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Visual Disturbances: Blood pressure normal

(12 Posts)
Catz Wed 09-Sep-09 21:06:21

Hi, has anyone had visual disturbances in pregnancy that weren't related to blood pressure/pre-eclampsia?

I've had several episodes now where I get wavy, rainbow coloured lines, then patches of vision that are very blurred. It lasts for about 30/40 mins. Never had it before being pg. Had one this morning (27+4) and got sent off to the day assessment unit. All the usual checks are normal. The (quite junior and very busy) Dr on the ward is going to check with the consultant and get back to me but she was at a bit of a loss as to what it might be.

Has anyone had anything similar? Of course it might be completely unrelated to pg but it's a bit of a coincidence that it has only started now.


Deeeja Wed 09-Sep-09 21:11:22

I have had this a couple of times. I got it when it was really hot, and I have just done too much and not had enough sleep. I was fine after a nap though.
I hope everything is ok with you.

rubyslippers Wed 09-Sep-09 21:16:00


pregnancy can trigger them

Chaotica Wed 09-Sep-09 21:17:33

Sounds like a migraine aura (you can get them without headaches). Mine came back for the first time when I was first pg (about 18 weeks) and I had symptoms very like you describe. As long as you keep getting checked for other things, you should be fine with it.

I think pg hormones can bring them on (annoyingly, I now get them regularly with pmt).

Catz Wed 09-Sep-09 21:25:22

Many thanks for the replies. Yes when I googled the symptoms I kept coming up with sites on migraines which sound very similar. I don't get headaches (I feel fine) but it's interesting to hear that you had the aura without the headache Chaotica.

The Dr essentially seemed to think that if it wasn't blood pressure it wasn't pg related and wanted me to go to an opthamologist (sp) but I'm not convinced (heh I have google and she has only 6+ years of medical training, I must be right!)

Chaotica, did you get checked out every time it happened? It has happened several times now but my mw took the view that even if it wasn't a problem the first 9 times it might be pre-eclampsia on the 10th so I should be checked quickly when it happens. Am feeling a bit of a hypochondriac!

PacificDogwood Wed 09-Sep-09 21:31:05

You could always go and see an optician for a thorough eye test - saves you hanging about hospitals and opticians are doing more and more of the general eye "general practice". They have all the equipment and could soon tell you if it is anything to do with your eyes.
Agree with all the others wondering re migraine aura, sounds a possibility..
Hope you are ok smile

geekage Sat 12-Sep-09 20:46:45

It may be that your BP was up when you had the visuals but then went back down. I had all the symptoms of pre-e for weeks without the high BP until 39 weeks then BP shot up.

Catz Sun 13-Sep-09 11:07:40

Thanks PacificDogwood and Geekage for your replies too. That's interesting (and worrying!) Geekage, I didn't realise your BP could read normal whilst you were developing pre-eclampsia. Hope all turned out well for you.

It happened yet again last night - getting quite frustrating now! Opthamologist called and wants me to go for a check as apparently retinal detachment can be caused by changes in pressure in pregnancy (but rare). Am hoping that it is just the hormonal migraine without headache thing.

MumNWLondon Sun 13-Sep-09 23:07:47

I had this in my 2nd pregnancy just once for around 45 mins, was totally freaked out, was at work, and could get to an optician without going on any roads (could hardly see) they were very reassuring, saying quite common in pregnancy. I made appointment for next day and had sight checked out but it was all fine and it hasn't happened again.

SPANIEL Mon 14-Sep-09 14:15:23

I get migraines like this where i get really bad visual disturbance, pins and needles in hands and face but no pain and they are much more frequent in pregnancy but definitely not pre-eclampsia. I also had a lot of problems with my eyesight in my last pregnancy which were entirely pregnancy related and i think contributed to the migraines. When the midwife gave me a leaflet on pre-eclampsia i pointed out that i get visual disturbance from migraines she said to concentrate on watching for the other symptoms such as sudden extreme swelling and pain in the ribs

AngelDog Tue 15-Sep-09 08:48:33

Catz, I can't add any good suggestions, but I get this sort of thing occasionally (although I've not had it since being pregnant - now 22+5). I get visual distubances which look like a boomerang covered in strobe-effect crazy paving. They start off small and get bigger and bigger till I can hardly see, then they disappear. I don't get any headaches or any other symptoms. I have had 'proper' migraines a couple of times (although without the aura), and my mum did used to suffer with migraines a lot, so I always assumed it was just an odd sort of migraine. My blood pressure has always been fine when I've had it checked.

Catz Tue 15-Sep-09 18:30:30

Many thanks for the replies. I went to the opthamologist today and she said it was a 'retinal migraine' so you all diagnosed me correctly! Apparently it does come on occasionally in pg women who've no history of migraines and it's probably hormonal but they don't really know why it happens.

Just in case anyone is reading this with similar symptoms, she said the classic symptoms of this kind of migraine is the gradual build up and then fade out in intensity, and the fact that it affects both eyes (though some episodes might be mainly in one). She did say that quite similar symptoms can indicate more serious but more rare problems (pre-ec, eye probs, neurological) so best to get checked out.

Thanks all for you help. Sounds like it's harmless but a bit of a pain when it's happening.

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