Eye disturbance 'migraines'

CassandraJanuary 14, 2007

I noted the thread below on abdominal migraines. Does anyone get "eye migraines"? I am 50 years old in excellent health. I have had migraine headaches on occasion throughout my life, nearly always associated with my period, what I've eaten, and weather changes--that is, pretty predictable when they come. For the first time, however, I am getting what my doctor called eye migraines. These are flashings/eye disturbances that last only about 15-20 minutes and have no head or stomach pain associated with them. The very weird thing is that I've now had my first three almost exactly one month apart. I made a note of the days: Nov. 14, Dec. 15, Jan. 13. I haven't had any in between these days. They are not associated with my period which occurs about a week or two before the eye migraines. I am not menopausal yet but wonder if they signal it coming, or what else might be going on here. Has any one experienced these? BTW, I go to my eye doctor regularly and it is not, I'm told, associated with any eye issues.

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msjay

I get them. The first time I had one I was pregnant with my daughter. They stopped for several years and have returned. I've read that people who experience these type of migraines are more likely to suffer a stroke at some point in their lives. I don't know if that is true or not. Once in a while when I have the "auras" occurring, they have turned into a real migraine headache, so as precaution, I started taking ibuprofen as soon as they occur. They are annoying if you are trying to read or do any work since they interfere with my vision for those 20 minutes or so. I have found that lying down with something covering my eyes can help.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 8:17AM
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catherinet

Hi Marita,
I think they are very definitely a sign of your hormones fluctuating more than before.
They can be very frightening. They would pretty much make me blind for about 20 minutes. But once I realized it only lasted 20 minutes, I could be a little calmer about them.
Mine definitely increased during perimenopause. For me, they would only occur as my estrogen was going up, after a period, or after when I should have had a period, but didn't.
Have you ever noticed your hands get really cold right before the auras? I guess the brain blood vessels do the opposite of the circulation in our hands. So when I would suddenly get cold hands, I would run to the sink and hold them under hot water for awhile. I had read that this can sometimes help. It helped a couple times.
I also noticed that I get severely anxious right before a migraine, and have learned to breath into a paper bag as soon as I feel that anxiety. I'm thinking a biochemical imbalance (caused by a sudden pH change), can precede a maigraine.
Like msjay said, its good to take an NSAID at the first sign that you might be getting an aura/migraine. A good shot of caffeine always helped me too.

My auras have really decreased now that I am in menopause. YAY!! Those things are so scary........especially if you're driving. There have been auras so intense for me that I couldn't talk, think, and could barely find my way home.
You're very lucky not to get intensepain after the aura. What happened with me as I got near the end of perimenopause, was that I would just have the aura and not the pain.........for which I was extremely grateful!
If your auras seem to be predictable, you might try taking several NSAIDS a day or 2 before when you think you're going to get them. NSAIDS seem to help with the tone of our vessels, and can keep them from dilating and causing a spasm(which is what causes the aura).
Of course, it wouldn't hurt to ask your doctor about these too, if they start increasing.
Also..........around the time you get them it wouldn't hurt to cut back on those things that might make them worse......like too much salt, chocolate, etc.
Are your's colorful? I find them pretty amazing, just as a visual experience!
Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 10:12AM
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soccer_star

I have had these before, it looked like colored ripples floating acrossed my vision. The first time it happened was during a soccer game, and it made it so i couldn't see anything, but I was like on "auto-pilot" as in I was still functioning normally but I wasnt really into it. The second time I was just sitting at the computer or something. I was scared because I thought I was having a simple partial seizure. (i have these in which I smell things that arnt there and feel deja-vu) But since I've been on Topamax I havent had any migranes or simple partial seizures.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 1:16PM
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algaemaster

Google search....Opthalmic or Occular migraines. I have them. Sometimes I think they can be related to eye fatigue. Since I FINALLY gave in and got new glasses I have only had one.

Word of warning.... You will read with the visual disturbances discussions of MS. Read carefully and DON'T freak out. Opthalmic migraines are pretty common. Just a spasm in the vasculature of the eye. Just like what is happening with a classic migraine.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 1:18AM
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