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Diagnosis of Migraine & Headache Types

Illusional migraines

  • By Jeanette Cucura Keymaster

    A question from one of our community member:

    I have been having illusional migraines now for a few years can’t remember how many exactly, its so frustrating at times, anyone got any information for me, i don’t get pain just the fuzzy aura thanks in advance x

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi CazofOz,

    Migraine can be a “huge life interrupter” as you said, that’s a great way to put it!

    It’s not uncommon for our migraine patterns to change over time, but anytime we have new and/or different symptoms, we need to discuss them with our doctor. Have you mentioned these symptoms to your GP in addition to your ophthalmologist?

    The migraine terms you’ve described are out of date and no longer used. Classic migraine is a term that was previously used for migraine with aura and common migraine was used for migraine without aura. It’s important to have an accurate diagnosis because without one it’s more difficult to get the proper treatment. Is it time to see a doctor who is more up to date on migraine and headache disorders? Here is a link on when it’s time to see a new doctor; https://migraine.com/getting-help/is-it-time-for-a-new-migraine-doctor/.

    A migraine attack without pain is called silent or acephalgic migraine. I’m not suggesting this is what you have, rather providing you information regarding this type of migraine to discuss with your doctor. For more information on this here is a link for you; https://migraine.com/blog/those-ocular-optical-and-ophthalmic-migraines/.

    Let us know if we can help you further,
    Nancy

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    • By CazOfOz

      Hi Nancy, thanks for the reply 🙂

      I haven’t actually spoken to my gp recently about them, as I have had a HUGE run (about 8yrs) with very little in the way of migraines… maybe 3 a year! Many years ago, before I migrated from the US, I did the whole diagnostic red tape dance complete with CT scans etc… was on Inderal, procardia etc at different times. At that time my migraines were typically extreme one sided pain, vomiting, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity and all I could do was medicate myself into oblivion and sleep it off!

      In the last 6months, likely due to increase in stress levels, I’ve had a bit of a resurgence in their occurrence unfortunately. I have only had the aura without pain a few times… most of the time the pain & vomiting follows not far behind :/ I have to go back to see my GP for my annual thyroid tests soon, so I’ll be talking to her about the migraines as well. I’m averaging a couple a month, not including the ones that only have the visual disturbances (which were incredibly disorienting and upsetting the first time around! I had always wondered how I’d know if I had a visual aura… turns out that was a silly thing to wonder because it’s pretty unmissable!)

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi CazofOz,

    I’m not sure if I mentioned this but I don’t experience visual symptoms of the aura phase of an attack. I have seen plenty of photos and videos on how it would look, but they probably don’t compare to real life experiences!

    Episodic (occasional) migraine can transform into chronic migraine in a relatively short amount of time, so the sooner you speak with your doctor the better off you may be.

    Keep us posted!

    Nancy

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    • By CazOfOz

      Nancy… they really are QUITE bizarre! I went to my eye doctor because I was just sure I was going blind or something. He told me what to google and it was very close to what I saw, which was reassuring sort of. The worst part is that the visual aura is very disorienting, I get a bit dizzy and ‘off’… and the central part of my field of vision is just GONE. Thankfully I have never had an issue with this when I’m driving… they’ve happened at home thus far.

      I’ve had migraines SO long that I was pretty much used to them… but just when you’ve got them sorted out … they throw a curve ball! Will definitely be seeing my doc soon… I had planned to, but we became unemployed so the copay was unaffordable. While we job hunt though, we’ve just gotten a health care card so my doctor will bill straight to medicare… Going to try to get an appt on Friday.

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  • By CazOfOz

    I’ve had both classic, and common, migraines me entire life but never had the optical symptoms until about 6months ago. I have as yet found nothing to help when I have what the opthamologist told me was an occular/opthalmic migraine (what he said it was called since there was no pain)… but it’s a HUGE life interrupter… can’t drive if I can’t see what’s directly in front of me! (I get a big dark spot and the ‘zig zags’ around that) No helpful suggestions sadly… just commiserations.

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