instead. Some people smell phantom scents as part of their aura, like orange peel or burning smells.

When I first started having these I was taken to a neurologist, he ran both CAT scan and EEG and found nothing wrong. He prescribed a med to be taken at the first moment I sensed the aura. I never did find out if that would really work because I was in junior high at the time and I was never able to convince the teachers to let me go to the nurse and get this med in time, and then had to wait for the nurse to get around to helping me, and they always held me until it was too late. I had to be puking in the wastebasket before they'd believe me.

The neurologist did not want me taking a daily med at my age except as a last resort (thank you, Dr.!) , so he hooked me up to a biofeedback machine and it taught me that I hold a ridiculous amount of muscular tension in my upper shoulders and the back of my neck. The posture I held while writing on those stupid school desk/chair contraptions made it even worse. I was cutting off circulation to the brain. The machine taught me first, to notice this tension which I had not been conscious of, and then to take countermeasures to specifically relax those muscles. The doctor said that when I felt the aura I must relax those muscles, and I have been able to stop several at the aura stage with this technique. But after awhile I became more generally conscious of that tension and began correcting the tension whenever I noticed it so now it hardly ever even makes it to the aura stage. This practice has brought my incidence down to one in the last decade, so that's pretty good. The one I have had during that time frame was triggered by a scent, a perfume some temp was wearing in the office that day, I never got the name of it.

The other trigger that I know of is if I eat any aged hard cheese like parmesan on an empty stomach, that will trigger a migraine the next day. Strangely, this does not happen if I have some as part of a larger meal. Some people are sensitive to red wine, some to certain scents, some to certain atmospheric conditions. Look up the list of known triggers and start keeping a journal of your exposure to these sorts of things and when you have migraines. Eventually you may be able to find a pattern.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-08-2011, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
5,843 posts, read 8,426,202 times
Reputation: 10712
Migraines are connected to menstrual periods and when they start changing, you start having more hormone and brain issues. I started migraines in my 40s and didn't know what it was. I had no idea it was migraine cause it wasn't stabbing pain, or like other's I had heard of. But I finally went to a headache specialist, a neurologist, who confirmed it was migraine. Mine lasted 3 days, and nothing helped. I received injection Imitrex and gave myself the shots as soon as I knew one was coming. My aura was sparks jumping across my line of vision. I also was put on an antidepressant to keep the headaches from starting. Both helped me tremendously and after menopause, I was headache free.Good luck to you. They are miserable !!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-08-2011, 07:47 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,613,675 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
Migraines are connected to menstrual periods and when they start changing, you start having more hormone and brain issues. I started migraines in my 40s and didn't know what it was. I had no idea it was migraine cause it wasn't stabbing pain, or like other's I had heard of. But I finally went to a headache specialist, a neurologist, who confirmed it was migraine. Mine lasted 3 days, and nothing helped. I received injection Imitrex and gave myself the shots as soon as I knew one was coming. My aura was sparks jumping across my line of vision. I also was put on an antidepressant to keep the headaches from starting. Both helped me tremendously and after menopause, I was headache free.Good luck to you. They are miserable !!!
Migraines -can- be connected to menstrual periods. But they aren't always. They're not exclusive to women, afterall. They are, however, miserable. I totally agree. I'm glad you're over the hump, so to speak!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-08-2011, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,260 posts, read 4,505,593 times
Reputation: 3990
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sealtite View Post
I've had about 20 of them in the past 5 years. A few have included severe headache and a general cashed-out feeling after the aura leaves. The last one I had was brutal. The aura was really intense, and I experienced some confusion and speech problems with it.

I had a CT scan when they first started, which revealed nothing wrong. They strike without warning, and with no triggers that I can figure. They are totally random. The visual effects can be best described as a collapsed space in my vision. A few of them occurred while I was driving, and it seemed as though the car in front of me was missing the wheels on one side, if that makes any sense. From this collapsed space, the Arc slowly makes it's appearance. It grows in size and intensity, then slowly fades to the left side of my field of vision. It's like a C-shaped lightning bolt that flashes and pulsates intensely. These things suck. The first time it happened, I was terrified! I thought I was having a stroke. Once I discovered what they were, I just dealt with them as they came....basically enduring 30 or so minutes of near blindness, followed by a severe headache sometimes.

The last time with the confusion and speech issues....that really freaked me out. Is there any natural way to prevent these things or at least limit their frequency and intensity? Why am I getting them now when I never got them when I was younger? What exactly is the Arc (I call the Aura the "arc")? Someone here has to know more about these things than I do.....
Your migraines sound just like mine. The one difference for me is that I usually get really nauseous afterwards and usually end up throwing up to top things off. Fun, huh? I've also experienced numbness on my left side.

I've never figured out what my triggers are. Maybe tension, I don't know. I got migraines all the time in high school, multiple times a week but I started getting them less frequently into my 20s. I started getting them a ton again when I was prescribed an antidepressant, actually, but after about 6 months on them they stopped. I'm always paranoid that I will get one though.

Sorry I am not much help, but I know how you feel. Migraines suck. I wish I could figure mine out. I've tried to test for triggers so many times (avoiding bananas, cheeses, eating at certain times, etc.) but nothing has given me any answers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-08-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,491 posts, read 26,089,700 times
Reputation: 26451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sealtite View Post
I've had about 20 of them in the past 5 years. A few have included severe headache and a general cashed-out feeling after the aura leaves. The last one I had was brutal. The aura was really intense, and I experienced some confusion and speech problems with it.

I had a CT scan when they first started, which revealed nothing wrong. They strike without warning, and with no triggers that I can figure. They are totally random. The visual effects can be best described as a collapsed space in my vision. A few of them occurred while I was driving, and it seemed as though the car in front of me was missing the wheels on one side, if that makes any sense. From this collapsed space, the Arc slowly makes it's appearance. It grows in size and intensity, then slowly fades to the left side of my field of vision. It's like a C-shaped lightning bolt that flashes and pulsates intensely. These things suck. The first time it happened, I was terrified! I thought I was having a stroke. Once I discovered what they were, I just dealt with them as they came....basically enduring 30 or so minutes of near blindness, followed by a severe headache sometimes.

The last time with the confusion and speech issues....that really freaked me out. Is there any natural way to prevent these things or at least limit their frequency and intensity? Why am I getting them now when I never got them when I was younger? What exactly is the Arc (I call the Aura the "arc")? Someone here has to know more about these things than I do.....
Start here:

Migraine | National Headache Foundation

Then talk to your doctor. The question is whether the headaches are frequent enough --- about four times a year, from what you describe --- that you would want to take a daily medication to prevent them.

The other prescription migraine meds work best if started as soon as the aura begins.

You and your doc need to have a discussion about what best fits your needs. If your primary care doc is not comfortable with treating migraine, s/he may want to refer you to a neurologist.

The good news is that there is effective treatment available.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-09-2011, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Due North of Potemkin City Limits
1,237 posts, read 1,579,684 times
Reputation: 1121
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
Migraines -can- be connected to menstrual periods. But they aren't always. They're not exclusive to women, afterall. They are, however, miserable. I totally agree. I'm glad you're over the hump, so to speak!
I'm a guy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-09-2011, 09:55 AM
 
2,379 posts, read 4,283,584 times
Reputation: 3402
I had to keep a diary to identify my migraine triggers. Some trigges take longer than others to take effects. I only had one really bad one with partial blindness. (I was coming out of the darkened exhibit area at the observatory on top of griffith park in LA, really scary...)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Health and Wellness
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top