Avatar universal

Brief blackouts, dizziness, headaches, visual disturbance

I hope someone, especially a doctor, could give me some ideas on what might be going on with my 43 year-old husband.  I was just told less then a month ago that for many years, he periodically gets these sudden quick blackouts that last for about a second.  He says there's a very brief moment of missing time, and he almost passes out but it happens so fast that he can catch himself and he feels very dizzy right after.  I had never noticed it, but it's happenning more often now and I have witnessed a few recently.  At first when he told me, I thought they might be absense seizures, but now that I've seen I really don't think they are.  Besides this, he's often fatigued, wakes up with horrible headaches with pain in the back of his head and neck, he's having dizziness and balance problems, there are times when he has "kaleidoscope" vision and sometimes when reading his eyes have a rapid back and forth movement.  He is also having episodes of weakness and numbness in his arms.  I think what he has is more then just a simple migraine, as the headache seems to be every day now.  He's had the pains in the back of his head since he was a child, it has just gotten worse.

Somebody please help!  
55 Responses
368886 tn?1466235284

His symptoms may resemble some symptoms of migraine. Ocular migraine should also be considered here. But these are just the initial differentials. He may have these symptoms due to some ischemic events in the brain. Have his blood pressure checked. Please consult an ophthalmologist and a neurologist. An MRI of the brain will also help detect any such ischemic events.

Avatar universal
Thank you for the response, Dr. Deshmukh.  Yes, his primary doctor did diagnose him with ocular migraines several months ago.  His blood pressure and all labs looked great.  At that time he was not having the blackouts as bad, and he has never actually told anyone until recently.  I hope that's all it is, is a migraine.  We'll see what the neuro says.  Thanks again.
Avatar universal
I was recently diagnosed with Pseudotumor cerebri. I doesnt mean you hava brain tumor. It means there is to much spinal fluid circulating in thbrain. I found this out  when i went to and eye doctor app and they dialated my pupils and told me that i had papilledema which can only be diagnosed through that. papilledema is when all your optic nerves are swollen all his symptoms sound just like mine you might want to consider asking the doc about this is should be taken very seriously.
Avatar universal
I had severe headaches as a child and now seem to be getting them again, not nearly as frequent as then, but disturbing nonetheless.  But tonight is different.  I felt a strange rush up the side of my head, almost as if it might be fluid??? , and then I didn't know what happened for a few seconds, maybe more, because my fiancee actually yelled my name and I don't remember any conversation or anything before that for several seconds.  I'm really scared and probably won't tell him until I have more answers.  I wouldn't want to make him nervous over nothing.  I think I blacked out ?? and shortly thereafter a pretty severe headache started.  my sight is blurry right now as I read this too.  I'm fatigued a lot as well, but I also do a lot in a day.  Please help!
Avatar universal
I've been having those quick blackouts too. the last a second and everything goes black.but then just as quick as it came it comes back. then i start to have head aches too. i want to have a check up but my mom says i dont have insurance so i cant see a doctor. i hope its nothing to serious. but from wat i've read here it sounds like it could be a major problem. If any light comes up on those quick blackouts, would it be possible to fill me in about them? Please and thank you.
Avatar universal
You might consider cluster headaches. A lot of the symptoms your husband is experiencing are mentioned in this website:

Avatar universal
I just had one today. After 4 hours of non-stop gameboy playing, I decided to just start my exercise. After 5 seconds of walking, my mind just started feeling numb, and then my vision became blurry, then I stumbled backwards. My body tumbled over and my spine hit a counter edge. My dad was pissed off at me for knocking something over, then he felt sympathetic because I said I just blacked out. Now that he's told my mom, she got as worried as if I was possessed by the devil. She says it's my diet, but it's highly unlikely, because I had the blackouts every year before the diet.
306259 tn?1204769475
Read up on Autonomic disorders.  The blackouts can be due to migraine but also can be due to blood pressure issues.  When you stand up: your pulse may rise dramatically or your blood pressure may drop dramatically. Both can cause these episodes because your blood is not moving to the right parts of your body fast enough.

Take your pulse lying down.  Then stand and take your pulse again.  The same with your blood pressure: take it lying down, then take it standing.  This is a simple form of test.  The actual test done by a doctor would be a Tilt Table Test.

Autonomic disorders can cause a multitude of symptoms because the autonomic system controls blood pressure,  heart rate, digestive system, etc.

It is very hard to find a doctor who knows about autonomic disorders.  Most Neurologists know very little about it.  Go to Dyna kids for a list of doctors that are specialist in this.  We have been through a enormous amount of testing and variety of specialists to find out what is causing my teenage daughter's symptoms (which include what you guys are naming plus a lot more).  We finally have a partial diagnosis of POTS (Postural Autonomic Tachycardia Syndrome) and autonomic neuropathy.  We had to go to a clinic 10 hrs away in Dallas to get the final diagnosis.
Avatar universal
I have blackouts that occur very often. It starts with a light fuzziness that leads to a blackout that can last anywhere from 2mins to 20 minutes. I was diagnosed with slight epilespy as a kid but have not had an episode since. I do have low blood pressure but I've been told it's because I was an athlete growing up? Any advice?

1126839 tn?1259809733
i dont think an mri would do him any good causes ive been getting the same thing only they last for a least 5 mins and i still feel lightheaded and dizzy afterwards i'll be standing at work and i'll start getting lightheaded and dizzy then everything thing starts to get dark then it all goes black and i have to go sit down but recently that hasn't been working very well either and i cant eat anything and the doctors cant find anything wrong with me ive had an mri, eeg, ekg and blood work done and they all come back normal the only thing i havent been to is the Neurologists
Avatar universal
If your husband has not already figured out what is wrong you may want to look into Chiari Malformation.  Sounds familar.
Avatar universal
I have had many of the symptons the first person here speaks about but I don't have headaches with it.  The dizziness comes, like everyone else says, quickly and lasts for a few seconds but the sensation is like being on a fair ground ride that pushes you to the wall or in this case to the floor and you can't stop it.  I can have the dizziness even when I don't move.  For example this morning when I woke up, before I opened my eyes, I turned my head to the side and I knew it was going to be one of those days that I would have it all day.  When I tried to get out of bed that feeling of being forced to the floor came over me and I stumbled into the wall trying to stop myself from falling.  It first happened in 1991 and I was sitting on the couch, leaning on my hand with my legs to the side of me.  I turned my head to look to the left and I blacked out for a millisecond.  It happened so fast that I didn't mention it to anyone.  Then a few days later I was walking up the stairs with my ironing and my son was walking towards me and I just fell to the ground and stood straight up again saying I was fine while he was panicking about me 'fainting' as he thought.  It has happened on and off through the years and I don't have headaches before during or after it.  I have had it too long to worry that it's a tumor or something as sinister but it is definitely not a normal thing and I would like to know if there is a name for it and a cure.  It is a bit worrying to other people who don't know what's wrong with me when I suddenly fall over and get up again like it never happened.  I don't know what to tell people and I worry that someone may call for an ambulance when I'm out if it happens.  Any kind of clues would be great as my gp doesn't know.  Thanks guys.
Hi - I get these too without headaches.  I am not prone to headaches at all.  It gets dark with dizziness for less than a second.  usually my left  ear is stuffed up, and I feel really hot around my neck area and usually I am crouched over a computer screen.  Never happens at home.  I wonder.  thank you.  doesnt happen often, usually 1 or 2 per year.
Avatar universal
I've been havin something very similar, I blackout occassional, constant headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and more recently loss of hearing. Ive been like this for almost 2 years now and I've had blood work done, ecg, mri, cat scan u name it they've tried and they still cant figure it out. It startin to control my like now as am affraid to things with my 3 year old son alone incase I blackout. If anyone here has any idea of what this could be I would love to hear. Thank you
306259 tn?1204769475
I am NOT a doctor but we have all been in your shoes.  1st the easiest test, and most doctors don't even think about doing it, is to check for blood pressure issues.  Take blood pressure and pulse laying down, then stand and take blood pressure pulse standing.  An autonomic problem will show either abnomality in the BP or Pulse due to the change in position.  We all have had every bloodwork possible, MRI's, MRA's, Spinal taps, EEG, EKG, etc. only to have all of those test come out normal.  Autonomic problems can cause all of your symptoms and checking pulse & BP laying and standing will identify an autonomic issue that can then be verified with a Tilt Table Test

There are many other things that can cause your issues but this test is too easy to not do to rule in or out an autonomic problem.
Avatar universal
im a 32 year old woman with high blood pressure ,my doctor gave me antideppressing tablets 3 days ago but today i had i blackout with no vision i was so scared it lasted 6 seconds i was driveing at the time.iv had these bad migranes for two weeks neck acke eyes hurt  pains in my left hand .please can u give some advise or ans thank you.
1356432 tn?1280677872
My wife experiences nausea, then dizziness, usually passes out and loses her eye vision for 30sec to a minute. Then most times she has no energy and gets a headache which usually turns into a migraine which last for days. She's been to numerous specialist with no solid explanation. They think she has Neurally Mediated Hypotension, and the only thing that seems to help is she eats extremely healthy. No junk food, processed meats; anything unhealthy seems to make it worse. Not that eating healthy helps her completely, but it does help.
Avatar universal
hi i am soo happy that i am not alone in this.
i am a 26 year old mom of 4 and i have been suffering from this for over 14 years now.
i was 12 when i  had my first black out, i went blind for about 20 minutes, since then i would get extremely dizzy, get blurred vision (or visual total black outs), faint at times, and i am also suffering from low blood pressure. 2 years ago i got hurt very badly, i fell down the stairs during a dizzy spell, 5 metres, then i hit my head against a concrete wall and had a fracture in my temporal bone. i have never been so afraid since then. nowadays i am dizzy all day, every day. i am very weak, and dont know what it could be. about an hour ago i passed out again, i'm waiting for my husband to come home, to take me to a&e. i am tired of this, and hoping for an answer. if any of you have an diagnosis, please let me know.
306259 tn?1204769475
My daughter started with the vision blackouts at 13 yrs old.  She is now 19 and has too many symptoms to count.  The only way that we got a diagnosis was to go to a specialty autonomic clinic 10 hrs away from our home.  They diagnosed her with POTS (Postural Orthostaic Tachycardia Syndrome) which is a form of Dysautonomia.  Go to dynakids(dot)org or dinet(dot)org for the best info on disorders of the Autonomic Nervous System.  The (dot) is because they don't always let us put in websites.
Avatar universal
im only 23 had blackouts /  headaches ever since i was a child. About 3 years ago it was gettin really bad in the service, when to the doctor, they found a syst. after they had it removed i havent had any blackouts or headaches since. Not sure if that helps just saying it....
Avatar universal
Has he had an mri of the brain to rule out chiari malformation?
Avatar universal
I am 20, since I was a kid I've had crazy migraines. Today was different though... i was driving, I thought that it was gettting kindod gloomy out but no one else thought so... about 30 mins later i actully blacked out... while driving. luckily i pulled over safely. after came a very terrible headache, took some excedrine but not much help. the migraine calmed but has flarred back up ahain. any inpt? &excuse the grammr and misplelings, im doin my best right now.
Avatar universal

I have been facing this problem since childhood. There is an increase in the heartbeat first and then some continuous beep in the year followed by a black out and falling down. After a few seconds or maybe minutes I wake up feeling a bit cold full of sweat and I feel light headed with a very little ackword relaxing pain in the back of the neck. Please suggest what is the erason for it and what actually is this !!?? Any recommendations or remidies would be appriciated.
Avatar universal
I am a 15 year old girl and I hav those same symptoms!! I dont kno why tho :/ help plz
1639375 tn?1300510590
I was in Iraq when I was wounded and I have the same syptoms plus other problems. I am going to a poly-trauma center to see if they can fiqure out what is going on. Two days ago at the gym I work-out at I was dizzy then black out, seems to happen on different times but blacking out at the gym was the sraw that broke the back.

Captain Parrson
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Neurology Community

Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452915648
Allentown, PA
5265383 tn?1483808356
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease