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ophthalmic migraines

(25 Posts)
HappyCria Tue 11-Feb-14 15:41:05

Yesterday at work my eyesight went funny it started out going really distant like when you are about to faint ( but I didn't feel faint) my peripheral vision then went completely and the rest of my vision had blurry patches in it like I was looking through droplets of water.

This lasted about 10-15 minutes and was followed by an extreme pressure behind my right eye which lasted all day.

Today I went to the opticians who said it was an ophthalmic migraine. He asked about headaches and I said that I had been getting headaches quite frequently for several months. They always start as a huge pressure behind my right eye and sort of radiate outwards. He said my eyes are absolutely fine but that I need to see a doctor about my headaches ( I have made an appointment for Monday)

I was just wondering what to expect from here it was a really scary experience. Is it likely to happen again? What if I'd been driving it just happened without warning.

HappyCria Tue 11-Feb-14 17:21:15

Bump

HappyCria Tue 11-Feb-14 18:05:12

Has no one experienced this before?

Stropzilla Tue 11-Feb-14 18:11:29

I have and migraine are very common for me. It's only happened twice with no warning and no reason. Sorry I can't be of any actual help. I suffer from hemiplegic migraine which can last up to 6 weeks. I don't think they're related.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Tue 11-Feb-14 18:19:59

I've had opthalmic migraines.

They started getting more frequent and my vision was quite messed up for a while. I used Zoomtext on my computer at work (you can download a free trial) and had two monitors and basically everything needed to be in a large, clear font (I couldn't read Times New Roman, for example, but Arial was ok). I found the RNIB helpline offered great advice.

I got referred to a neurologist, eventually, but the hospital messed up the appointment so I never got to see anyone.

The GP prescribed a low dose of beta blockers and that seemed to help - they stopped completely when I got pregnant and thank goodness haven't started again yet (they'd only started happening lots when I stopped contraception - pesky hormones!).

My opthamologist said they may well start up again in a few years. I can't wait. hmm

HappyCria Tue 11-Feb-14 18:43:34

Thank you so much for your replies stropzilla and andMiffyWentToSleep.

Did anyone get advice regarding the contraceptive pill? I'm on the pill and from the things I've been reading I should maybe stop taking it?

fourquartets Tue 11-Feb-14 18:44:40

Sympathies, it is scary. I've had them for years, sometimes with other migraine symptoms, sometimes just the vision and pressure sensation. Having been through many many doctors, diets, pills to try and manage them, some frequent offenders for causing them are erratic sleep (too much or too little), blood sugar dropping, hormone changes (I had the worst visual disturbance when my period came back after DC born), stress, sinus problems... Sure there are more to consider. The stuff people seem to think of as classic migraine causes - chocolate, red wine etc don't really seem to affect me.

There are preventative medications but I've never really got on with them and prefer to take paracetamol and aspirin in max dose as soon as I notice any symptoms and lie in dark (particularly avoiding screens) and sometimes that stops it in its tracks. There are lots of different things you can try and it seems to be trial and error to see what works for you.

My most recent consultant also suggested looking at supplements - magnesium, vitb6 and something called feverfew. I'm a bit dubious, trying magnesium at the moment and does seem to help.

Hope you get some help. It's horrid and GPs aren't always that helpful so good to get a referral to a migraine clinic if you can. Good luck.

fourquartets Tue 11-Feb-14 18:51:20

And to answer your question about if it will keep happening, I guess it depends why they've started. Hopefully you'll be able to identify triggers and stop it. As for driving, I find I usually notice little signs before it gets severe enough to stop me driving safely (eg pressure sensation, flickering at edge of vision) and can get myself home, though obviously if you were miles away you'd just have to stop. I find migraines have a magic ability to hold off just till you get in the door/work finishes/children asleep and your stress level drops slightly.

Stropzilla Tue 11-Feb-14 18:52:56

I can't take the pill due to the type of migraines I have. I'm now on topiramate to try and control them so it's down to dh!

fourquartets Tue 11-Feb-14 18:54:10

And yes, advice is not to take normal pill because of increased (tiny) stroke risk. You can still use the mini pill. It would be worth looking at whether hormones/contraception might be a trigger. I know several women who have changed pill and it has helped.

HappyCria Tue 11-Feb-14 18:56:42

Thank you that is all extremely helpful fourquartets

HappyCria Tue 11-Feb-14 18:59:18

I can't take the mini pill because I bleed constantly on it. At this rate the only contraceptive available to me is going to be celibacy wink

FairyPenguin Tue 11-Feb-14 19:14:56

I started having these not long after going back on the combined pill. Had to come off it straightaway. For me, I've found a few triggers: hormones (usually day before my period), bright lights, dehydration and tiredness. Can't do anything about first one but I now have very strong sunglasses for bright light, drink a lot more liquid, drink a lot less alcohol, and have to maintain a regular bedtime (instead if staying up late at weekends and still being woken up early by DC). I also can't go on mini-pill after bad side effects last time which is annoying. Since finally working out all my triggers, they have virtually stopped (once a month with those pesky hormones). Lifestyle has changed but the migraines are so bad that it's worth it to avoid them! Have been told I can never go on combined pill again as increased risk of stroke. Good luck and hope your migraines ease soon.

FairyPenguin Tue 11-Feb-14 19:16:50

PS I'd never had any type of migraine and rarely had headaches before this started. So annoying as I think this was triggered by the pill (but can't be sure). I thought they would stop when I came off but sadly not.

vaseoftulips Tue 11-Feb-14 19:34:12

Yes, I've had that type of migraine twice before. I didn't have the pressure but my vision was distorted. Very difficult to describe but it was like looking through flickering droplets of water to the side of my vision. Nobody I've ever spoken to has ever had it! In both cases, it went off after about 30 minutes.

First time I had it was in 2006 when I was seriously stressed at work. The second time I had it was in 2008. I was getting married and my Dad was terminally ill (so seriously stressed again!).

What's going on in your life at the mo? Could anything be contributing to it?

HappyCria Tue 11-Feb-14 19:47:42

I am feeling very stressed at the moment. There is no real reason for it I'm just not feeling right.

I did go to the doctor about feeling stressed. He kept insisting I wouldn't be feeling like that unless there was a reason and wouldn't accept that I had no reason.

I also keep feeling panicky which I told him but then said later in the appointment I was feeling anxious he stopped me and said well which was it because panicky and anxious are not the same thing to which I got confused and flustered.

When he started asking about my sex life I had enough burst into tears and ran out of the surgery blush

Twighlightsparkle Tue 11-Feb-14 20:36:00

I get these, absolutely awful.

I found the pill made them more frequent.

Hope your GP is helpful x

vaseoftulips Wed 12-Feb-14 07:53:13

Poor you. I'm sure it will be related to your feelings of panic/anxiety. Your doctor sounds more than useless! Is there another one you can see?

I started a new contract job recently and had a few weeks of feeling anxious. I couldn't put my finger on the reason why. I had loads of nights when I just couldn't sleep. It wasn't anything in particular but I just felt anxious which is most unlike me. The atmosphere is pretty horrid at work. The company are making redundancies and everyone has their own agenda. There is lots of game playing going on (especially amongst the women) which is very subtle but not very good for my mental health!

When do you feel panicky? Has anything in your life recently?

vaseoftulips Wed 12-Feb-14 07:54:25

Has anything in your life changed recently?

HappyCria Wed 12-Feb-14 19:22:43

Nothing has changed recently. I have aspergers so feeling extremely stressed has been a constant part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Most of the time I am on top of things but for some reason at the moment I'm not and I can't seem to get my stress levels under control. sad

I still have a slight headache today. I feel extremely tired and a little nauseous and dizzy but thankfully nothing weird has happened with my eyes.

vaseoftulips Wed 12-Feb-14 22:15:13

I don't really know anything about Aspergers but I'm an introvert and need a certain amount of downtime. If I have a busy week then I try to ensure I have enough rest at the weekend.

If I'm too much in my head, I also find that walking outside in the fresh air (amongst trees) helps. I very often listen to hypnosis CDs when I'm going to sleep too (on headphones). Glenn Harrold's Inner Peace and Calm is worth listening to. Meditation, yoga and Kalms can all help too.

HappyCria Thu 13-Feb-14 10:39:08

Thank you vaseoftulips I will definitely try some of your suggestions.

vaseoftulips Thu 13-Feb-14 18:31:19

I hope you are feeling better soon.

Try and get an appointment with another doctor. Being pulled up on whether you are panicky or anxious is a minor detail that they shouldn't be focusing on really.

Best of luck.

mawbroon Fri 14-Feb-14 10:18:18

I used to get this. It would start like little blind spots, kind of a silvery effect then the spots would get bigger and eventually all join together until it seemed like I was looking out of a tunnel. Then multi-coloured zigzags would start rotating round the outside of my vision.

Oddly, I never had a sore head with it, just the visuals but I was left feeling absolutely exhausted after it.

Somebody said to me that migraines happen after a stressful time has passed and I looked at what was going on in my life at the time. The migraines almost routinely started on the first day back at work after two days off (not always a Monday) and I twigged that spending the days off with my then boyfriend who was badly needing dumped was incredibly stressful.

So, I dumped him and have only had one migraine since then. This was way back in 1998 or so!

Caterina99 Sun 16-Feb-14 05:46:07

I get migraines with the visual things you described, usually for about half hour before the migraine headache kicks in on the other side if my head from the tunnel vision/ zig zags. I thought they were called migraines with aura. Is that the same thing?

It is a total pain cos the blurry vision is completely incapacitating. Although I find if I take painkillers as soon as the blurriness starts then the pain of the actual migraine is reduced a bit, so it's like an advance warning.

I also can tell when I m going to get one, like I can feel it building for a day or so , and definitely suffer a 'hangover' afterwards for a few days. Unpleasant all round. Used to get them loads, but avoiding triggers means I get only a few a year now.

My main triggers are dehydration and eating too much dairy as far as I can tell. Lack of sleep and stress are also triggers I believe. I was only on the pill for 2 days and had 2 migraines, so that had to go, but I got on well with the mini pill for several years.

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