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Flickering in eye - optical migrane(migraine)?
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Flickering in eye - optical migrane(migraine)?

About once a week, I have a vision disturbance, which starts as a tiny flickering dot that gets larger and larger and turns into an irregular type of circle.  The edges of the semi-circle are like jagged "saw-type" sharp edges in brilliant colors. At first it seemed that I was seeing this in both eyes, but recently I have been able to pin it down to my left eye only. When I close my eyes I can still see the visual disturbance, only the colors are more vibrant. The semi-circle gets larger and larger until it is out of my peripheral vision, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes.  During this episode, I am unable to focus on anything (can
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, I used to get these a lot too (when I stared at the computer for too long)  Mine was a square in my left eye with a lot of different colors.  It's just a visual migrane (migraine), even if you don't get any pain after.  I used to get a very bad headache after the square went away, but some people don't feel any pain after.  I don't really know how its treated other than laying down, drinking some water, and probably some pain killer (asprin, tylenol, etc.)  I'm no doctor but I've been told its nothing to worry about, so you probably shouldn't worry about it, as long as they don't last a wicked long time.  Mine only lasted a half hour or so..
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Avatar_n_tn
I get them too. Same exact thing...circle, jagged edge, in one eye, can't focus.  It was very scary the first time it happened, but I have been assured by a number of doctors that it is, in fact, an optical migrane (migraine). I never get a headache with it either. I actually read an article about this in a medical journal which had 100's of people describing the exact same thing as both you and I are, confirming that this is what it is. Try not to worry too much about it!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I get this infrequently - I actually have it right now which is why I am researching it.

I tend to get it only following (fairly strenuous) exercise - usually about 30 minutes afterwards and it then lasts for 30-60 minutes.

Should I see a doctor?

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
i see white spots last about a couple of minutes... I have a lump smaller than a dime size on the back of my head... and pain in my neck.... the eye doctor said it's an opitcal migrane (migraine) but i'm worried that it could be something else... just wondering if anyone had any advice for me...
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm glad to know it's nothing serious.  I was about to run to the eye doctor thinking I had a tumor pressing on my optic nerve.   It started yesterday with a jagged colorful lightning bolt in my left eye and right now it's a jagged circle.  It reminds me of the eye test they do at the doctor office.  No pain so I'm thankful for that.  It probably is from staring at a computer screen for 8-10 hrs a day.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just spent the several hours in the ER last night because the doctor wanted to make sure I was not having a stroke. My CTscans were clear and I was relieved. I also had no pain but was somewhat concerned because I knew nothing about optical migranes (migraines), or stroke symptems. I called a friend this morn and she is the one who said I was having an optical migrane (migraine). I came to this site to look for info and found this chat group. I am relieved to know that so many of us have the same symptoms. I have all of mine in my right eye, but I am left handed so don't know if that makes a difference, since all of the other people commenting have had them on the left eye. Just wanted to share so maybe it will help save someone the time and money to not have to go to the hospital. I have been told there is nothing to be done to prevent them, so guess we just deal with them when they come...Could be worse that's what I'm talking about.....Better a eye trip than a ambulance.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi I am glad I am not alone - I have recently started seeing zig-zag flashing/flickering light in what I think is my right eye - it lasts about 5 minutes and then goes away.   I also find it difficult to read anything as my eyes can't focus properly on one side of my sight.  I don't have any headaches but I am experiencing neck ache so I was thinking it might be related to that?   The eye doctors seems to think there is nothing wrong with me so I am just hoping it is nothing too serious and I am hoping it will go away once my neck ache goes!
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Avatar_n_tn
I just had my first two of these. I had one yesterday and thought I had stared into a light. Then I had one this afternoon at work. It started out as just a small arc and then expanded to a almost a complete circle. Bright and flashing with zigzagged lines in the flashing part. I went outside for a few minutes and that seemed to help. It lasted for a total of half an hour. It seems to be in my left eye (right handed). Hope I don’t get any more.

It really scared me. I mentioned it to a co-worker and she mentioned this Optic Migraine  - so here I am researching it. It is nice to know that I am not alone.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just experianced an optical migrane (migraine) today. I wasn't sure what it was and it really scared me as it did others. I started to notice bright blurred zig zag lines in the right eye (I'm also right handed so don't think this has anything to do with it). It lasted not longer than 20 mins, but I did go to the emergency room just to be on the safe side since I didn't know what it was at the time. They too told me it was an optical migrane (migraine). The information they gave me was that they are very rare, people who get headaches often get them and they last about 15-20 mins. He did mention if I started to get them more frequent to go see a neurologist but feels that wasn't necessary now since this was my first one.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have experienced this about 4 times, and have experienced a pattern. Like many, I went to a doctor and she concluded optical migraine. The pattern always is the same. First, I get an area in my vision that I can no longer see - for instance, if I'm looking at a headline of text, maybe the last few letters are invisible - a small black hole. I first noticed it while watching TV, where I was no longer able to see detail in the center of my field of vision. Then, I kept having the sensation that there was something flickering, and I slowly became more aware of what seemed like a jagged blurry line in my vision, with lots of colors in it, that appeared to be flickering. Even with my eyes closed, I could see the line. I freaked out and started walking home, and within about 10 to 15 minutes, everything was back to normal.

Now I can predict them. I work on the computer a lot, and when I notice the inability to see a small part of whatever I'm looking at, I know it's starting, and sure enough, within about 10 minutes, the flickering line shows up. 10 to 15 minutes later, it is gone, and everything is back to normal.

I wonder what triggers it. Last night I got a tiny bit drunk (I rarely drink, so this is uncommon), so that is the only thing I can pinpoint as a trigger.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi,
I also have this and have for 5 yrs. it looks like your seeing through a colidascope that gets brighter and bigger then statrs to fade ! its scarey
I went to my family Dr. and he even has this and has done tons of research and sent me to the Eye Dr. & found it to be Optical nerve migraine and it starts in the brain, its a small siesure that makes a spasm in the optical nerve and the blood flow and oxigen cant get through to the eye and it gives most a very bad headache after the eyes start to clear up. my last one was really bad lasting for an hour or more till the eyes cleared... so back to the Dr. I went and they put me on anti seisure medication that they said has helped many to never get them again and even children ...so hope it works for me !  Also they said stress can cause them to happen more often.
hope this helps everyone
thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a 66 year old retired male (diabetic) who spent the last 25 working years on a computer but have been retired for 4 years.  Two weeks ago I started having optical migraines in my left eye, in fact I had 5 the first day.  I lost total vision in one eye each time.  Very scary.
I have been to my eye doctor (an MD) and then  a neurologist. I have had blood tests and also have had sonograms done on the arteries in the neck and the heart.  A  MRI and MR-A done  on the head and am scheduled to see an optical neurologist at his earliest convenience.  Mine have been triggered by a sneeze of a cough, have happened while laying down in a dark room and the last one was as I typed the first line of this note. I have come through all the tests clean with two exceptions,  my blood sugar, which has been in line for years is now gone up.   My last a1C was 5.7 and six months before it was 5.6. (For you non diabetics out there that is exceptional)  Now out of the blue after a 12 hour fast my Blood Sugar was 182  And my blood pressure which has always been text book ( 120/80)  has fallen   and was 84/40 . For the time being I am on anti migraine drugs ( nasty stuff that) and waiting .
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Avatar_f_tn
I have actually had a few of these episodes myself. The first one that I had was so bad the dr rushed me to the er thinking I had a anerisum however you spell it. But the er said I had opticular migraines. I have had a couple of these over the past year. I am not sure about all the information with them. I just know that my sight is affected, it feels like im looking at the sun and looking away but the glow or light is still in my eyes, even when i close them. and i get dizzy or well it just makes me feel wrong when i go through this.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the exact same effect, it is really beautiful and scary at the same time, the geometric shapes are amazing, I suspect that it is an interrupted visual signal that is trying to reach the brain or something like that.  I had about 10 of those in 6 months, they stopped for awhile an now they seem to be back, I just 2 today, which is very rare for me, I normally was getting like 1 a week.  So I am trying to figure out what is triggering them like everybody here on the forum.  I had intense gym workout this weekend and right after I had those optical migranes (migraines), I wonder if it is muscle related or some kind of chemical that brain releases that is muscle related.  

I also spend 8-10 hrs on computer so maybe thats the trigger, but then again, I didnt have those for 1 months and now for no reason they are back again, I am really worried now.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just had the zigzag rainbow to the left of my eyes, thought it was something more. I did get a headache after, which is rare for me to get any headache at all. Just finished an intense yoga class, with inversions so I'm guessing that's what caused it. I've been doing yoga for 3 years and have never experienced this before. Scared me that I could not see or read, like a blind spot, I hope I never get this again.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow.  So many people with identical descriptions.  My wife just had one of the Optic Migraines for the first time.  She described it as a Jagged Semi-Circle with bright brilliant colors that vibrated and seemed to flow through the jagged shape.  She also stated the object was more brilliant and could be seen when she closed her eyes.  The episode lasted about an hour for her and she stated she had a head ache the whole time and it got worse after the shape disappeared. She also identified her blood pressure as 156/98 during the episode. She is right-handed and the object appeared in her right eye, so I agree with others that it makes no difference if you are right or left handed. Additional background is that my wife has migrane (migraine) headaches, has siezures, and is currently taking blood thinners due to a clotting disorder.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had this happen to me a couple of months ago, but mine was also accompanied by a strip of black across the top of my left eye (I'm left-handed btw). I had the black strip first.  Because it didn't hurt I didn't think it was anything serious and would right itself, but after getting the kaleidescope lights and patterns I went to the eye clinic the next day.  I actually had a detached retina and was four hours away from losing my sight completely!  I had an op that afternoon to put the retina back.

All has been fine, until 2 weeks ago when I had a small flickering in the centre of my vision which then developed into a white light. It last about 5 minutes.  I went back to the eye clinic and had a scan but it seems to be a mystery.  The consultant said its probably caused by a nerve being damaged by the laser when the repair was being done and will take a while to settle.

It seems the time to worry is if you have any black areas (loss of vision), then get yourself to the eye hospital straight away as its probably a detached retina and needs to be treated asap.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had optical migranes (migraines) since I was sixteen, I'm now 22. I know one is coming on because I can only see half of what I'm looking at when it starts, by that time I can't speak I know what to say but I can't talk. I get really, really dizzy and nauseated. This lasts up to an hour and then I get a blistering migrane (migraine) that follows, it's been so bad at times I had to be rushed to the hospital.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, the first optical migraine (with the same flickering zig-zags in the visual field) I got 30 years ago when I was about 12. Since then, I had 5-6 more until I hit 20s. In twenties I had it once or twice; in thirties maybe 2-3 times, and now in 40s had it twice... Same length of about 30-45 min, except for one time in my early 30s when it lasted about 4 hours....
Analyzing the situations I was in when I get them, this is what observed and derived from it: Strong physical or mental activity that is accompanied or followed with the about medium (or even lesser) visual straining activity (even the light reading) complemented with not enough rest and/or hydration and always, always with the lower blood sugar (I am not even border line diabetic) that you know is there since your stomach really feels empty and you have passed the over-hungry threshold will cause my optical migraine....
That all makes sense since the condition is caused by the lack of oxygen flow to the eye and the above observation surely triggers that.... Without that over-hungry feel I had never had any optical migraine....
Importantly, in most of those situation I was either going without food and water for at least 5 hours, or I had a strong unusual physical mental activity with almost none (mostly none) hydration and very late food intake of at least 3-4 hours later...
Hope this can help some of you prevent the recurrences by not letting yourself go without food for 5 hours or more and water for 4 hours or more (reduce those hours drastically if you are exercising or doing heavier mental work)..
Thanks and Good luck!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have just had an episode of this as well: A jagged colourful shape to the left of whatever I focus on.  I try to look at it, and it just moves more to the left.  Presently, it is diminishing and seems to have moved out of the center of my vision and into the periphery, but I must say that my head actually feels quite heavy and "full".  I feel like my reaction time is likely very low compared to what is normal for me as well, like it takes a moments for me to process whatever I am viewing.  This is utterly disconcerting; however, I am glad to have found a forum with so many people suffering a similar anomaly of vision.
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have these episodes usually months apart but last week they came 3 days in a row around lunch time and lasted 20 minutes i see it like a far off tiny light and it grows to the size of my whole eye its brilliant white like a circular lightening bolt until it feels like it disappears behind my line of sight my head does not hurt just a funny numb sensation in my eye then like nothing ever happened i thought i was going nuts and it sounds crazy trying to tell people about it.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just experienced this exact C shaped sawtooth blazing flashing light in my eye last night. Came on suddenly. Freaked me out!  A little blue at the bottom and top and a little red , but most was a most brilliant white, and  saw toothed.  Eyesight fuzzy.  I closed my eyes and tried to relax. The image began to fade and got so large that it went off screen (so to speak). After 30 minutes eyesight was OK again. Glad I found this posting! I thought I was in for it!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi There - I am have this very thing as we speak.  I was so worried but thankful it's migraines.  I have been having them very frequently lately.  Mine is in my left eye and I am left handed. No correlation.
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