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Old 12-02-07, 18:59
kirsty kirsty is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: , , United Kingdom.
Posts: 1
Hello folks, I am so glad I've come across this forum (thank you google).
I have today had the worst visual disturbances I've ever had - it's not exactly the same as others are describing, and reading the internet has made me wonder if it's a mini-stroke?
It showed up in one eye, and though the centre and the very edges of my vision were ok, there was a circle of visual disturbance which was like looking at a kaleidoscope, coloured, moving and flickering. It lasted about an hour, and halfway through he attack the area round my mouth went numb, as though I'd been at the dentist.
When it all finally passed, it left a headache.
I have had both these symptoms before, the last time about a year ago.
How would I know if it is a mini-stroke? I know I should go to the doc, but I don't want to make a fuss.
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Old 14-02-07, 04:12
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Phill2 Phill2 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: , , Australia.
Posts: 1,423
Hi Deb
I get something similar .The doc tells me its the visual aura from a migraine.

Don't believe everything you think.
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Old 14-02-07, 04:25
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Phill2 Phill2 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: , , Australia.
Posts: 1,423
When you get the aura without the headache it's called a Type A typical migraine

Don't believe everything you think.
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Old 14-02-07, 14:46
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claireypoo claireypoo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: , , United Kingdom.
Posts: 402
Hi there

I can soooo relate!

I get occular migraines from stress (acephalgic migraine) and the name for the visual disturbances is (here's a nice word) scintillating scotoma!

It's common and the pre-curser to migraine headaches usually, although with acephalgic migraine you don't get the headache. (phew!)

My scintillating scotomas (auras) last for about 10 mins at the most and sometimes when really stressed i can have 5 a day! Sometimes it's like seeing an old black and white film with this "flickering" in the corner of my eye and often i lose part of my visual field and get white sparkles too. It is scary but i'm getting used to it. Afterwards i feel washed out and muzzy sometimes. Stress triggers migraines as well as some foods, chocolate is one but it varies from person to person. I understand caffeine withdrawal or too much caffeine can bring them on too.

I have done some research and I found that teeth clenching/ stress can trigger the eye probs. (i clench my jaw A LOT and grind my teeth (more anx) TMJ syndrome is a biggie for causing migraine)

You might find this interesting, it's from Wikipedia.

* * *

Acephalgic migraine is a neurological syndrome. It is a variant of migraine in which the patient may experience aura symptoms such as scintillating scotoma, nausea, photophobia, hemiparesis and other migraine symptoms but does not experience headache. Acephalgic migraine is also referred to as amigrainous migraine, ocular migraine, or optical migraine.

Sufferers of acephalgic migraine are more likely than the general population to develop classical migraine with headache.

The prevention and treatment of acephalgic migraine is broadly the same as for classical migraine. However, because of the absence of "headache", diagnosis of acephalgic migraine is apt to be significantly delayed and the risk of misdiagnosis significantly increased.

Visual snow might be a form of acephalgic migraine.

* * *

So... Ok for me is it's another symptom of stress and anxiety, but if it's bothering you a lot, it's worth checking with your GP - they can give you something to treat it - i was given a very low dose of amitripltine. Also get a visual field test (the green dot one) at opticians if you haven't already had one.

Hope you feel better soon!


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Old 18-11-07, 03:54
DaveB DaveB is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1
Re: Visual Disturbances

Hi -

I just found this blog. My first visual aura (acephalgic migraine) was almost 50 years ago. I never get the headache; and yes I know that puts me in about 1% of the population!

That first aura really scared me. But now, though not a laughing matter, they can be quite interesting. I have enough warning when driving to pull over and/or get my wife to take over.

They last about twenty minutes, and I do get a "feeling" a couple minutes beforehand that one is coming. Maybe one a week, two or three at times. Maybe months between.

I'll be posting more here, but just wanted to initially sign in.

For me anyhow, after 50 years of this, it's more "interesting" than anything else.

But if you just get your first one you may want to have it checked out. Since I did not, it looks like I stumbled into a safe/frustrating situation just by dumb luck.


Last edited by DaveB; 18-11-07 at 03:56. Reason: typo
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Old 07-01-08, 23:34
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KGlynn420 KGlynn420 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: , , USA.
Posts: 20
Re: Visual Disturbances

i have been having weird visual disturbances for about a month now. if i stop and just focus on one thing like the computer screen everything to the left of it seems to be shaking sorta. kinda like static. if you have ever been for an eye exam and the test your periphiral vision, at my office you look into a screen and a little ball kinda wiggles around it, its the same affect i see. Its more noticeable on straight lines. Like my venetian blinds make it very prominent. then i freak out and think im going to pass out or something. anyone else see anything like that.
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Old 15-01-08, 11:29
Michael68000 Michael68000 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1
Re: Visual Disturbances

I am 58 and have never had anything like this before but in the last two months I have had two occurances of these disturbances, just as described, a shimmering circle to the left of my vision lasting about 15 minutes. On both occasions I was left with a headache (but probably not as bad as a true migraine headache).

It certainly seems to fit the pattern everyone is describing - I suppose the big question is: is there any point in discussing it with my GP or is that just inviting an increase in travel insurance?
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Old 15-03-08, 11:48
sarahjon sarahjon is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
Re: Visual Disturbances

Having "googled" the words "visual disturbances" to try and reassure myself that I don't need to see a doctor - I have come across this site. Having had classical migraines on and off at various stages of my life, I had settled into a fairly complacent routine of getting only 1 every few months as I reached my mid-fifties, and the fact that I no longer got such a blinding headache after the eye symptoms, neither was I sick, made me much more relaxed about the whole migraine thing (which when I was about 12 used to literally ruin many social occasions and made me very anxious about when I would get one). However strangely this week, I have had peculiar visual symptoms (day three now) - starting in the evening with what appeared to be bright "snow" type lights crossing my left field of vision from top to bottom - as though I was being rained on. Then since it has developed into vague migrainous type lights and also lots of "floaters" but quite definite floaters. I have had no definite headache but slight one over left eye and the left forehead feels tender to the touch. Do I consult a doctor or do I persevere and put this down to something that will pass and I shouldn't get stressed about?! Trouble is that in my job I drive quite a lot and don't feel very confident if my left eye sight is experiencing this. Incidentally I am 58, pretty fit as I run and go to the gym regularly and don't think exercise makes much difference as I have been to gym and run in the three days I've had this. Any suggestions welcome.
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Old 24-03-08, 15:02
richard1950 richard1950 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
Re: Visual Disturbances


I became realy worried about 4 years ago, I was driving my car and looked into the rear view mirror just as the full light of the sun came between two buildings and hit me straight in the eyes. I could not see properly for about 5 hours.
Since that time I have suffered perhaps about once per month from occular migraine-but no headaches, just a washed out feeling. The effect starts for no recognised reason, and is just a tiny dot in the centre of my focus. It then always grown into and angular shaped zig zak shimmering line, nearly always blue and yellow interlocking zig zags. This gets bigger from the centre of my eye and eventually passes out of the the side of my vision and my sight is normal again. This takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Sometimes the zig zag lines actually block out a small total area of vision with a dull grey/black colour. Perifireral vison remains the same, that is untill the shimmering moves outwards. These are really scary but I have got used to them now and just close my eyes and wait for it to pass. T tend to feel a bit tired and scared but forget about the episodes until they happen again.

I talked to my boss about it and she suffered from the same thing, but always had really bad headaches afterwards.

BUT for two days I have had a different disturbance, I seem to have a blur like effect just at the bottom of my right eye, like if there was an eye lash over the eye, this seems worse when I move about, and for most of the time does not seem to be there at all. If I close my eyes I can see it as a blueish line and then it just fades. It only lasts a few seconds and then I can't make it come back to check what caused it!
I have checked for eye lashes etc and kind find anything that causes it. My eyes sight is actually good, although I wear glasses for reading, think that means I suffer from short sightedness. Anyone know what this is??

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Old 25-03-08, 11:55
Liverbird67 Liverbird67 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 260
Re: Visual Disturbances

hiya rich
I think that is what has kicked all my anixiety off, last year was sitting in work when vision in my left eye began to shimmer, shortly afterwards I could not see out of it, colleagues scared the bejaysus out of me saying you might be having a stroke go to AED which I did feeling very embarassed and terrified, by this time was mouth was twitching I had pins and needles you name it, they monitored my heart which was fine BP was a bit high (I was terrified!) saw a young dr he said it was possibly a migraine aura, he was adament it wasn't a stroke as my sight recovered, no limb weakness etc since then I have had an eye test (exceptionally good eyesight and a glaucoma test it runs it my family) everything fine however my stress and anxiety have increased sorry to ramble on huney but thanks for all the blogs on here they are very reassuring.

Cheers my dears

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