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Old 07-17-2008, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Catonsville, MD
2,367 posts, read 3,802,160 times
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Default optical migraines

Anybody else have optical migraines? The symptoms are an aura that something's about to happen, then over the course of 30 seconds to a minute, the vision in one or both eyes becomes distorted. In my case, it's always my right eye and it's like gray mesh is placed directly over my eye. I can sort of see, but everything is totally distorted. The longest it has lasted is about 15 minutes, but average is about 4-5 minutes. The good news is that there is no pain associated with optical migraines and it's not a precursor to an aneurysm and not caused by a tumor. However, it is VERY disconcerting to suddenly become partially to fully blinded in one eye. THe first time it happened, I thought I was having a stroke. I've had cat scans, MRAs and MRIs and they show nothing, so the doctor told me not to worry.

I'm curious if anybody else has experienced optical migraines.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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I do...I get the aura and then I actually get several blind spots. Just spots throughout my field of vision that are just blacked out. After that, I will get severe flashers. It lasts about 15 mins. I usually will get a headache afterwards...but not a bad headache... I have a script for Maxalt.
But yes I get them maybe once every couple of months...
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:27 PM
 
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I get them, too, as does my mother. We both get the flashing lights and sometimes the wavy lines. It's a very weird experience, and if it happens in both eyes at the same time, it's scary because you really can not see. But I've talked to several drs about it and read some things about them. They really don't know what causes them, and they don't seem to be harmful.

Once in a while, I will get a migraine right afterward, so when the optical migraines happen, I'm always a little panicked at the idea that perhaps a migraine is coming. (I also use Maxalt for migraines.)
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Where we enjoy all four seasons
20,426 posts, read 5,961,521 times
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I have those when I least expect it but mine go start to finish exactly 35 minutes. I usually have to sit them out.

I was told that they were not dangerous. Mine is not usually followed by a headache. I am so glad you started this thread because I think people thought I was crazy.

I was told that they were called ocular migraines which I guess optical would be the exact same thing.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,874 posts, read 11,123,067 times
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Yes, several times a year I get optical migraines, and I LOVE THEM!!! What I see is so beautiful! Rainbows of color in very small geometric shapes. I follow them, watching them, loving them!

Years ago when I ate much more salt and much fewer raw veggies, I used to get more of these, and the little shape would enlarge and enlarge over a few minutes, until it became most of my field of vision. Exquisitely beautiful!!

I've been told by two leading optical specialists that it's nothing to worry about, that lots of people get optical migraines. So I just enjoy it -- but something about less salt and more raw veggies seems to have diminished their frequency. Too bad... such beautiful rainbows...

I used to get killer migraine headaches -- unassociated with the optical migraines. Don't get the headbangers anymore; just the optical wonderlands...
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Catonsville, MD
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WOW!! I wish I had gorgeous rainbow colors. Mine are always gray and pretty darn dull. And almost always the gray is in a checkerboard pattern.

I do think 'ocular' migraine is the right word for it.

A few weeks ago, I was out to dinner with my hubby, MIL and my own mom and we were discussing ocular migraines (MIL gets them too.) My mom, who hadn't heard me talk about them before said, "What happens if you get one when you're driving?" I told her that all the times it has happened, it has never occured while I was driving, though it often happens in bright sunlight or on hot days. The next morning, I drove my MIL to the airport and sure enough, driving back, I got one of them. Fortunately, I was just exiting the highway, so I just pulled over until it subsided.

While I don't get a headache afterwards, I always feel a little off. Like I'm not quite right, yet nothing exactly hurts. It's sort of a sensation of unease.

Anybody know any men this has happened to? I've always only heard them happening in women. I think regular painful migraines happen more frequently with women, too.

Thanks for the replies. AllforCats, I LOVE your positive attitude. Now that I know I'm not about to keel over dead from a stroke or aneurysm, perhaps I can enjoy them more .
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,874 posts, read 11,123,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmacf1 View Post
While I don't get a headache afterwards, I always feel a little off. Like I'm not quite right, yet nothing exactly hurts. It's sort of a sensation of unease.
Maybe your "sensation of unease" is your emotional uneasiness, also known as fear, which is what worry is.
Since your own medical consultations, and the testimony of several anonymous strangers here, plus whatever internet research you've undoubtedly done, have all confirmed for you that there is nothing there, perhaps you can just play with the checkerboard and let it be?? And use your energy and time for what really matters...?

Quote:
AllforCats, I LOVE your positive attitude. Now that I know I'm not about to keel over dead from a stroke or aneurysm, perhaps I can enjoy them more .
Imagine the first Cro-Magnon woman who suddenly saw designs in the landscape... our first artist?? our first architect?? our first engineer??
Everything is perception, isn't it
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Where we enjoy all four seasons
20,426 posts, read 5,961,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmacf1 View Post
WOW!! I wish I had gorgeous rainbow colors. Mine are always gray and pretty darn dull. And almost always the gray is in a checkerboard pattern.

I do think 'ocular' migraine is the right word for it.

A few weeks ago, I was out to dinner with my hubby, MIL and my own mom and we were discussing ocular migraines (MIL gets them too.) My mom, who hadn't heard me talk about them before said, "What happens if you get one when you're driving?" I told her that all the times it has happened, it has never occured while I was driving, though it often happens in bright sunlight or on hot days. The next morning, I drove my MIL to the airport and sure enough, driving back, I got one of them. Fortunately, I was just exiting the highway, so I just pulled over until it subsided.

While I don't get a headache afterwards, I always feel a little off. Like I'm not quite right, yet nothing exactly hurts. It's sort of a sensation of unease.

Anybody know any men this has happened to? I've always only heard them happening in women. I think regular painful migraines happen more frequently with women, too.

Thanks for the replies. AllforCats, I LOVE your positive attitude. Now that I know I'm not about to keel over dead from a stroke or aneurysm, perhaps I can enjoy them more .

You probably will think that I am making this up BUT my husband also gets them and this has just started happening over the last two years.
I have been having them since my kids were little and they are now grown and gone.
Yes, I have had them while I was driving and had to pull over nad just wait it out. I was never afraid but it was more inconvenient as I said, tehy always lasted start to finish 35 minutes...I could time it.
My DH says his go for about 15-20 minutes and he just lies down until it is gone.
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,192 posts, read 18,936,825 times
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I have had a few over the years. I also suffer from migraine headaches and vascular migraine. The first one of the opticals was very scary because I did not know what it was. The vascular migraines scare the crap out of me every time.
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:26 PM
 
Location: In a delirium
2,588 posts, read 3,556,057 times
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I get ocular migraines and while I don't like them, I'll take them over an ordinary migraine any day. I had one today and now have a lovely, low grade headache as a result. Basically, mine manifest in waviness, splotchiness, bright spots, loss of peripheral vision, and it can hit one or both. They last anywhere from about 30 minutes to a couple days. Also, the world just seems to wobble. I find them annoying, but not debilitating.

My coworker gets them far worse than I do. He has had to take time off from work, because he simply cannot see his computer screen. He says he feels disoriented. My dad had one and only one, but it was a doozy. He was driving and suddenly he lost vision in the corner of his right eye. His vision slowly started to disappear - kind of like a shade being drawn horizontally. He had enough time to pull over to the side of the road before it went completely dark, and it did. He said he was completely blind for about 2 minutes, then his vision started to come back, at the same, slow rate, from left to right. Naturally, he was rather concerned and his doctor told him it was an ocular migraine. It never happened again.
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