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Need some Community Support

Hello! I’m a 27y/o Female who has been dealing with ocular migraines (though diagnosed) since I was 18.

Today, I had my second ocular migraine with aura attack in 3 days. It has never been this frequent before and my anxiety is through the roof.

My episodes start with me noticing that something goes missing in my central vision; a blind spot area. Then the blind spot grows to a point where I can’t see half of a person’s face.

Shortly after this happens, I start to get a flashing zig zagging line that shifts around my vision. As it shift,s the blind spot moves and areas that I couldn’t see before I can see again and areas I could see before, I no longer can. These blind spots are not black or white- they are just as if nothing is there.

The zig zag line grows and moves around my vision- usually starting in the center and working out towards my peripheral vision. After awhile, the zig zag line fades, and the blind spot does as well until eventually my vision returns and the zig zag line is gone. This whole process lasts roughly 20-30 minutes.

Then, after, the headache starts; however, it isn’t usually a full blown pounding migraine headache. It is more just a feeling like my head is very heavy and thick with a minor, tolerable headache. I also tend to feel a little nauseous alongside general exhaustion.

The first ocular migraine I had was when I was 18 years old and I am now 27. These episodes used to happen once or twice a year, but lately, the frequency has been increasing. Today marked my 5th this year alone; second in 3 days. The other three occurred earlier this year- one in February and two in March within two weeks of each other. Before today, the two in March were the closest together I’ve ever experienced.


I also have anxiety and developed around mid 2016- which definitely may be one of the main reasons of the increased frequency. And, of course, my anxiety tends to center around health anxiety so I consciously and unconsciously am always checking my health. My vision is the primary focus of my health anxiety as it is constant and also the culprit of my awful ocular migraines.

I went to an opthalmologist back in January who said my eyes were completely fine. Neither this doctor nor my PCP thought I should get an MRI at that point- which was fair since before Saturday, I went 6 months without an attack.

But now? 2 in 3 days? My anxiety is through the roof and it is getting worse when the attacks happen. I’m stressed about it all the time and not sure what to do next. I can’t rightly tell if my trigger is stress and anxiety or not. All I know is these episodes have occurred in the morning, afternoon and night, with all different types of food in my system. I am not sure what triggers it and I’m trying my best to figure it out.

A little community support from those who know what it’s like to experience the ocular migraines would be greatly appreciated. It’s terrifying when you go blind for half an hour with a migraine to follow; even if it is a minor migraine. It would truly give me a sense of calm knowing there are others who suffer the same thing and who can talk about it openly.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • sersk
    2 years ago

    I am 71 years old and get occular migraine just as you describe, but no headache. Sometimes daily ,sometimes several times a day. I had severe migraine pain for years (imitrex worked for me) but the pain stopped when I was about 50. I just take them as they come . I can set my watch by them. 15 minutes and they’re gone. Don’t know what causes them or if I should do something ( I read someWhere migraine sufferers are more prone to strokes). I’ve made it this far having had breast cancer and open heart valve surgery. I just don’t worry about them.

  • David
    2 years ago

    I’ve had the aura–blind spot at first and then the zig-zagged lines from the age of 8. Fortunately, my dad suffered from them, so I had parental support. No treatment has been very effective.
    Migraines come and go although it sounds like you’re getting more now. I got two yesterday which are the first I’ve had in about four months. One summer I got about 25 in the month of July alone. I have no idea what the triggers could have been–nothing seemed to have changed.
    I figured out how to stop them in 1992, so I never get the pain–still get the aura but no pain.

    Dave

  • DinaMay
    2 years ago

    I too get those optical effects as part of migraine attacks. They are scary all right and a real pain to deal with. Aside from talking to your doctor about them, you can help yourself get through these rough spots by learning to control stress and anxiety. There’s a technique called grounding that helps me. When I’m feeling anxious, I look around and find:
    5 things i can see
    4 things i can touch
    3 things i can hear
    2 things i can smell
    1 thing i can taste.
    I focus on these mundane aspects of the here and now and it helps keep me from obsessing about my problems. I hope something like this helps you too. I’m sending positive vibes your way.

  • PamR
    2 years ago

    I also get ocular migraine exactly as you describe. You need to see your doctor and get a prescription for Fioricet or Fiorinal. The key ingredient is Butalbital. Take it as soon as you see the first zig-zag or spot start. Rest. Relax. Close your eyes and let it work. It will go away. The headache will not come. You will figure it out if you need to take one or two, I sometimes only need one. It works. These can be terrifying, the blindness is horrible. They almost always come because of stress. If you’re getting more, you will need to work on relaxation and look at what is causing the stress. Good luck to you. I know what you’re going through. You are not alone out there!

  • Luna
    2 years ago

    Check out some of the articles on this page

    https://migraine.com/?s=occular+&submit=Go

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