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Thread: ophthalmoplegic migraine

  1. #1
    Member INTP_Polly's Avatar
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    ophthalmoplegic migraine

    Twice this year I had this weird thing happen with my vision. Both episodes only lasted about 30 minutes. Essentially the issue was I saw an arch made out of prisms of light that caused enough blindness that I couldn't type. Fortunately I wasn't driving or anything that was so dangerous that I required my vision either time. I had no headache or anything. The arch with prisms was still there when I closed my eyes and it didn't matter which eye I covered.

    I had an eye appointment yesterday so got a the full gambit of tests. I asked the doctor and was told I was experiencing an ophthalmoplegic migraine. It is a migraine that may or may not be painful. It is not common but nothing to worry about. I looked some stuff up and I'm still a little concerned. Has anyone heard of/experienced an ophthalmoplegic migraine?
    Last edited by INTP_Polly; 06-21-2014 at 09:33 AM.

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    Don't worry, it's a rather common side effect of migraines. I had several episodes of the same thing a few years ago during a time of intense stress and nigh-desperation. Not always accompanied by a headache either, but always these strange visual arches:



    ...which would form a full circle after a while and effectively hinder me from seeing anything clearly. – I was freaked out somewhat and was rather angry when the doctor told me to "just take a paracetamol and lie down". The diagnosis, as I later found out, was "atypical migraine", and sure enough, they became a lot better when I adhered to the doctor's advice. After a while I was fine when taking some painkiller during the onset; and once my living situation improved and I was out of that hellhole that caused the ailment in the first place, the migraines stopped altogether. I haven't had an episode since.

    Perhaps you've been under a lot of stress lately?

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    Member INTP_Polly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sappho View Post
    Perhaps you've been under a lot of stress lately?
    Thank you. That was a far better explanation than I got from the doctor. I suppose I have had a stressful year now that I think about it. OK I'm now going to stop thinking about it because its making stressed.

  4. #4
    I don't know that I've experienced that particular kind as I get no optical problems except substantial auras. got a couple a few years back for no apparent reason. used to get them a lot in my teens. there's no way I could drive during one. fortunately the auras only last about 30 minutes.

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    I had my first ophthalmoplegic migraine 20 years ago while at work alone and it freaked me out. The other symptoms that often follow the visual disturbance occurred about tens minutes after the vision cleared and were the worst yet that I have encountered to date. (Headache in the Hatband area of the skull, nausea, disorientation, and muscle fatigue ~ kinda like being nearly sick drunk) I was really frightened wondering wtf and made internet inquiries at a doctors forum (MDs online I think???) to become educated.

    The frequency has changed for better & worse over the years but about once a month is a nice ballpark estimate.

    Also, those secondary symptoms waned to the point where I hardly experience them now.

    Good Luck.


    EDIT: For me the lights are like the jagged half ring in Sappho's pic without and auras. the half ring starts at the center of view and I typically become aware that my vision seems blurred before I'm aware of the prismatic light. Over about 10 minutes the half ring expands outward until it exits view at the periphery.

    For me it is a single jagged half band mostly bright white with flickers of color. Akin to the effect of waving splayed fingers before a florescent lamp.
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  6. #6
    Member INTP_Polly's Avatar
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    Yeah @Sappho's pic is very close to what I saw. Just maybe not the white light although what is going on has the same affect as if I camera just flashed in my eyes around the flickering prism. It doesn't become a circle, the arch just gets bigger. It feels like its my left eye and eventually I lose about 35-40% of my vision.

    I'm glad I'm not alone. I had never heard of this before. I associate migraine with pain but I have no other symptoms. I've never heard of a painless migraine before. The doctor said just be happy I'm not getting the other symptoms along with it. I guess they can be really horrible.

  7. #7
    Tsundoku LordLatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sappho View Post
    Don't worry, it's a rather common side effect of migraines. I had several episodes of the same thing a few years ago during a time of intense stress and nigh-desperation. Not always accompanied by a headache either, but always these strange visual arches:



    ...which would form a full circle after a while and effectively hinder me from seeing anything clearly. – I was freaked out somewhat and was rather angry when the doctor told me to "just take a paracetamol and lie down". The diagnosis, as I later found out, was "atypical migraine", and sure enough, they became a lot better when I adhered to the doctor's advice. After a while I was fine when taking some painkiller during the onset; and once my living situation improved and I was out of that hellhole that caused the ailment in the first place, the migraines stopped altogether. I haven't had an episode since.

    Perhaps you've been under a lot of stress lately?
    I call them white lines of triangular fire because of the way they oscillate. I get them on the right side 70% of the time and but they stay there whether I have both eyes open or not. Usually there a slight dizziness and I get a little stupider. Confusing words a little.

    Usually I lay down and close my eyes and they go away, but if they are accompanied by nausea I'm hosed for the next four hours unless I eat some Ibuprofen quickly in which case I'm only hosed for an hour.

    I had one yesterday while I was driving home. I stopped and got an ice cream while it was happening. It was triggered going from outside to inside where I was working. I was still jacked up enough when I got home I referred to a record player as a sewing machine. I've had them happen when I work in the sun and the clouds pass over. Light changes.
    Last edited by LordLatch; 06-21-2014 at 04:23 PM.
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  8. #8
    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    Eery.

    I used to get migraines now and again, with visual auras and smells. After I took the depo birth control shot (hormonal) which had a warning not to use if you get some types of visual auras, the pain part of the migraine stopped.

    I'm not sure if they are exactly the same thing you are experiencing. My doctor told me it was simply a migraine without the pain. My visual auras are surprisingly similar to the picture and those described.

    The vibrating squiggles are smaller scaled and darker, blocking the vision, and complete a full circle. Starts as a dot in the center of my vision then gradually rings out like a doughnut until eventually disappearing in the periphery. I suspect its usually in one eye, but it's hard to tell because it stays even with eyes closed.

    I get my other traditional migraine symptoms; occasional nausea, a sense of unreality, spaciness, phantom scents, dizziness, sensitivity to light, a "tight" feeling beforehand and a "loose, floating" feeling after. The visual lasts anywhere from half hour to two hours while the rest of the process takes most the day.

    Honestly, I just try to ignore them. I assumed my migraines were related to stress and hormones and they had somehow been altered. Whenever it happens it only reminds me to be thankful I somehow eliminated the terrible pain I would otherwise be feeling right then. But I heard it was rare and thought I had a strange quirk. It's surprising to see how many here experience the same thing.
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  9. #9
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    I think the worst things about migraines aren't the visions, the aches, or even the nausea, but that the following day, you feel as if you'd got run over by a truck.

  10. #10
    Tsundoku LordLatch's Avatar
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    Yeah but it was a pretty truck.
    That's my poop stirrin' stick- Don't touch it! You don't know which end is the handle..

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