Jump to content

Ocular Migraine

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

As I was getting ready to go see 'The King's Speech' this morning I developed an ocular migraine. I've had it once before, a few years ago. I didn't feel well this morning, shaky arms and legs and blurry vision and pale. The ocular migraine came and I didn't panic because this time I knew what it was. If you have never had one there are some great animations on the web that show you what it looks like. Basically it's like your vision ripples, like the rippling of water. I told Peter what was happening and I just sat down and waited it out. It lasted about 10 minutes. I was left with a whopper of a headache in my forehead/sinuses and it's lasted all day. Peter drove me today, glad for that! Does anyone think this tied to the SAH? I do have a docs appt Tuesday but wondering if anyone else has these?

Sandi K.

P.S. The movie was great, even with a headache!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Sorry to hear you experienced this over the weekend. I can relate to this as I have this type of migraine although in my case, they call it acephalgic migraine which as far as I can gather it is an occular migraine with a different name.

Please note that the following is my experience and should not be relied upon or connected to anyone elses experiences of occular migraine. See a GP if in any doubt.

In my case I am in no doubt that it is a result of the sah. I experienced my first visual disturbance, in the form of zig-zag, moon shaped, flashing lights, the day after my coiling op in Nov 08. I had never had anything before that and more recently have kept a diary of the incidents. Fortunately, although I have recorded 46 incidents since starting this diary, with an estimated 20 -30 more other episodes, I do not ever suffer a headache with it.

They do however, shake me up each time and quite often result in extra tiredness. The episodes vary in length, but on average last about 20 mins.

I have been trying to establish a pattern or reason why I get them, but nothing concrete as yet. There was a period of 3 months in 09 when I didn't have a single episode, but the week before last I had this phenomenon on 4 consecutive days which was a first. This coincided with the week I was signed off with stress.

In June, 2010 I had my first and only experience of double vision where I had two images of everything on top of each other and it lasted for at least 12 hours. On the orders of my then 15 year old daughter, I rang NHS direct (a 24 hour health helpline in the uk). Because of my sah history, they sent for an ambulance and I was taken to hospital where they did a CT scan. This confirmed I had not had another bleed, but I was put on a list to have another MRI scan and subsequently had an appointment with a neurologist whose diagnosis was acephalgic migraine. This incident left me extremely tired, so much so that I was virtually asleep while they did the CT scan. I was discharged the next day, but do remember finding it difficult to get anyone to come and fetch me because England were just about to play in a world cup match!

(I had, in July 09 seen an opthamolgist too)

They were not 100% sure what had caused me to have the double vision, but they had discovered "evidence of an old stroke" on my scan plus a small amount of infarction (dead tissue - I think) I was under the impression that this old stroke was in addition to my sah, but need to check that at my next appt. My concern was that my other unruptured aneursym is apparently close to my opthalmic artery and I wondered if that had caused the double vision in any way. The Radiologist stated in a letter that he thought that was not the case.

The neurologist suggested certain medications which might help reduce the occurence of visual disturbance and I was prescribed one of these drugs by my GP last week.


Edited by kempse
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I too have been having these occurances, and like you I just sit and wait them out now. The last one that I had was in December last year when I had my last angiogram. JIt happened just after they brought me back from the theatre and I was doing my mandatory 4 hour lying flat. I think I frightened the poor nurse that was looking after me as she had had no experience of anyone experiencing that before. I mentioned it when I went to see the consultant in January but they couldn't tell me what had caused it.

As far as I am concerned I am quite sure that this is caused by the SAH, merely for the fact that so many of us experience it after SAH. It makes you wonder why they don't do a study of SAH survivors. I am sure they would get a shock to find out that it is a fairly common occurance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had migraine preceded by aura, since the birth of my 2nd child in 1990. My migraine heads started as a teenager at school and were severe to the point of being physically sick and these altered in 1990, when I started to experience the visual aura or it's full blown name, scintillating scotoma as well. If you look up You Tube and type in Scintillating Scotoma, you will see a few examples of the visual defect.

My migraine headaches preceded by aura have been classified as classic migraines, where the aura lasts for approximately 20 minutes, which gives me time to down the painkillers, before the head pain kicks in. I'm also taking Propranolol to help keep the migraines at bay and to a degree, I do get a lot less. I believe that the aura takes place, due to the constriction of blood flow ... would advise anyone that does experience this type of problem, to make sure that they visit their Doctor and get the appropriate preventative treatment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is a good video on YouTube. A few time since my SAH it has seemed as if I'm looking through a glass of water. I wonder if it's similar to scintillating scotoma (sp). The ocular migraine I experienced had more movement, kind of jiggly and wavy. thanks all for your posts, I'm pretty sure it's related to my SAH but I'm not worried. Docs appt tomorrow!

And, if there is ever a study going I will be one of the first to volunteer! I can't believe how little information we have!

Sandi K.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi ladies. Sandi - Sorry this happened to you, but glad you were able to enjoy the movie!!!

I've had ocular migraines too. The 1st one was back in 96. I was baking cookies and suddenly couldn't see anything clearly. I got the zig-zag arc with flashing lights and things appeared to be doubled, on top of each other. Felt like a tight band was around my forehead. This was preceded by extreme frustration and anger from an argument with my husband. He took me to my dr., who suggested an ocular migraine. He sent me to an opthamologist directly. Did some visual testing and diagnosed as ocular migraine. It occured several times within that year - always after high stress situation. Divorced the husband and didn't have another for 7 years :lol: Seriously - believe mine are brought on by stress and anger (I don't do anger too well :roll:) Have had many since the SAH, though. Good idea, Sarah - to keep diary of occurences. I will start doing that!

I , too, just wait them out. The aura part lasts between 15 - 20 min. Then I'm very tired and don't feel well, the headache part can last for hours or all day for me. I just take over the counter pain relief and go to bed.

One of the arteries in my brain is smaller than it should be, dr. says it's congenital and probably why an aneurysm formed. Personally, I believe the migraines are related in my situation. I think I had several warning signals prior to the SAH, but to dr.s I saw at those times, nothing to worry about. Hadn't done a brain scan so they wouldn't have known!

Take care all,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are rather horrid, aren't they?! I've had about 3 or 4 in my life, all before my SAH. The jagged, bright light got bigger and bigger and then eventually subsided. It made me feel really sick but I never had a headache with them. I knew instinctively at the time that it was brain related because it persisted when I shut my eyes (hence it couldn't be my eyes that were to blame). I have no idea if there is any link to the SAH but I just put it down to "one of those things".... :roll:

ETA: There was never any trigger as far as I can tell. They just happened out of the blue when I was quite calm.... unlike the SAH which was most definitely triggered by extreme stress!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sandi

Interesting thread - I was always told that I had classical migraine.

I did have a look at scintillating scotoma on YouTube and it make me feel quite nauseous watching some of the videos.

I tend to have a different style of migraine aura now. It is still within my right field of vision, but whereas before my SAH I used to get a jagged edged scythe shape which got bigger and bigger, and I would get numb lips, nose, and fingers on left hand... I now get migraine aura, which is a small orb which cirles within my right field of vision. I then know I am getting tired. I tend to get it each afternoon whilst at work.

Pre-SAH I initially used Migraleve and then that stopped working and I was given Zomig nasal-injectors which made me sick, and then I tried another drug after that. Post-SAH I was on paracetamol and Tramadol for about a month after so didn't take anything for the migraines I suffered occassionally at that time.

I haven't had to take any tablets for months now, as I tend to mostly get aura without the headache.

Kel x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...