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ocular migraines
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ocular migraines

I have ocular migraines. They come in threes. I can have one and the next one could be a day or so later, and the next headache, the next day or day after. I could also have two in one day. They come sometimes every month, then could go away for a few months. I do get a mild headache after. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone about their experiences. I do not know anyone, personally, who has this problem. I've had it for several years. My eye doctor says it isn't anything, doesn't know what causes it, but it is troublesome and I'd like to know more about it. Thank you all very much for any help.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.

Ocular migraines are generally reported to be harmless and cause little to no pain at all. The visual symptoms such as scotoma, scintillations, or metamorphopsia are not permanent and no brain damage ensues, thus it rarely necessitates treatment.

However, it is correct that you consulted an ophthalmologist about this to first rule out any eye condition which could present with similar symptoms and that would require immediate treatment.

The reason why your ophthalmologist may not give you much information about this condition is because the conditions that trigger this disorder have still not been determined and because the symptoms are not directly related to the eyes but to the brain's visual cortex.

Although regarded as harmless, you should still exercise caution when experiencing an episode. Stop whatever your doing and get some rest. If you are driving or operating heavy machinery, you should stop doing so until symptoms have fully subsided.

You should have your condition regularly checked, especially when the symptoms worsen or persist for a longer than usual duration.

Hope this helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much. I sincerely appreciate your coments. My ocular migraines (in three's) are becoming more frequent. (I also have sleep apnea.) Do you think I should go to a neurologist? Thank you very much again.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.

Although, as I have mentioned above, ocular migraines are generally harmless, it also wouldn't hurt to be evaluated by a neurologist to rule out any other conditions that might possibly cause your symptoms.

There is no definite cause identified for ocular migraines. However, some people who have this condition do report triggers to their symptoms, such as certain foods, tension, fatigue, etc. What you could also do is to determine whether there are certain triggers to your episodes and, if identified, try to avoid them as best as you can.

Hope this helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, Thank you again. I'm sure you have already seen or heard about CNN this morning. They talked about energy efficient bulbs being able to trigger migraines so I'm thinking this also means eye migraines. I certainly know bright light from bulbs, flashbulbs, sun glaring on cars or strobe lights can do it for me. I can control my home environment, but will it be helplful to wear sunglasses in stores, bright resturants, etc? Will this type of glass help?
     By the way, I have never, ever used the internet for forums, etc. I just can't believe this wonderful service that is provided here.What a blessing for people.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.

Sunglasses can probably help in decreasing the chances that you will experience the migraines. However, for those that flicker such as the energy efficient light bulbs and strobe lights, this may be of very little help as the flickering can still be noticed despite wearing sunglasses.

I am glad that you found the forums very helpful. We do try to provide you with the best advice and information that we are able to give. Thank you for sharing your concerns with the people in the forum.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just read your emails regarding ocular migraines.  I have the exact problems you stated.  Mine come in 3's, generally one a day sometimes 2, then go away for a few months.  I've had them for years and they are very annoying.  I also get a slight headache afterwards.  I generally take two Tylenols or Ibprofens and wait approx. 20 mins and they disappear.  I do know that light triggers my OM's.  I never get a severe headache only a slight one.  My sister also get's them and I have a friend that get's them once and a while.  I spoke to my Eye Doctor and he said, if they start to come more frequent I should see a neurologist.  I just got through having my series of OM's....now you know someone else that gets them...
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi. Thank you for answering. My eye doctor has never heard of anyone getting them in 3's.so I'm so greatful to hear from you.I was starting to think I had something very strange.
  I don't take anything for them but they do disapear in approx 20 mins anyway. Yes, light triggers my OM's, too, and that can be as simple as a bright reflection from the sun on a car window. Are you aware of anything else that triggers them? I can't. If your sister gets them, too, I wonder if they are passed on in the family. Did any doctor tell you that?
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Avatar_m_tn
i think 'some' of the headaches i get are OM's as well.  if i catch a glare from a car window or if someone takes a picture and the flash hits me wrong i'll get the aura vision in about 5-10 minutes.
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1395415_tn?1280351483
For some ten years I have had once or twice a month a bright scintillating lights, shimmering zig zag lines lasting some 25 minutes. I managed to discover the trigger, which is a special position where I bend over and look down.

After ten years of despair, last year I discorered a position which could controll it. I sit in a chair, entirely still - looking up in the roof, and exhaling slowly air and concentrating with all my mind doing so. Amazingly, the build up to the familiar "ring" slows, reverse and ends within three to five minutes. It is not as easy as it sounds, since my heart is pumping each time the aura occurs - however, it fell unbelievable that it could just go away after all that fear and anxiety.

I would like to hear if others have had the same experience ?? I would also like to hear whether any medicaments could help? Off cause I have been to eye specialists, not able to find anything wrong with the eys.

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Avatar_m_tn
This is my story and I pray that it may be of some help in diagnosing the cause of these irritating and obnoxious reoccurring migraines.
When I was a child I fell of a horse while he was running full out.  When I came to I was in the hospital with a mild concussion. I remained there overnight for observation and returned home the following day. From that time forward whenever the humidity was high I would be overcome with a major pain in the left side of the head and numbness of my entire left side of the body. My speech would become slurred, my stomach nauseated and my eyesight impaired.  Another symptom was that it felt as if I were inside a large crane pulling leavers to operate my legs and arms.
After about 6 years of going through these annual (summer after summer) symptoms, my parents sent me to the mayo clinic in Rochester MN for observation. After examination the doctors prescribed Phenobarbital and Dilantin. Unfortunately the drugs did not prevent or even alleviate the symptoms or the amount of times they would occur.
In 1976 I joined the military and in the summer of 1977 I had another bought while serving in south Texas. This time however I lost complete vision where for about 10 to 15 minutes I was completely without vision. The corpsman sent me to the clinic where I was given a shot of Dilantin and I completely passed out. Leading up to the incident was much different than before though. This particular incident occurred because I was carting a door up a flight of stairs when I heard within my head a sound of squishing.
Altogether 5 different times while I was stationed in Texas I went through these bouts. I was ultimately transferred to Virginia, where I did not have any of these symptoms. In 1982 I was discharged from the service and moved back to AZ. In the fall of 1983 I was in an automobile accident and subsequently the ocular migraines returned so I visited a chiropractor for treatment. They found that I had a bulging disk at T1 and T2. After about 6 weeks of treatment the migraine symptoms subsided where even my vision improved. You see when I was 12 years old it was necessary that I wear glasses.
Since that time until present these migraine symptoms and occurrence where slight. Meaning they would happen only periodically and they would only have the symptoms of ocular and not full body like they were when I was a child.
I went to an optician back in 2007 where I was prescribed glasses again. I explained my ocular vision problems to him and he merely stated that yes I had ocular migraines and there was nothing he could do to stop them. I was working as a hack at the time and my employer had difficulty keeping me as an employee because of them.
Recently I moved back to the mountains of AZ and the ocular migraines have been noticeably more recurring.  Now they come in the morning, afternoon and the following day with an interval of maybe 2 to three days in between. They come without warning and last anywhere from an hour to three hours. I have to completely stop what I am doing and lay down and most usually sleep until it passes. I have tried just sitting there and relaxing and they linger for about an hour leaving me exhausted and disorientated. I try to make up for lost time and try to reorganize my thoughts to make up for this distraction and in so doing brings on another.
I find that when applying for employment the employer does not want to hear anything about this and if they do I am not even considered for the position. Without lying about this condition, what am I supposed to do? These annoying ocular migraines need to be addressed and completely eradicated so that we the people that have to deal with them can live a normal fulfilling life. I am 52 and I am extremely tired of having to hide the truth from potential employers to get employment and then be terminated because I get one while on the job.
Is there anything out there that can completely eliminate the annoyances?  
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Avatar_n_tn
I get optical migraines as a direct result of reflections of fluorescent lighting & diffusers in my office - I have had three today alone - if I keep looking at th ecomputer screen, they turn into regular migraines and I have to vomit & go home - if the fluorescent lights are turned out, I don't have the problem.
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Avatar_f_tn
i have had migraine for 2-3 years...and recently my neurologist said dat i have developed severe migraine now...i have been on medication since but today for the first time i experienced dizzines and all other symptoms of occular migraine followed by severe headache... i am away from home and cant contact my neurologist...please guide me as to what is happening to me and what shud i do...
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had occular migraines with aura for a little over 6 years now.  Seemed to start after my latest round of radiation therapy for cancer.  Head and neck variety.  Second time for that treatment, both sides.
In the past month or two, they are coming sometimes as often as 6 times daily.  I tend to not bother with the doctors anymore, they have no answers for me.  One doctor shared there just isn't enough known to properly diagnose or treat.  He felt it possible I have some damage from radiation therapy and just have to "live with it".  I do agree these have increased since I installed energy efficient bulbs in my home.  Will take them out and see if that helps.  I'll do whatever I have to, these are ridiculous and makes you think you are losing it.  Stress seems to trigger as well.  Hope everybody here finds relief, this is certainly no fun at all.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just had a third in three days, sometimes have had two close together before. They started 15 years ago and I thought it was the menopause at fault, but they only came every year or so until last year when I had two, then waited 8 months and darted going down to 2 months, 1 month and now twos and threes 5, 9, two weeks apart. I've had anti anxiety pills because life has been pretty stressful, but now the fear of one coming is my biggest stress and it's really spoiling my life. I spend all my time reacting to every little light or shadow with floods of adrenaline and panic expecting another, and I dread the thought of driving on a motorway where I can't stop if one comes on, but I don't want to keep running to the doctor and stuffing dodgy medicine.
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Avatar_m_tn
Meant 5 and 9 days  and two weeks
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Avatar_m_tn
Actually, ocular migraines arise from the eye - retinal blood vessels.  Regular migraines arise from the brain - occupital cortex (visual processing area of the brain).....that's what I've been told.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am experiencing my 3rd opthomolic migraine since 8:30 this morning.  It is 2:30 right now.  I had a complete eye exam last week.  While I have had these for many years, they are becoming more and more frequent, 2-3 a week and now, so far, 3 a day.  What should I do?
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm 54 and have developed ocular migraines over the last 2 or 3 years. I 've come to get a little more info after getting two in the last week and not having had any in a few months. I've had at least a dozen I think, usually in clusters (several within a month) which have been when watching TV or at the computer (which I do a lot of), although I do recall it happening once when I was in a store. Like clockwork they end after 20 minutes. Until reading your post it never occurred to me that these only started about a year or so after undergoing chemo and radiation for head and neck cancer (Dec. '09 - Feb. 2010). I did go to an ophthalmologist 6 months ago after a 3-minute isolated blurred vision occurrence and all checked out fine.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had classic migraines with aura for 30 years. I used to get very bad headaches with them and vomiting. As I've gotten older, they have decreased in intensity, and now if I do get a headache, it's very mild. I often don't experience any pain. However, lately I have gotten some new visual disturbances that are different than the typical aura. It's like it gets dimmer and spotty, then I get a spot that's like the kind you experience after a camera flash. Or like coming inside after being out in bright sunlight. It may last a few seconds or a few minutes. Has anyone had any like this?
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Avatar_m_tn
OH MY GOODNESS! I HAVE THE SAME EXACT VISION ISSUES! I have NEVER had migraines but had what my doctor thought was an Ocular Migraine about two months ago. It was extremely scary to say the least and I had no idea what it was. I described it to my husband as coming inside after being in the bright sun all day too! Then I had terrible zig zag lines in my peripheral vision. I am at the end of a 20-25 minute episode right now. Same vision issues as before. Right now my vision is still wonky, but I can focus again. So good to hear that someone is experiencing that same thing!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been experiencing ocular migraines like you.  Since February, I've been recording when and what I was doing or eating before it happened.  So far, I have had 14 migraines in 2 1/2 months.  It's so annoying.  My primary gave me rizatriptan to ease the headaches. It'll help the migraine last from 10-15 minutes vs. the 20-30 minutes I always experience.  I went to a neurologist and he asked about my family history.  My mom used to get them, too, but not as often as I do.  He asked if the fluorescent light in his office bothered me, and it actually did.  It made my eyes feel tired.  He prescribed me topiramate (Topamax) and said that it would help prevent the migraines from coming, but I would have to take it DAILY.  He also said that it would also cause me to lose weight.  I found out that the prescription is also for epilepsy? Well, I ditched the prescription and called for a 2nd opinion.  I didn't want to take meds everyday to prevent it.  So, I am waiting for my next appointment which is in May.  It may be because I'm getting close to my menopause years and the hormones are all out of whack.  I'll keep you guys updated.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been experiencing reoccurring ocular migraines for the past two months. I just had my 6th this morning. I have an appointment this morning to see my primary care doctor. In the past I've had maybe one or two a year but this is starting to worry me. Just curious, we have black mold in our bathroom and I was wondering if this could be a trigger. Any advice greatly appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
I would appreciate any advice from you regarding these reoccurring ocular migraines. Seems like they're always triggered in the early AM and when I first turn on the bright lights in our bathroom. Please see my prior post too. Thank you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Please let me know what your doctor had to say at your May appointment. Thanks!
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Avatar_m_tn
Please let me know what your doctor had to say at your May appointment. I've been experiencing reoccurring ocular migraines and saw both my eye doctor and medical doctor and both say not to worry!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Linda its shawna :)
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