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Migraine aura without the headache post aneurysm

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Hi, I was wondering if anyone else is experiencing the migraine aura (visual zigzags and bright spots that lose vision, etc.), but not getting a migraine after. I would get these maybe twice a year before my clipping surgery. After the aura disappeared, I would feel relatively normal. Post aneurysm I'm getting them once or twice a month and I feel drained and nauseated after which usually lasts the rest of the day. I'm guessing this must be related to what happened. Does anyone know if there is a link between aneurysms or a craniotomy and migraine auras with the headache? I'm also wondering if it's something I should see a neurologist for. I can't image there's much that can be done for it. Just another fun side effect I'm guessing. I recently read a book written by a neurosurgeon and he says when the air hits your brain it's never the same. Looks like that's true.

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Lisa I used to get migraines before my anni, mostly with headache but they got gradually better as I got older. The worst I had was 4 migraine auras one after the other when the anni was pressing on my optic nerves. Since having my anni clipped I haven't had a single migraine of any kind. I do think mine are hormone & stress related as they started with puberty.

When we had the last Wessex support group we had a neuro surgeon to answer questions for us & this was something I asked & although several people said they had migraines pre sah & not after he concluded that there is no link between the two. I still reckon there is a link in mine as they were always aura starting in the right eye & left sided pins & needles, it seems too much of a concidence to me that I had 4 one after the other when my anni was pressing on arteries & nerves on the same side.

All I can really say is that medically there is no link proven according to him.

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on our national public radio show called the 'Diane Rehm Show' (you can probably find it online if you look), she had a guest doctor that talked about how people who suffered mixed migraines (migraines with aura with or without headache) were at greater risk for non-ischemic stroke...as he put it. I have had several of these in my life. The first one was right after I was put on birth control pills in my early 20s. I thought I was having a stroke with the weird loss of vision on my left side and watery appearance. I had several more over the next 25years and one about 1month before my SAH! I haven't had one since. I hear that some of the migraine medicines may work to take them away, but the side effects are so bad that not very many people want to take them unless they have the severe headache too...and even then, my mom usually ops to wait it out.

Someone should really do some more research on this topic! I have a history of migraines on my mother's side for generations.


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I've suffered from migraine in the past, a lot in the run up to my SAH.

Ive not had a migraine with the headache since my SAH but I've had two both with aura and very bad zig zag patchy vision. The first one really frightened me. Both times I was very tired.

I'm now very sensitive to light and am mindful not to look directly at lights.

I've advised my gp of these migraine auras without the headaches that I have, she advised me to take notes when I have them, dates, triggers etc.

I know there's not a proven link between migraine and SAH, I was at the Wessex meeting with Gill, however, personally I believe there is a link.

Take care,

SarahLou Xx

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I had my first migraine as a teenager, aura and visual field loss followed by the headache, ( I was in a queue in Cardiff Boots store buying an LP!) and was frightened to death. Turned out my Dad suffered with them aura and headache following, my Mum also had them but used to be very sick with hers, so I got away fairly lightly. I have an identical twin sister who has only had 1 in her life while I had them regularly, all of my life, mainly hormonal and stress-related I think like Gill (Bagpuss). Since the NASAH 5 years ago I have had only 2 visual attacks, zigzags and field loss but no headaches so it is bliss.

Does it seem that there is a higher percentage of migraine sufferers here? some quote 10% of the general world population have them. It is all to do with dilation of cranial blood vessels so maybe there is some link? No idea but makes you think.

Take care all


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I have aura of migraine without the headache and I'm 100% convinced it is as a result of the sah. It is too much of a coincidence that in the 46 years leading up to the bleed, I never had a single episode of aura or migraine and within a day of my coiling operation I experienced my first episode and have had well over 100 auras in the 3years and nine months since my sah. Approximately 18 months after my sah, I started recording each time it happened in a diary. I have never been able to establish a pattern as to when or why I get them. There have been some months where I've not had one at all and other months I have had 4 or 5. I have had them at all times of the day - on a few occasions they have woken me up in the middle of the night.

I was referred to a consultant opthamolgist at the hospital in July 2009 and she could find no ocular cause for this migraine type phenomenon. Because I had not had an episode of the zig-zag flashing lights in the three months prior to seeing her, she noted that these episodes had resolved, but if there was a recurrence I could be referred to a neurologist. As they did re-occur, I was referred to a neurologist in August 2010.

Whilst there is medication available for migraines, I was advised that prophylactic agents have limited effectiveness in treating pure visual fortification spectra and mainly have an affect on headache frequency. Even with their suggested medication it was expected to only reduce the freqency by 50 % at best. My GP was not familiar with the drug the neurologist suggested so took his other advice which was to give me a prescription for a beta blocker. I have been taking this for the past two years and although I still get the auras, they are perhaps not quite as frequent as before and they also keep my blood pressure at a good level:-D

I was also concerned that my other aneurysm which is a right ophthalmic artery aneurysm could be in any way causing the visual disturbances and I have been told it is not the case.

There is no family history of migraines other than my sister who has bad migraines with the aura and the headaches which she has had most her life. I have often wondered if hers started as a result of being knocked down by a car at an early age when she sustained a head injury.

I do remember my consultant saying that he was seeing more and more cases of aura following a sah.

I am beginning to think this will be a life-long after effect of sah for me - I long for the day when I fully understand the aura of migraine - until then I will continue to wonder!


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Seems quite a few of us have experienced this. I had one a month or so ago, This was about a year after my SAH.

I had no aneurysm, no surgery.

When I went to the hospital I was sure I was having a stroke. They just kept me for observation. No meds, no pain and in about 2 hours I was right as rain.

I hope it doesnt happen at work. I will have a hard time explaining.

Makes a fella feel special. No source of the SAH and no cause for the aura. :crazy:

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Hi Lisa,

I get the aura too. Flashing zig zags at the sides of my vision & blind spots when I look at things. The last one was the weirdest yet as the flashes & lines were in very bright colours not the usual black & white. I am usually exhausted after them, my speech gets muddled & I sleep for several hours. My SAH was 4 years ago & I've had them since then. They don't seem to happen as often now though. I hate saying that because whenever I think 'oh they must've stopped' I get another one!!

Michelle x

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My Daughter gets bad migraines,

She swears by paracetamols 2 off and bed ....scares me when she has one while driving. I don't tell her though

She takes paracetamols and after approx half hour she seems a bit better.

I try and relax her as she panics when out..I tell her all is well and we aren't in any hurry to get home, so relax and so on.

When she knows there is no rush she calms down a bit ..Panic makes her worse ie het up

I hope she doesn't read this lol

Love to All

WinB143 xx xx

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Hey guys, I just wanted to correct what I said before :crazy:

It is an increased risk in ischemic stroke. So...now I get to wonder if I'll have another stroke later down the road only this time it will be the other type!!! Anyway, thanks for hanging with me as my brain blows off steam from somewhere else...another Diane Rehm show perhaps?


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Hi everyone, Thank you all for the responses. Looks like I'm not alone!

An update... I went to see my family practice dr. today. He doesn't think the migraine auras are anything

to worry about. He said my brain isn't the same as it was pre-aneurysm - it has been damaged by the blood

and it's not unusual for migraines to happen. He didn't think any tests were necessary unless the auras get more frequent and intense. Then he suggests an MRA (MRI with dye). I guess it's just another thing we have to learn

to deal with.

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