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Visual disturbances during migraine. Is this still considered 'migraine aura'?

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Visual disturbances during migraine.  Is this still considered 'migraine aura'? Empty Visual disturbances during migraine. Is this still considered 'migraine aura'?

Post  Pat Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:34 am

Hi,

I'm new to the forum. Does anyone else out there suffer from visual disturbances during a migraine?

I have suffered from migraines for the last 20 years, however since Jan 2010 the nature of my migraines has changed. In Jan I suffered from a range of unexplained neurological symptoms (predominantly on the L side). My symptoms included pins & needles, numbness of my face, hand, arm, leg and feet, a cold sensation on parts of my arm and leg, etc. Since this time, my migraine symptoms have changed.

Since Jan, I now see pin sized bright white lights quite often (I only used to see them very occasionally prior to Jan 2010), and these occur at random times and don't always seem to occur prior to the onset of a migraine.

I have had headache and intermittent migraines for the last 6 days, and last night I started to experience what looks like 'static' on a TV or another way to explain it is that it looks a bit like a translucent 'snow storm'. This is the first time this has ever occurred in my life. I suspect this is migraine related, but all of the reputable migraine sites that I have looked at only seem to refer to such visual disturbances occurring PRIOR to a migraine, not during a migraine. Is it common to experience visual disturbances such as the 'static' during a migraine? Do such visual disturbances have an official name???????

With my 'old' migraines (the one's I used to have prior to the onset of the neurological symptoms in Jan 2010), I never used to be able to tolerate light during a migraine & street lights looked 'starry' etc, but things are different now with the 'snow storm' appearance that I see, plus the increase in frequency of the 'white pin lights' that I see. I was just wondering if anyone knows of scientific studies about what causes these visual disturbances? I will be seeing a new neurologist in May and would like to read up about the visual disturbances before I see them.

Excuse the bad grammar but I'm in the middle of a migraine and I can't seem to express myself too well.

P

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Post  HeelerLady Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:49 am

First off welcome to the forum Pat.

It sort of sounds like you may have suffered a very mild stroke, granted I haven't had one but the symptoms you list sound rather like one and I know that others symptoms have changed following a small stroke.

Visual disturbances are called aura's and they can take a variety of forms. Mine have recently changed as well...I used to be very light sensitive but know I have more blurred that onsets before and during an M. The spells last from a few minutes up to 15 or so.

I've always had a few floaters but they weren't always guaranteed to hit with an M. Aura's usually go with a m but sometimes there is no pain following the aura - sometimes called occular migraines as it only messes with your vision.

I know there are others on the forum that have more knowledge and experience than I do so this is just my own experience with visual stuff. I also apologize if the sentences are redundant or pieces are - nasty M today and it messes with my ability to read to form sentences.
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Post  Pat Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:02 am

Hi,
Thanks for replying. Sorry to hear that you suffer from migraines too.
Yes, the docs were quite concerned about the possibility of stroke when I had my neurological episode earlier this year, so I was raced off from the GP's rooms to the hospital by ambulance! After a swag of tests, including a MRI they ruled out the possibility of stroke (thank goodness!).
P

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Post  drummergirl Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:09 am

Pat,

I experienced a change in migraine auras similar to what you described. Prior to October 2009, visual auras and other neurological symptoms occurred in the half hour before the migraine pain started. Once the pain started, the visual auras stopped.

Since Oct. I have seen the visual snow you described nearly 24/7. I also see other visual disturbances like bright spots, dark spots, and negative images after looking away from an object. These visual symptoms are occurring with constant migraine headache pain and other neurological symptoms.

Two of the three neurologists I have seen since Oct. referred to this as a prolonged aura, but since my MRI was normal in late Oct., they have not expressed concern about the duration of the aura. I am concerned about this change in my migraines, so I am interested to hear how your neurologist responds to your questions. Thank you for bringing up this topic.
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Post  Richard Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:29 am

I have been experiencing similar neurological symptoms and visual siturbances for over a decade on 99.9% of days. My doctor(s) diagnose my condition as "migraine". Good luck ... this sucks.
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Post  Kate Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:08 am

I have the bright light spots too. I even see blue from time to time. I never use to have this and all of a sudden I started to get them 2 years ago. Mine happen a lot more to. Sometimes for a few days. I also get numbness on my finger tips. In the past, during an aura episode, I would have each finger go numb, one at a time.

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Post  newtothis Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:41 am

Sounds like a lot of the symptoms I get. I went from occasional "episodes" to one long one - several weeks now - of varying intensity. Included in it are symptoms ranging from the visual disturbances you mention to the numbness, cold, tingling, weakness, heart palpitations, etc - as well as additional symptoms. I was diagnosed with Vertebro-basilar migraine and/or basilar insufficiency. I'm still looking for answers though - good luck to you!

Debbie
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Post  marion Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:09 pm

Ditto. Migraines changed about 2 years ago to continuos covering of vision with bright spots. I feel they are gold rather than white. Much classier. Been to eye specialist 3 times, he says migraine.
Headache is just constant ranging from 2 to 6. Both 24/7.
Classic old migraines that I used to get, sudden lightening, shimmering haze, then knife through eye (8 on pain scale) seem to have gone.
THis change came a few months after the M to end all M's.
Also ended up in ER checking for stroke but no sign after CT and lumber puncture.
Did the brain realise it was damaging itself so called it quits to these sudden onslaught M's?
The 24/7 stuff is accompanied with dizziness, feeling very unwell and extreme aches and pains constantly. There is no let up. You too on this?
As I posted, last weeks visit to ER gave suggestion of meneire's. Still getting energy to follow this up.
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Post  newtothis Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:42 pm

All cardiac came back great - they said anything cardiac was as a result of whatever neurological was going on. Eyes checked thoroughly even a pereferial (sp)test to rule out pituitary issues - everything fine. MRI and Catscan showed some things along with a brain tumor that they didn't deem important enough to tell me about. Anyhow. After my hospital stay and very unhappy follow-up with the neurologist I found a new neurologist. That's how I found out about the tumor - which still freaks me out! Anyhow - nothing showed up on the inner ear but I did see an ENT last week anyway and will follow up with them in two weeks with an audio test and find the results of some more blood work that I never received results on from my hospital visit. With the sensitivity to sound, light, etc. I wanted to get my ears checked out. My son turned on our surround sound and it dropped me! We had to turn it off.

New neuro put me on Verapamil 3X a day and it's making the episodes at least bearable. They're not dropping me anymore but they're still pretty much constant. I'm really appreciating my "good" or at least "better" days now!

Debbie pale


Last edited by newtothis on Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:23 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : my first sentence disappeared but I don't remember what I wrote)
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Post  Pat Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:41 am

Thanks to everyone who replied to my post, It has been really helpful to me to realize that I'm 'not alone' in this, and that others are experiencing the same symptoms as me. I cannot believe that the central nervous system is capable of 'creating' such things as 'tv static' and 'bright spots' all over the place, and that migraines can change in nature after 20 years!!!!! I've responded to everyone's comments one by one below. Thanks again for writing.
P



Hi ‘drummergirl’,
Thanks for describing the things that you experience prior to & during a migraine. It sounds like we have some things in common! You mentioned that you are interested to hear how my neurologist responds to my questions about migraine aura etc. I will post a message after I’ve been to my new neurologist in May.

Richard, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to suffer from those neurological symptoms and visual disturbances for over a decade. I was concerned to read about the symptoms that you suffer from on a daily basis. I had migraines for 20 years, and even though they were debilitating, they were NOTHING like they are now. Everything has changed since January, and I can’t stop the pain anymore. I hope my neurologist can shed some light on what is going on in my case. I hope you find someone who can help you too.


Kate, it is interesting that you mentioned that you see blue lights from time to time Like a Star @ heaven . I went to a remedial masseuse yesterday in the hope of loosening some of the muscles at the base of my skull, in case that helped to ‘shift’ my ongoing migraines and headache (over a week now) and when he pushed on a trigger point I saw a bright blue light. This is the first time I’ve seen a blue light. It was interesting that it happened when he pushed on a particular part of my head. I wonder what causes the lights to appear? I also wonder what is causing your fingers to go numb, one at a time? I can feel my hands go tingly with pins and needles, and then they go numb. It happens quite quickly for me. The central nervous system does strange things sometimes!


Debbie,
Thanks. Good luck to you too. I hope your episode abates soon. I haven’t heard of Vertebro-basilar migraine or basilar insufficiency, so I will look them up.


Marion,
Yes, I agree. Your gold spots sunny seem classier than the white one's I see most of the time. I could relate to what you wrote about your previous symptom. I have a feeling as though a knife is being stabbed into the back of my eye. Not a nice feeling. I wonder what makes the migraines completely change in nature, such as in your case and mine? You asked whether I also have dizziness, feel very unwell and have extreme aches and pains constantly? It depends on the day. During this last week, I feel constantly nauseated, and I have a lot of neck pain. As far as extreme aches and pains go – it depends. I don’t think my aches and pains are migraine related. Sorry to hear about the possibility of Meneire’s. Here’s hoping that someone has some answers for you.


Debbie ‘new to this’,
When I had my neurological symptoms ‘appear’ in Jan, I was treated as a cardiac patient in emergency. They didn't consider it was a neurological problem. At least I know my heart is healthy! After I was discharged, I ended up being seen by a neurologist in a different hospital. Your hospital stay sounds pretty bad, especially since you weren’t given your results. You must be glad to have a second opinion & a neurologist who will discuss your results with you! Glad you are having better days.

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Post  newtothis Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:27 am

Pat,

You mention neck pain and the pain at the back of your head and neck. That is where my paid is/starts. Any headache that I get follows the other neurological symptoms. The basilar issues they say stem from the basilar artery that is at the base of the neck where the pain begins or the artery that feeds the brain thus probably causing the neurological symptoms somehow. I hope you find an answer as to why yours have changed. I will follow for any answers you find.

Debbie
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Post  Pat Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:13 am

Debbie,
Hmm!? That is very interesting. I will definitely look into it more. Thanks for the info.
P

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Post  dizzyflower Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:10 am

Erm can I add my migraines to this although I'm afraid I'm still looking for answers so don't know how useful it is?

I have a clicky, achy neck and get visual disturbances every day. They are present to some degree all the time, are worse in the morning and vary from like static on a tv to just wiggly not quite gold shadowlike things round the edges of my vision.

Last week they went crazy and I had so much interferance that my brain tried to make sense of what it saw and came up with things that I knew were not there..

My only thought so far is that I have more of them when I have more serotonin and that my neck somehow makes it worse too.

Hope you find some answers soon.

regards

Di

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