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Visual Symptoms

  • By mitigate

    I’ve suffered from migraines with aura (including visual disturbances like blind spots and flashing lights) for quite a few years now, and one thing I’ve noticed is that even when I haven’t had a migraine for ages, I still get these weird “floater” type things, but they’re not floaters. They’re little blobs/shards of light that suddenly appear in my vision, and they sort of look like when you look at a lightbulb for a second or the sun reflecting off a car and you get a blind spot for a short while. It’s usually just one at a time, and are more visible for a split second when I blink. If I blink rapidly, they’re really easy to see. They’re also easier to see against lighter backgrounds, like the sky. They don’t move around in my vision; they stay in one place and can last from 10 seconds to 30 minutes even, but they’re usually around 10-20 seconds. Then they just sort of dissolve away and that’s that. Sometimes I get them when I do a short burst of exercise, like running up the stairs or standing up quite quickly or something. Sometimes they’re smaller and other times they’re big. They don’t completely block anything behind them. For example, I can still fully see words on a screen, they just sort of sit over the top of them but I can see through them. They’re a bit distracting but not too annoying. Some days I get them quite regularly, other days I go hours without having (or at least noticing) one. I was just worried that they were something more serious. I went to have my eyes tested a couple of months ago to get glasses and the optician said my eyes were very healthy but I had a slight astigmatism in my left eye so I have glasses to wear for concentration tasks like using a computer and reading. I also noticed they come very regularly while I’m having a migraine after the aura period, and when I’ve recently had a migraine.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi mitigate,

    Thank you for your questions and sharing your story with us. Let’s see what I can do to help.

    I’m happy to hear you’ve been to the optician. I do wonder however, if it might be a good idea to see a eye doctor, or ophthalmologist in addition to the optician. An optician is trained to dispense eye glasses and other devices to correct vision issues. They are NOT certified to diagnose or treat eye disease. And ophthalmologist is a medical doctor, MD, who IS certified to diagnose and treat eye disease. Please seek out the expertise of a doctor who specializes in eye health

    There are many different types of migraine and headache disorders, over 300 in fact. If you’ve not mentioned this to the doctor who treats your migraine, I would encourage you to do so.

    Keep me posted,
    Nancy

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  • By MrsBourne75

    Mitigate,

    Have you researched “visual migraine”? I have discussed this at length with my neuro, and turns out that mine are visual migraines!!! This happens when you have a migraine in the opthalmic or the occiciptal lobe of the brain. We can have these with or without pain, but due to these occuring in the portions of the brain that deal with the eyes, we experience sparkles or floaters.

    Hope this helps!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    MrsBourne75,

    Thank you for sharing your comments with us and being part of the Migraine.com discussion forum.

    Visual migraine is a descriptive term, not a diagnostic one according to the International Headache Society’s International Classification of Headache Disorders III, beta, which is used as the gold standard in diagnosing migraine and headache disorders. Let me share with you accurate information on a few different types of migraines; https://migraine.com/migraine-aura/

    https://migraine.com/blog/those-ocular-optical-and-ophthalmic-migraines/.

    I hope that helps!

    Nancy

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