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Diagnosis of Migraine & Headache Types

Persistent Migraine Aura — Newly Diagnosed & Still Suffering

  • By ashleigh

    Hello All,

    I wanted to share my own story since I found so little on the internet about this diagnosis. I am a 30 year old female with no major or unusual medical problems, I’d say I’m pretty healthy. I had my first migraine with aura a few years ago not long after I had my second son. I had never heard of this phenomenon and went to the ER thinking I was going blind. I did not have any pain, just visual disturbances. From that point on I had them very rarely, maybe once a year, with visual symptoms typically disappearing after an hour.

    9 days ago I had what I thought was a migraine, I suddenly had blind spots in my vision and my top lip went numb. It was in the evening so I just went to bed. I awoke the next morning with no relief. For the past 9 days I have experienced the following visual symptoms: double vision (most notable and uncomfortable symptom), blind spots including dark and bright spots, light sensitivity, trouble focusing from one image to the next, mild dull eye pain and an overall feeling of strain, increased after images. To put it lightly, my vision is real screwed up. When not working or chasing my kids I’ve spent nearly every free moment in a dark room sleeping or with my eyes closed. It’s unbearable.

    3 days in I saw an optician who said I had some “floaters” in my left eye, but nothing else of concern. 5 days in I went to the ER, they did a CT scan and bloodwork and found nothing unusual. 7 days in I saw a second eye doctor who told me my eyes were perfectly healthy. Today I saw a neurologist. He reviewed the CT scan and did some standard tests and found nothing concerning. He finally concluded that although he can’t be 100% certain, he believes I am experiencing Persistent Migraine Aura (PMA). He wants to do an MRI to rule out any other possibilities.

    So here I am, struggling with these strange visual disturbances and hoping tomorrow will be the morning I’ll wake up “normal”. The neurologist wants me to take Vitamin B-12 and Magnesium and we will talk about other options after the MRI.

    Any advice, thoughts, similar experiences or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

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  • By Lisa Robin Benson Moderator

    Hello Ashleigh,

    First of all I wanted to say I’m sorry you’re going through this. Though I have migraine they do not come with aura, so I can only imagine how disorienting your symptoms must be right now. I wish I could somehow audio record my answer to you so you wouldn’t have to struggle to read this, but I hope it is of help anyway. It was a smart idea to seek help as soon as you did, and from several different specialists to rule out anything that could be causing it and hopefully find something that will help treat it.

    I actually knew someone with PMA and interviewed her for an article a few years ago: https://migraine.com/blog/meet-migraine-super-hero-punk-rocker-persistent-migraine-aura/

    She has other migraine symptoms as well but I described her aura in the article. Though they differ from yours, that’s not surprising as there are many types of migraine aura, and what you described are all things I’ve heard of in terms of aura. Also, the woman in the article had her symptoms longer before getting a diagnosis and treating migraine more quickly can often lead to a quicker recovery. Migraine aura can involve the other senses as well, and I’ve heard people describe strange smells or even auditory hallucinations.

    Vitamin B-12 and Magnesium can both be helpful supplements for migraine symptoms and that’s a good place to start. If the aura continues and your tests come back normal, the doctor might discuss preventive medications or other alternative therapies, and feel free to post any questions here.

    Hoping that the aura goes away as quickly as it came, but at least it sounds like you may know what you are dealing with and that is the an important first step.

    Be well,
    Lisa

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