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Visual Disturbances
Old 12-07-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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Visual Disturbances

Saturday night when we were out for dinner all of a sudden my eyes were filled with visual disturbances of the kind that one gets when a migraine is coming on. As I didn't have a headache I put it down to tiredness. Within an hour or so it was gone.

However, my internet research indicates that I could be suffering from Silent Migraine. I did suffer from migraine in my early 20s which would involve visual disturbance, nausea and headache, however have not had one for 20 years or so.

I now realise that I have been having a few of these episodes. Because there was not any accompanying headache, each time I got it, I assumed it was related to lack of sleep/jet lag. I am going to get this checked out next time I go to the Dr. but I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this kind of event.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:28 AM   #2
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:29 AM   #3
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Darn, by your first phrase, Saturday night when we were out for dinner, I thought this was going to be a food thread. Was there any MSG in the recipes?

I had migraines when I was young and you have my sympathy. I associate them with being in an impossible life situation. Once I took care of a major problem, I never had them again. Im not in the medical field but Ive heard that they are more common in the young and the old.

Glad you plan to get it checked out, let us know how that goes.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:30 AM   #4
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Or a retinal detachment. You might want to get an ophthalmology evaluation for reassurance.

Typically, these spells, called "scintillating scotomata," are zig zags of flashing "light" but can take many other forms. Migraine can cause spasm of the blood vessels and cause the symptom, but the overlap of symptoms with retinal detachment generally makes it wise to be checked, at least once.

Good luck with your problems, hope it's a false alarm.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:26 PM   #5
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Rich, I have made an appt to see an Opthamologist later this week. With it being the eyes, I don't want to take the risk that my self-assessment is wrong, after all it has been known that us internet-searchers probably don't know as much as qualified Doctors.

Joe, don't think it was MSG related as last time I had one of those meals, which was very delicious by the way, I had serious cankles the next day. Strange I only ever suffered full blown migraines for probably a period of a year. Don't know what caused them or why they went away but they disappeared as quickly as they came.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:58 PM   #6
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I periodically have the same symptoms. I've been periodically checked for retinal issues (no problems), though I haven't gone had it looked at in a while.

Usually, I get zig-zag flashing blind spots. Most recent episode was around two weeks ago. I get them maybe 2-3 times per year. They last right around 20 minutes.

Good luck.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:11 PM   #7
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The last person reporting on having these (Cube-Rat) has stopped posting!

Here's the relevant thread:

Anyone have occular migraines?
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:28 PM   #8
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I've had similar migraine-like symptoms for many years. It starts with a small round area of sparkling distortion in one or both eyes. Over a period of 20 to 30 minutes the distortion expands until it moves outside of my field of view. No headache accompanies these episodes. I've been checked by an opthamalogist and a retina specialist and both said this is migraine equivalent and not related to any eye problem.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:01 AM   #9
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Over a period of 20 to 30 minutes the distortion expands until it moves outside of my field of view.
That's how my one episode was as well. Occasionally, however, I notice that disturbance at the very edge of my visual field.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:05 AM   #10
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Two patterns that warrant evaluation right away are a "falling curtains" episode (from a type of circulation/TIA type event), and loss of peripheral vision that closes in from the outside of both eyes (rare, from an abnormality in the pituitary region).

But I feel it's wisest to see your doc for any "first episode" vision change.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:04 PM   #11
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I started a thread a while back about the same thing. I have "underlying complications" so they got all on alert and I got an MRI of my head and neck but everything turned out OK.

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Old 12-10-2009, 03:26 PM   #12
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Interesting topic!

I had my first ever eye disturbance at 29, where half my vision disappeared, whatever I was looking, no headache, nothing else going on, just half my vision gone! My opthamologist didn't need to see me she said, had her secretary tell me it was an ocular migraine over the phone. We linked it to an over the counter medicine I had taken the day before.

Sixteen years later -- with no episodes in between -- had it happen twice in one month. First time was a spitting image of the time 16 years earlier. Second was different, where my vision was there, but a super-imposed grid of lights was over it, in the center. I was driving. It lasted about 2 minutes.

Next time..... I don't mind seeing the opthamologist, so that's fine. I'll just make an appointment, instead of asking on the phone.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:13 PM   #13
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I get these exactly as described above. I have found that for me, dehydration is a major cause. I used to get them quarterly since about 1994, but since I figured out my trigger, I haven't had one in a year. Now I know that if I feel thirsty, it is worth paying any amount of money to get a safe bottle of water to drink. These types of migranes are associated with a higher risk of stroke, by the way. You should consider it a risk factor...
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:04 AM   #14
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I saw an Opthamologist today who was able to confirm there isn't anything going on with my retina's at all, which was a big relief. I will follow it up when I see my new General Practitioner in the new year.

In the meantime I am going to keep track of when it happens and what I have done that day that may be the trigger. Interesting that for someone it'd dehydration. We were eating at a Persian restaurant at the time it started so maybe it's really bad food that triggers me as the food was dreadful.

I did look up the markers for Stroke and don't think I have any of the other issues like cholesterol or high blood pressure however will check this out with my GP as well.

One thing going to the eye Dr today did tell me, was that vision is so important as she put those eye drops in to dilate my eyes and I couldn't see properly for over 4 hours. When I went to Trader Joe's to pick something up for lunch I had to ask the cashier to read the directions on the box as it was too small for me to see. Even then I thought I was cooking noodles but found out when I opened the box it was rice.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:27 AM   #15
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I just had one of these for the first time today. What a strange experience. I hope it does not come back sometime when I am driving.
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