Hello, I am a 29 year old male, fairly healthy, although i do smoke and im currently dieting and exercising 6 days a week. Yesterday while at work I experienced what I believe to be an ocular migraine. I had the weird blurry, zig zag like pattern in my right eye which covered the top of my eye going in a half circle down to the bottom of my eye. This lasted about 10 minutes and really freaked me out! I didn't know what was going on until I was able to search the net and "assume" thats what it was. Later that day, after taking a nap and eating some food, I checked my blood sugar and BP, and everything was fine. My problem is I currently don't have any insurance, I can go to a walk in clinic I suppose, but from reading the tests to rule out anything more serious seems like some pricey neurological visits that I simply cannot afford. I am quite scared because this is the 1st time something like this has happened, I never even had a regular migraine headache... Is this a prelude to a stroke? or something more serious? Im even scared to get back to my workout routine in fear of experience a stroke of some sort while exercising. Another thing is that I have been taking a few supplements for my diet and exercise including, a "sport" multivitamin, whey protein, and creatine. Ive read that the creatine can cause some side effects so I have just cut my supplements down to the protein powder and changed to a regular centrum multivitamin. I dont know what caused this or if I should be worrying like this but I don't know what to do? If anyone has any experience with this PLEASE let me know. Thank you.
For decades, I have migraines of several types (some of us lucky ones get two or more different kinds), and what you experienced certainly sounds like a migraine with aura. Your 10 minute timeline is about perfect, too.
Click on the animation on this page to compare it to what you saw:
To answer your question about stroke, there is a statistical link between migraine and increased risk of stroke, but most research indicates that the risk is quite low--but higher than it needs to be in smokers. That's a hint.
Go to your walk-in clinic to be on the safe side. They will take your history and examine you, always a prudent thing with a new experience like this, even though you're probably just going to be diagnosed with migraine headache. They'll also give you some advice which will include stopping the cigarettes and losing your expensive but largely ineffective supplements--which might be triggers for migraine--and the cost of which you can then put towards migraine medication.
It would probably help you to read up on migraine at sites like these:
I appreciate the fast response. I would like to add that I did not experience any pain during, or after the episode. Afterwards I was a little disoriented I suppose but I think that was my nerves and anxiety playing a big part in that. I know the smoking is terrible. Whatever this was has definitely opened my eyes that I need to quit asap. Like right now!
and wow that image was VERY similar to what happened yesterday. Except mine was a clear blur but the movement was almost identical to that. When I closed my eyes I could still see it and it was like a bright red/orande line. Weird.
It is perfectly possible to have the scotoma or flickering effect by itself, without pain. I get that sometimes, too. Actually, it's much nicer than having the full headache experience, if you get to choose.
The reason you could see the flickering image with your eyes closed is that the phenomenon is taking place in the visual cortex of your brain. In a sense, your brain is 'seeing' it, not your eyes. Here's a representation of that:
You most likely have migraine. There are rare conditions such as aneurysm and AVMs that have similar symptoms. Going to a walk in clinic is a waste of this for this. You should see a neurologist--probably a few hundred dollars for an exam. He may suggest an MRI.
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