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Anyone suffer from visual migraine ?

(36 Posts)
AnyFucker Wed 09-Jul-14 12:58:39

I used to when I was on hormonal contraception and when pregnant. Thought to be linked to hormones so advised to stop the Pill after having a brain scan that showed some "white patches" (increased risk of CVA ?) and haven't had any episodes for years

recently I have had a couple of recurrences for no reason I can tell

it starts with a pulsating silver dot in one eye which spreads until the whole field of vision is a mass of wavy silvery tram lines. I cannot see properly to read, drive or work for approx 20 mins then it goes as quickly as it appears

anyone else ?

PersephoneInTheGarden Wed 09-Jul-14 13:03:59

I get exactly that - though mine doesn't go away unless I take tablets (just paracetamol). Usually followed by a pounding headache. I think they can be caused by hormones but I was told I couldn't have the pill because it puts you at increased risk of blood clots (can't remember all the details but I do remember that I was so freaked out by doctor's graphic description that I stopped asking for the pill!) I don't have any obvious triggers; my mother gets them too and went through extensive 'migraine clinics' in the 80s where everything she did, ate, thought etc was monitored and she has no known triggers either. They are scary though. They can just stop happening - I hope yours do.

AnyFucker Wed 09-Jul-14 13:05:29

I don't get the headache, ust the visual disturbance

I really hope they don't start up again regularly, they are a PITA

AnyFucker Wed 09-Jul-14 13:05:49


InMySpareTime Wed 09-Jul-14 13:06:39

I've had that, it's called a "scintillating scotoma". Mine is like an expanding ring of sparkly prisms in my vision, and generally precedes a skull-splitter of a headache. Luckily I get them only very rarely, and I now know to take painkillers and drink loads of water as soon as the visual disturbance begins, to minimise the headache.
Last time I had it, I was in sole charge of eight 2-yr-olds, that was a bit scary! I thought fast and did some yoga relaxation techniques with them, just so they'd stay still, calm, and quiet while I rode out the worst of the headache.

BuzzardBird Wed 09-Jul-14 13:08:20

Hi AF, I get black floaters in my eyes when I have drunk too much red wine. My DH had a horrible attack last year where he went completely blind for a minute or so, it was so scary and he had to have a cat scan etc, but turned out to be visual migraine. We were very stressed at the time so perhaps stress is a factor for you?

CatsCantTwerk Wed 09-Jul-14 13:09:53

I suffer terribly from them, the aura lasts about half an hour but I know as soon as my vision goes to take painkillers, Sometimes the pain itself lasts for up to 3 days with the zig zag lines coming back 2 or 3 times over those days.

I get them worse when I am on my period.

Have you been to see the gp? If they have just started happening again for no reason you should probably make 2 appointments. 1 to have your eyes tested then another with your gp if all clear at the opticians.

You have my sympathies, It is really hard to explain to anyone who doesn't suffer how bad these can be.

AnyFucker Wed 09-Jul-14 13:10:14

I am no more stressed than usual atm smile

< goes off to google "scintillating scotoma" >

KurriKurri Wed 09-Jul-14 13:12:51

My sister gets them - they started about six months ago with her - it was really scary - we thought she was having a stroke! But has been DX now as visual migraine - she's had about four attacks so far -she's not on the pill (post menopausal - in her fifties ) not sure what the trigger is for her - I think maybe stress, but that is just my opinion. She also has a lot of food intolerances, so don't know if that is connected.

She doesn't get headache either, and they seem to last about an hour - two hours with her. She always gets them in the evening - so maybe tiredness is a factor too.

They are horrible - hope yours don't start up again AF

AnyFucker Wed 09-Jul-14 13:15:37

Yep, that's it !

Except I don't get the headache, so it is classified as acephalgic migraine which increases in occurrence around the peri menopause. So there I have my answer as to why they have reappeared again after several years with no incidents. (I am late 40's)

Am not sure whether to see the GP. I don't think there is anything I need to do < ignores the link with TIA and stroke steadfastly >

AnyFucker Wed 09-Jul-14 13:17:59

Kurri, I got my first ever attack when I was pregnant and alone in the house. I seriously thought I was having a brain haemorrhage and considered phoning for an ambulance I was so scared. < not usually an alarmist where health stuff is concerned >

PersephoneInTheGarden Wed 09-Jul-14 13:20:16

There's no harm in seeing your GP as they've started up again - and then it will be on your recent medical record, too.

feetheart Wed 09-Jul-14 13:22:40

I get them too, with the splitting headache to follow if I don't take something really quickly. I always thought mine were hormone related and I wonder if I haven't had one for ages because I've now got the Merina coil which has balanced things out - self-diognosis going on here smile
I do still carry some extra-quick reaction migraine tablets in my purse just in case. Thanks for the water tip.
DS (8 now) is also prone to them. Poor wee thing had his first one at 3 sad During Yr1 they got really bad and he kept being sent home from school. He was monitored at the hospital and put on medication for just over a year. He's been off it for about 10 months now and no sign of headaches coming back <<fingers-crossed emoticon>> though I still carry the Calpol Meltlet things for him just in case.

Any chance something is going on hormonally that you aren't aware of?

CroydonFacelift Wed 09-Jul-14 13:24:21

I had phases of them in childhood and again when doing my finals at university. I'd get the visual disturbance (flashing lights in my right eye), then a painful migraine (pain over my eyes and around temples), be in bed for a day and then start puking. It would all be over in 24 hours or less, as soon as the puking started. Nothing - no painkiller etc - could stop it happening.

Now, I get the visual disturbance maybe a couple of times a year - spinning circles in my right eye. Usually triggered by humid weather/dehydration, sometimes alcohol or caffeine. If I take ibuprofen and drinks loads of water I can usually get it to go away within an hour, no headache, but feel weak and unwell for a day or so afterwards and look awful - puffy eyes and pale.

CroydonFacelift Wed 09-Jul-14 13:26:11

I do think its hormonal with me, now. Tends to happen mid cycle.

feetheart Wed 09-Jul-14 13:32:11

x-posts with lots of people.

Seems hormones have a lot to answer for!
No idea what caused DS's though.

OryxCrake Wed 09-Jul-14 13:32:49

I get this but it's never occurred to me it might be linked to hormones. Looking back, the start of these may have been when I was becoming perimenopausal...

I get a yellow, curved band of sparkly lights moving from the left-hand side of my left eye. It moves across as far as the centre and makes me feel ill, but doesn't give me a headache. Like lots of you, I take paracetamol at the first sign and it usually goes away within an hour.

I used to get migraines with severe headache and sickness (hurt too much even to cry) that lasted for at least 12 hours and I don't get those any more, touch wood. These weird visual disturbances seem to have replaced the headache/sickness migraines and although they're unpleasant, they're not nearly as horrible for me as the old kind. Off to google now!

peachesandpickles Wed 09-Jul-14 13:38:28

I get them too, triggered by too much caffeine/sugar mid-cycle.

I rarely get a headache with mine but have had nausea with them. Lying in a quiet, dark room usually sorts mine.

nothruroad Wed 09-Jul-14 13:38:38

I get this too, no headache but just terrible flashing lights and blind patches. I always get pins and needles in my tongue and lips first and find that if I realise quickly enough and take 2 co-codamol with a sweet drink (I normally have full sugar coke) then it stops the blindness from coming. I can't remember who advised that - it was probably someone on MN.

Hemlock2013 Wed 09-Jul-14 13:42:23

If you get them because of hormones, as I do, it's worth noting that some foods can, I believe, stimulate hormone production.

From pregnancy and pill I would suspect you are sensitive to oestrogen so cheese and chocolate increase oestrogen production and therefore cause migraines.

kate1516 Wed 09-Jul-14 13:46:22

I get them without headache. When they are very bad they stop me being able to see anything. I also get queasy and sometimes they make me slur or find it hard to for me sentences properly. Luckily I don't get them often! Can avoid them getting too bad by taking painkillers quickly.

Catsmamma Wed 09-Jul-14 13:47:38

yes, here too....

I occasionally get the banging head too, but usually no...usually a half or a quarter of my vision, sometimes only one eye, sometimes both....goes all shimmery it's really horrid

I am "that" age <rolls eyes> so almost certain it's hormonal, but bright lights/sunshine/reflectedlight will provoke it, so I am mostly found hiding behind sunnies and if I can get them on smartish, it'll often stop it in its tracks.

magso Wed 09-Jul-14 14:04:04

I get them too. When I was younger the visual field disturbances you describe would precede the headache, but since I got into my middle years (perimenopausal) I only get the visual symptoms. I have never known what set them off, but they are now rare. Come to think of it that could be lack of hormones now!

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Wed 09-Jul-14 14:21:06

I have them too with and without headaches and they have increased recently again peri-menopause
Tiredness do increase the frequency. I am almost certain to have one if I have 2 disturbed nights in a row. cheese and chocolate increase oestrogen production and therefore cause migraines
I am going to ignore this^

AnyFucker Wed 09-Jul-14 14:46:55

Yes, some things are better swept under the carpet, I find or shovelled into the gob quickly

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