View Full Version : Optical Migraines

01-21-2007, 03:43 AM
Does anyone else get optical Migraines? My eye doctor says it's neurological. She didn't want to send me to an optamologist, because of the Sjogrens, she reluctantly is now making the appointment. She said it could be a while before I get into seeing the optamologist.

I get these optical Migraines quit frequently. I have severe sleep apnea, lesion on my brain, and many other health issues.



01-21-2007, 09:19 AM
Hi, Gerri - yes, I get both kinds of migraines, both classic migraines and optical migraines. For me, the "regular" migraines date back to my teen years and seem mostly to be triggered by specific things like foods, stress, or lack of sleep. The optical migraines didn't start until after lupus, so I think they are likely related, since I also have neurological involvement. The migraine meds don't seem to affect them one way or the other. They seem to come in spells - I'll have several within a couple of weeks, then none for two or three months, no apparent pattern. My neurologist hasn't had any real suggestions for dealing with them, so I'll be very interested to know what your doctor has to offer - if you learn anything helpful, please share!

01-22-2007, 02:19 AM
Hi Marycain

Until I visited with my optomitrist I didn't really give thought that my optical migraines were neurological. You would have thought she would have sent me to a neuro-opthamolgist before this. I have complained now going on 2 years, and the optical migraines are getting worse. I also have these weird headaches at the back of my head where the spinal column meets my head.

I see my GP today, I will mention these optical migraines and the headaches.

If I learning anything helpful, I will gladly share.


02-22-2007, 10:39 AM
What are optical migraines?

02-23-2007, 11:44 AM
As opposed to a regular migraine, an optical migraine also involves an aura that comes before a migraine attack, but there is the absence of pain. This is rarer than the migraine that comes with severe pain. It is also know as acephalgic migraine or visual or ocular migraine. It is a migraine aura unaccompanied by headache.
The visual disturbances that are experienced are flashing lights that look like zigzag or “fortress-like” lights. These auras usually begin as small visual marches crossing the field of vision that slowly fades away. Attacks like these last for several minutes to almost an hour.
If it will come with a headache, the pain will follow in an hour. An optical migraine can also be experienced as a blind spot in the field of vision.
An aura is the visual change that comes before a migraine headache. While 80 percent of migraine sufferers never experience an aura, there are a few people who have the visual symptoms of a migraine but don't experience a headache. This is sometimes called a visual or ocular migraine, an acephalgic migraine, or a migraine equivalent (the current technical term is "migraine aura without headache").
The visual changes that occur during a migraine aura can take many forms. They are usually described as flashing or scintillating lights. They may have a zigzag or "fortress-like" appearance, or look like poor reception on a television. Migraine auras typically start small, march across the field of vision, and then fade away. An attack will last for at least several minutes but usually no longer than an hour. If a headache follows the aura, it usually does so within an hour. Most people who have migraine auras will have the same type of symptoms with each attack.
However, not all episodes of flashing lights or visual changes are caused by migraines. Other important causes include:
Partial seizures
A detached retina
Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs, or "mini-strokes")
Brain tumors, aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) Multiple sclerosis
Migraines are the likely diagnosis if you have been experiencing the same symptoms over many years. However, you should see your doctor if your visual changes are new or don't follow the typical pattern of migraines.
I hope that I have answered your question :lol:
Peace and Blessings

06-06-2007, 08:31 AM
I have seen an ophthomologist, a gp and a neurologist and my optical migraines are not neurological. They continue to check my vision and my retina every time I go to the eye doctor (every 6 months because of the plaquenil). Mine are horrific and last between one and five days, with a fluctuation in severity.