Seeing things

I’ve been sick this week with the same upper respiratory crap that everyone has, but then it got weird when I had an episode of what I thought was either a flashback, a detached retina or hysterical blindness. Basically there were blind spots and dark shadows all around, and then a snowy, glittery ball showed up in my peripheral vision and started moving across my field of vision.  It was like I was being stalked by a disco ball.

After a ton of tests my optometrist said she thinks it’s “migraine with aura”, which seems odd because I didn’t have a headache, but she explained that aural migraines don’t hurt, which seems sort of the opposite of what a migraine is.  The “seeing auras” thing is nice though because I think I can charge for that, right?  Want to know what your aura looks like?  Glittery.  Send me a dollar.

“Stay away from LSD” is the take-away here, I think.

I don’t have a good picture for this post but Ferris Mewler did a fairly strong impression of me in the middle of the episode:

"Are you guys seeing that?  No?  Ah.  Me either.  Never mind."

“Are you guys seeing that? No? Ah. Me either. Never mind.”

220 replies. read them below or add one

  1. I like the impression is brilliant!
    I get a warning aura before my migraine – and whilst the aura doesn’t hurt, the migraine afterwards is horrible. I think your doctor is crazy🙂

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  2. I used to get those all the time – the doctor called them visual migraines. Very freaky – I also used to get a little nauseous the next day so hopefully you don’t get that part.

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  3. I think being stalked by a disco ball just proves you are the life of the party.

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  4. Isn’t an aura like a halo? Then I want one. And you certainly deserve one.

    Liked by 1 person

    notquiteold recently posted Once Again, I’ve Hidden It”.

  5. Optical migraines are super-fun when you’re driving. Thought I was losing my mind the first time it happened.

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  6. OOO it’s like Glinda the Good made a house call! It IS like that right?

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  7. Seeing glitter reminded me of this– you know how in cartoons characters with a head injury see stars? I thought it was just a special effect to be funny. Then a few years ago I leaned down by my fireplace and stood up with full force and hit my head on the mantle. I literally saw stars. So I was like, “Huh– it’s a real thing, seeing stars.” Who knew?

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  8. 8
    crookedpenguin

    I got one of those while working in my lab once. Pretty much panicked and figured I’d inhaled some horrible chemical pesticide and was going to be blind. Now I know what they are and I just go put my head down for 15 minutes until it passes.

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  9. My doc calls them ocular migraines. It sure does seem that when one happens that the next thing you’ll be seeing is the Grim Reaper. But happily – no. We never figured out what triggered them.

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  10. I’ve had aural migraines twice…no headache, just messed up vision with a quarter-rainbow. I’m envious of your disco ball.

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  11. My Mom gets those…I feel for you. NOT fun. She also says they don’t hurt, but they are soooooooo distracting.

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  12. That happens to me every time before a migraine now. It completely freaked me out the first time it happened. Feel better soon!

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  13. Ugh, I’ve had those. Recently had one, in fact. I was starting to wonder about heading to the ER when Wolf suggested it was an aural migraine.

    Freaky stuff.

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  14. I started getting these in my late 30’s and they are tied to my hormonal cycle. Sorry it freaked you out, hope they just stay as visual migraines.

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  15. Yup. Had those too. Feels like something in your eye, then is like a kaleidoscope, but not as much fun. Sleep and a darkend room helps.

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  16. I get those sometimes. They are early warning alarms for bad migraines for me, but sometimes if I take a migraine pill i just get the aural part. Agreed that they are freaky.

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  17. 17
    Nancy Powell

    Yep. My husband gets those too.

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  18. I used to get an amazing shiny silver ball in my vision before the onset of a migraine. It was just like you explained it, very strange and not something I want to have ever again. It was also the warning for a full on migraine.

    I could get mine to stop with a couple regular aspirin and sugar. Either candy or straight spoonfuls of sugar. Works for my mom, too.

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  19. I’ve had those since I was a teen. Unfortunately, for me, the pain comes about 30 minutes after things get weird. Never thought to charge for the aura, though. Good plan.

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  20. That would freak me out. I would have thought I was having a late 70’s flashback.

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  21. I’ve never been stalked by a disco ball before, but I did get some weird inner ear thing a couple of weeks ago and gravity got VERY clingy for a couple of days.

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  22. 22
    Joanie Vanderveldt

    I get those. Mine are like marquee lights. I keep waiting for the movie……..

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  23. 23
    Adrian Jones

    I’ve only had a few migraines, fortunately, but they’ve all had optical effects (tunnel vision and distortions) numb skin (my whole hand was dead) and a terrible headache to boot.

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  24. Comment #2: I have Posterior Vitreous Detachment – fancy name for age-related floaters. They are doosies. My right eye has a big peripheral blob. The left eye has a floater that looks from my end like the state of Massachusetts – with Cape Cod and everything. The eye doctor described the cause thusly: My jello has shrunk away from the sides of my bowl.

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    notquiteold recently posted Once Again, I’ve Hidden It”.

  25. 25
    Colleen Payne

    That has happened to me twice at work. My disco ball started as a little twinkle kaleidoscope like thing, then expanded to cover my entire field of vision, then just went away. Freaked me the fuck out. Glad to know I don’t have a brain tumor though. Yay, us!

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  26. I used to get a aura before the pain of a migraine hit, now I just lose sight in my right eye which is my brain saying “take mess and go to bed because I’m about to give you an ass kickin’.” I guess it’s good I get a warning. ..

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  27. I’ve had a couple of migraines with aura and the last time my eye sight went very bizarre. I hope you have recovered completely from your URTI and the migraine.

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  28. Optic Migraines are fantastic! Mine is a silvery backwards C that travels from right to left across my field of vision. So much fun while driving! Also, trying to explain to your friends and co-workers that you are watching something they can’t see is an experience everyone should have. I never have pain with mine – I am hoping you don’t either.

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  29. AAAHHH! My cat did JUST that last night! She stared intently, with eyes like saucers, on something up in the corner of my bedroom. There was nothing there. I swear. I can only assume it was a flashback to her days when she battled a catnip addiction…

    But seriously, I used to get those “aura” or “visual” migraines a LOT! I would close my eyes and see this barrage of images and lights; some of the images creeped me out! It was better to keep them open, despite the distortion in vision. Thank heavens they have diminished as I have gotten older.

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  30. I actually get that. My doctor called it “ocular migraine”, basically the weird vision crap without the horrible headache afterwards. When you don’t know what it is, it is definitely trippy and a bit scary. And hard to describe. Mine usually go away if I lie down and close my eyes for 20 minutes.

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  31. Migraines that don’t hurt. Hmmm…I think I have two broken legs that don’t hurt and maybe have been decapitated but my head wasn’t actually removed.

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  32. I’ve had that happen…my eye doc said its the jelly goo in your eyeball pulling the retina away from the eye wall just a little like a piece of sagging wallpaper. His actual words.

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  33. Yes, to second some of the earlier comments: also known as ocular or ophthalmic migraines. I get them occasionally but have never had an actual migraine (or the pain or nausea associated with them). Very scary the first time, especially if you’re driving.

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  34. I find it amazing that there is a spiral notebook with something handwritten in it. Unless it’s Hailey’s, then it’s normal. I just think people tend to forget that computers and the internet didn’t even exist for ‘everybody’ not even 20 years ago and there were things like snail mail, letters and the joy/excitement of waiting for a letter in the mailbox when you came home from school. Or maybe that was only me? Regardless. I’d like to know what my aura is. Don’t say glitter. I’ll pay $2. Or I’ll give you a lawnmower. For free! (*You pay shipping…)

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  35. Ugh that sounds a little scary:/ Hope that won’t become a regular thing!

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  36. I had an ocular migraine once. Vision started to go black in one eye. Lasted about thirty minutes. No pain. Usually I just get the nasty painful kind sans aura

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  37. Sorry you are very sick. It does humor me that you have a picture of your cat and you are discussing an upper respiratory illness. Not to make light of your sickness at all, but sometimes when I have a bad cough I often feel like cat coughing up a hairball! ;(

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  38. I had that a few months ago. I’ve never had a migraine in my life (although some hangovers have tried), so of course I sat around googling detached retina for a half hour. I’m not allowed to do that anymore.

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  39. I get white orbs that float around the outside of my vision every so often. no headaches thank god. had maybe two of those where I was throwing up. I guess they are more common than I thought.

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  40. SAME. My doc called it an optical migraine.

    Mine looked like a zigzag flashing patterns like in a MIA video. No headache, too. Thought I was losing it, for sure.

    I live in central Texas. Maybe it’s cedar related?!

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  41. Oh, and I kept playing one-handed peekaboo with myself to diagnose the exact issue, like a big nerd.

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  42. My doctor calls them vision disturbances (migraines without the pain). Mine usually happen when I combine a lack of sleep with stress. The worst part for me is that I can’t focus enough to read with the stalking disco ball. What am I supposed to do if I can’t read???

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  43. I get aural migraines too. Lots of swirling, like I’m looking through a silver kaleidoscope. And sinus migraines, where one side of my face goes numb, like I’ve been punched. I also get “Lewis Carroll” migraines (can’t remember the medical term) where people’s heads start to shrink. (So named because it’s believed Lewis Carroll suffered with similar migraines and that’s where he got the idea for Alice in Wonderland.)

    My neurologist loves me.:/

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  44. 44
    Ross Hershberger

    My minor and infrequent visual migraines take the form of a cheap sci fi special effect: it looks like the Star Trek Transporter is trying to materialize something in front of me. I get no other symptoms, luckily. And unfortunately nothing interesting has ever materialized.

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  45. 45
    Shirley Hand

    I’ve had those for over thirty years. First one came when I was nine months pregnant with my first child. Did I freak out?? Oh yeah. Called ocular migraines and the ophthalmologist said, “Just be glad you didn’t get the headache.” Anyway, if I take three ibuprofen right when it starts, it usually goes away quickly. Having one start while driving is quite…interesting. BTW, stress brings them on too. Sigh. What DOESN’T stress bring on?

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  46. I have had occasional optical migraines for years. I realized after a while that if I immediately take Excedrin when I start to see the kaleidoscope, it moves away within about 15 minutes and I can avoid getting a regular migraine (which DOES hurt, of course). Also, I’m more likely to get them if I’m dehydrated so drinking a huge glass of water helps.

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  47. My daughter gets visual migraines without a headache. The first time your daughter tells you she’s blind in one eye is… I’ll just call it “panic-inducing” and leave it at that. Fortunately, they don’t last long, and they’re rare.

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  48. Might I suggest some medical marijuana. it’s good for whatever ails you.

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  49. Yup. Ocular Migraines. SO bizarre if you don’t know what’s happening. The last time I got one, I was reading a book and the sparkles got in front of the words and I was all “WTF SPARKLES! I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!” Very frustrating.

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  50. I have those! At least three times a week I start seeing glittery snow falling in my peripheral vision and weird, flickering shadows. There’s usually no more pain than with a run-of-the-mill headache, but I get the migraine side-effects: nausea, light sensitivity, dizziness, brain fog, all that jazzy jazz. It’s good times. Sorry you’re being stalked by — to quote Troy and Abed — la araña discoteca.

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  51. I’ve totally had that before. Scared the bejaysuz out of me too. It’s ok though – better than a normal migraine anyway!

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  52. Yep! Occular migraine! No headache associated with it (necessarily). Trippy, but annoying.

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  53. I knew you were my spirit animal! I had a visual migraine this week, too. Mine was liked looking through cracked glass. I was sure it was a detached retina, but about an hour later it just went away…. so visual migraine. Next time instead of casually mentioning to my coworkers that I can’t see, I’ll just tell them they are glittery and charge them a dollar.

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  54. Ah yes, migraine aura without the pain. I get them too but mine are not as much fun as a disco ball! Mine are zig-zag distortions that flicker across my field of vision. It’s usually over after about 10-15 minutes and while I don’t have the migraine pain, I feel somewhat tired and almost hungover afterwards. My optometrist likes to keep track of them although there’s not much she can do about them.

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  55. I’ve had those, too. Used to freak me out. Now I just roll with it because it’s way better than the other kind. What’s weird is that since I’ve had the sparkly ones, the killer, please-shoot-me-now migraines have vanished. Don’t know if it’s related, but I’m not complaining.

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  56. I’ve had painless migraines. The first time was the weirdest thing, I thought I was having a stroke, so I did the test. I smiled, and it was straight, I could raise both my arms, I could speak clearly, and I stuck my tongue out, and it was straight, I wasn’t having a stroke, but my co-workers weren’t so sure there wasn’t something terribly wrong with me.

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  57. Feel better!!

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  58. I only ever had one once, over twenty years ago. Vertical strips of my visual field just disappeared. It took a while to notice because it wasn’t like gray bars on my vision – things just kind of – pinched together – over the blank areas, but if I turned my head things would disappear and reappear. Very strange. But I was very, very glad to have gotten one of the pain-free migraines – as both my mother and sister have been victims.

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  59. Sorry that you are being stalked by a haunted disco ball. 😦 The only wacky stuff I have had is a callus on my eyeball from my oily eyelashes. The eye doctor makes me shampoo my eyelashes with baby shampoo every day.

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  60. I get Migraine Auras. Then my vision goes blurry and is filled with empty black spots. Very annoying. Sometimes it precedes an actual headache, but most of the time it just shows up, annoys me for a while, then goes away.

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  61. I get visual migraines frequently. They never hurt, but are very distracting. Sometimes a painful migraine follows, sometimes it doesn’t. Mine are usually triggered by a change in the barometric pressure. Craziness.

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  62. Add me to the list of “I get warning auras before my migraines”. And the dog, if I pay attention to her correctly, warns me BEFORE the aura (she isn’t officially trained as a medical alert dog, but she freelances really well at it, and I HAVE trained her at some very useful service dog tasks, like picking stuff up for me and being able to brace if my balance goes to shit). If I take medication before/during the aura, I don’t end up with pain, just the other wacky neurological symptoms.

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  63. Wow…a migraine that doesn’t hurt like you are dying. That’s new. I sometimes get tunnel vision before a migraine starts. Nice to have some warning, but it usually means its going to be a humdinger and I better get somewhere I can lay down FAST. Incoherence follows soon after.

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  64. I get these all the time. For my self, I hate them. It makes it hard to read my monitor at work. And it really sucks rocks when it happens while driving!!
    Anyway, feel better soon!

    E

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  65. My rabbit had a respiratory infection this week too but he didn’t mention seeing disco balls. Perhaps he didn’t want me to worry. I know migraines can be weird. Take care!

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  66. I get aura migraines, too. Sometimes with pain, sometimes without; it’s a mystery. Even when there is no pain, driving is a gamble…Is that a migraine? Or is it an LED-bedazzled Mack truck?

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  67. trails, man, I see trails. Hope you feel better though. As a New Englander, perhaps those disco balls were a bit deflated…

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  68. I get an aura before a migraine, mine looks like tv static and is very distracting. My lower face and my right hand also go numb before a migraine. But luckily I have these warning signs, so that I can take medication before the pain hits. Hopefully it doesn’t happen to you again!

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  69. Awww, I can imagine the resemblance!

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  70. I get the aura migraines, also. Right before I get a migraine, it starts. It sucks. Hope your other stuff is better!

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  71. 71
    Leslie Meyer

    I get migraine auras before regular migraines AND sinus migraines!
    If you have the upper respiratory infection of doom like I do, part of that
    is jacked up sinuses and sinus pain. I’m pretty sure it’s correctly
    diagnosed as an aura. The first aura I had was in college and I lost
    complete sight in one eye for about an hour. I was freaking out and was
    sure I was going blind. I’m not blind.🙂 Just full of headaches and weird
    vision. ❤️ If you have any questions, send me a message. It’s a long weird
    headache road for me, and mine are way more complicated after 3 bouts
    of viral meningitis, but I have some tips if the weird auras continue.

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  72. 72
    Leslie Meyer

    Also, that posted in a strange pattern, your eyes are not deceiving you.😉

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  73. 73
    wombatcentral

    I’ve gotten ocular migraines since I was a teen. Can usually time it exactly to 20 minutes. More bang for your buck than the typical laser light show, so I guess there’s that. I sometimes get a mild headache afterward. Still better than a regular migraine, methinks. More colorful, too.

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  74. Was it like this clip?

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  75. Fun fact: migraines do not always hurt. Some come and go without any pain. My opthalmologist told me this and I totally did not believe him, but I looked it up and he is, in fact, correct.

    This is good to keep in mind because when you suddenly have a visual disturbance, and your head doesn’t hurt, it could very well be an aura from a painless migraine, so you need not necessarily jump to the conclusion that you are having a stroke or something else that is life threatening (which is what I thought the first time this happened to me).

    That being said, unless you have already been diagnosed by a physician as having migraines, if you suddenly start having vision issues, please definitely go get it checked out to be sure it is nothing serious.

    The more you know…….

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  76. Sounds rough, your cat really looks like he’s being stalked! Hope you don’t have any more glittery aura episodes for a while!

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  77. Yep. Freaky the first time it happens, no? For me, it was like I was suddenly in that episode of the original Star Trek with that weird pulsing psychedelic light alien. It lasted for about an hour. Welcome to the wacky alien light show club!

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  78. –I don’t know who is more adorable “You” or the “Cat!’
    Love from Duluth, MN. xxo

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  79. I get migraines, usually with no aura and plenty of pain. Every once in a while, though, I get an aura, which starts as a little spot like someone just took my picture with a flash, that spreads and grows across my vision. It’s very disconcerting, but not painful.

    By the way, I find that excedrin takes care of the auras pretty reliably, if you get one again, but I hope you don’t!

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  80. That happened to me for the first time a couple of months ago. I tried to check WebMD on my phone, but I couldn’t see through the blurry sparkles. (Though in hindsight, that was probably for the best.) I went to the optometrist the next morning and was diagnosed with an ocular migraine. It’s basically a painless migraine in your eyeball. Honestly, best kind of migraine out there. As long as it doesn’t happen while you’re operating heavy machinery or performing brain surgery, that is.

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  81. 81
    JJ DeBenedictis

    For a short time, I got aural migraines, sometimes with a headache afterward and sometimes not, and the headaches were not that bad, for me. I only had one that was bad enough to make me feel queasy, and then they stopped happening.

    My auras looked like a slowly growing ring of sparkly faceted crystals, but they usually started pretty close to the centre of my vision. I could see clearly both outside and inside the ring, but not well at any spot the ring fell on top of.

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  82. Jenny,

    Your posts are sooooooooooooooo fine. You have the ability to make one want to read them, all the way to the end. A rare talent these days. You are funny, informative. Jenny, my brother had some flashes in his eye the other day. Got him worried, big time. I had a spell of that too. We both seem to be OK.

    Lee

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  83. My doctor sent me to a clinic to get mine checked out here in the UK. The NHS iCal this the flashers and floaters clinic. it sounds really unappealing don’t you think? Anyway apparently as you get older the gelly type cushioning in the back of your eye ages as well and becomes lumpy and viscous this causes temporary disturbances in your vision like glittering lights or floating things. Eventually as you look around and use your eyes for a few weeks it smooths the bumps and ripples out again and the disturbances in vision disappear.

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  84. I’ve been having Ocular Migraines since I was 23, they are pretty scary. The first time I had one I was at work and called home crying to my mother, who, God love her, told me, “Both of your great grandparents died of strokes go to the ER.” Um, thanks mom.you’re.not.helping.

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  85. My husband has ocular migraines at least once a month. He doesn’t take it as well as you though, he is convinced he has a brain tumor and needs an mri. He has decided to stop drinking for awhile to see if they stop so now he’s not only a hypochondriac but also boring.

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  86. Very good description of the aura, though my disco ball is more like lightning bolts. I also get facial numbness and aphasia in case you experienced that. I usually do get a headache but the aura is worse and in my cases sometimes the aura lasts hours, which is not textbook. I’m telling you this in case you experience any of this and think you’re losing your mind.

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  87. Only happened once a few years ago but I didn’t get lights. My vision went completely dark around the edges and then started to close in until I could only see a small circle in front of me. It lasted about 15 minutes. No pain, either during or after. It was quite scary at the time! What I still find very odd is that it happened at work, and I just sat there at my desk and didn’t say a word. Sitting there going blind and for some reason I didn’t think my coworkers needed to know!

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  88. I’ve had that before. No real headache (or very subtle), but glittery tunnel vision, followed by an upset stomach. Super fun! Has only happened twice, thankfully. Did you know there is something called a stomach migraine, that only affects (effects?) your stomach. Weird!

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  89. I have those. Really dislike them. Sometimes headache comes after and sometimes it doesn’t. Ferris Mewler is exactly what we all look like.

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  90. Oh and PS, light sensitivity for at least half a day after. Yes, that is me sitting at my desk wearing black sunglasses.

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  91. Hope you are feeling better soon and that this never happens while you are driving. Love the kitty impersonation!

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  92. 92
    TissuePaperTank

    For many years, I’ve had painless visual migraines (fortress illusion), in which a rapidly flashing zigzag letter C expands, over about 20 minutes, to fill my field of vision. Then, just when it would be too big for that field, it’s gone. It can’t be fixed while it’s happening, but it can be prevented by staying hydrated and avoiding episodes of low blood sugar or salt deficiency. If a visual migraine happens, in other words, a sports drink or rehydration solution will prevent a repeat performance. There is some speculation that the curving, nested zigzags of early carvings and cave paintings represent this condition, which might be more common whenever/wherever access to water, sugar, and salt was (or still is) unreliable. It’s so arresting that it might have been interpreted as an otherworldly experience by early humans, who then painted it where they thought they saw this amazing thing coming through the cave wall. Of course, we’ll never know.

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  93. 93
    Nichole Carlson

    They told my Dad it’s called a silent migraine and we both saw it differently. Mine was zigzaggy rainbow colored prism lines moving around in my periferry for like 30 minutes, then it stopped and I haven’t had it again. I think it needs a cooler name like “involuntary acid drop” or “go ask Alice” or “tripindicular optical nerve dance”.

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  94. 94
    Bussetta (@_Bussetta)

    Hope you feel better soon!

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  95. Those are about the scariest thing in the world when you don’t know what’s happening. When I started getting them I went through a ridiculous amount of medical tests, some of which were painful. Over a year later I was having a routine eye exam for new glasses prescription and the subject came up and the Dr. said “that’s nothing but an optical migraine—don’t even worry about it.” WTF!?! In other words, the other doctors were looking for unicorns when all it was was a common damn horse. They should usually pass in anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. DO pull over if you are driving and have one. And as you probably already know, there isn’t a damn thing you can do about them except just wait for it to pass over out of the other side of your field of vision. Good job describing yours, by the way. Mine are like a crescent moon shaped bundle of mirror shards with a flashing light on them. That pattern passes from one side to the other and then it’s gone. I can go months without one and then have one three times in a week. I’ve never been able to establish any pattern for triggering them (like food, stress, illness) other than sometimes inadvertently looking into something bright (like a reflection off of chrome) can start one. You’er lucky to find out so quickly that this is what they are. Try not to let them freak you out, okay?

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  96. Ocular (aka silent) migraine. I had one a couple of years ago and it scared me to death. All the visuals and no pain.

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  97. Looks like Ferris Mewler has miniature legs. I can’t get past that.

    As for your “trip,” you may want to back off the caffeine, blueberries, processed meats (i.e. head cheese [people really eat that?], olive loaf, etc.), and chocolate. Well, for me those are the trip inducers sans the head cheese (ew) when I’ve stuffed too much of any one (or all) down my gullet.

    A cat with miniature legs. Who would have thought.

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  98. So glad it wasn’t a detached retina. I woke up one morning and felt like my left eye was full of floating coffee grounds. Thought it was external and tried to wash the specks out of my eye. Didn’t work. Three days later I felt like somebody was holding a dish at the upper right quarter of my left eye. There was a black spot shaped just like a quarter circle. Told my daughter who yelled at me to get to the ER because it was a detached retina. Did that, and after several hours of surgery where the ophthalmology surgeon used cryo, laser and sewed a “buckle” around my eye to keep the retina in place, I was lucky that he saved most of my vision in that eye. Unfortunately and unrelated, I developed glaucoma later and am slowly losing sight in both eyes. Take any visual disturbances WAY serious, people.

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  99. 99
    TissuePaperTank

    P.S. The brilliant Oliver Sacks, writing in The New York Times in 2008, described his first episode of visual migraine (at age 3 or 4) this way:

    “. . . a brilliant, shimmering light appeared to my left — dazzlingly bright, almost as bright as the sun. It expanded, becoming an enormous shimmering semicircle stretching from the ground to the sky, with sharp zigzagging borders and brilliant blue and orange colors. Then, behind the brightness, came a blindness, an emptiness in my field of vision, and soon I could see almost nothing on my left side. I was terrified — what was happening? My sight returned to normal in a few minutes, but these were the longest minutes I had ever experienced. I told my mother what had happened, and she explained to me that what I had had was a migraine — she was a doctor, and she, too, was a migraineur. It was a “visual migraine,” she said, or a migraine “aura.” The zigzag shape, she would later tell me, resembled that of medieval forts, and was sometimes called a “fortification pattern.” . . .”

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  100. I get a warning aura that precedes a migraine as well, but very rarely get a headache. My vision goes blurry (I get a spot almost like if you look directly into a bright light) and if I don’t do anything about it, my vision goes totally blurry and I can’t see. I start to feel sick, then I get sleepy and sleep for a couple of hours. Sometimes the side of my face or my arms/hands go numb. The first time that it happened, I though that I was having a stroke!

    My son has started to get the same thing. It is such a hassle.

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  101. As an optometrist and fellow migraine sufferer, it sure sounds like an ocular migraine. This means you have the pleasure of a glittery disco ball without the bummer of head splitting pain, nausea and vomiting. I wish I got a cool disco ball. My aura’s just like a boring blurry kaleidoscope. The visual stuff usuall lasts less than 20 mins then goes. Those with the pleasure of the migraine get a henous headache after the light show. My headache is like a knitting needle thru my right eye. I look like a mirror image of Mr. Mewler– without the whiskers!

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  102. As an optometrist and fellow migraine sufferer, it sure sounds like an ocular migraine. This means you have the pleasure of a glittery disco ball without the bummer of head splitting pain, nausea and vomiting. I wish I got a cool disco ball. My aura’s just like a boring blurry kaleidoscope. The visual stuff usuall lasts less than 20 mins then goes. Those with the pleasure of the migraine get a henous headache after the light show. My headache is like a knitting needle thru my right eye. I look like a mirror image of Mr. Mewler– without the whiskers!

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  103. I get the visual migraines, almost always followed by a regular migraine unless I catch it in time and take my migraine meds. But the technical terms for the flashing lights is awesome: Scintillating Scotoma.

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  104. Yep, ocular migraine. You might get a similar postdrome to a classic migraine that feels like you’ve been very poorly reanimated, but I hope not. I’ve had classic migraines with aura since I was about six years old. I’m seeing a neurologist for mine now because they got out of hand. But it’s nothing to be scared of, so long as they don’t become disruptive of your life.

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  105. Get them all the time, sometimes three or four in a day. May have the headache but usually not, often accompanied with dizziness (but that’s a hangover from serious vertigo years ago). Some times in one eye (it’s a good game trying to figure out which one) sometimes in both, and sometimes I can watch it all start off as a little tiny sparkle that grows into a crescent shape before really getting going. (FYI mine always start where the optic nerve joins the retina, came as a big surprise to my optician and optometrist, (but they don’t get them so what do they know!)). Sitting VERY still in a darkish room helps, but they sometimes only last a few minutes, though I have had them last for several hours.They often stop me driving, but not much else. If you get them a lot learn to love ’em. I always describe it as looking at the bottom of a swimming pool in bright sunlight, which is something I would usually enjoy doing!
    No-one else that I know gets them, but I so recognise the descriptions here, we should start a club.

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  106. I hate Eyegraines. But it is better than a real Migraine. Feel better….Sounds like you have the flu, too.

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  107. I used to get migraines with aura all the time as a kid. They’d start out with this strong feeling of deja-vu, then progress to dancing colors in front of me, where I could only see reality in the background of the colors. I’d also would totally zone out – I couldn’t hear it if people were talking to me. Then, when it was over, I’d feel really nauseous. Only once did I get the migraine headache. Eventually, the auras went away, but the headaches didn’t. I’ll still get the strong deja-vu, though, that let’s me know the headaches a’comin’. Luckily, it’s really rare.

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  108. I can assure you my wife would prefer this kind of migraine!

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  109. Shouldn’t your doctor like…give you any pointers as to how to deal with this? It seems like quite a dangerous thing – get one wherever cars are moving, and you might be in for more than a disco ball.

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  110. I’m supposed to run screaming to my eye doctor if anything like this ever happens. Something about the shape of my eye and things tearing. Makes me barfy just typing this. Blurgh.

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  111. Thank goodness it wasn’t anything more serious! And maybe you’ll be like that guy on Oprah who suddenly started to see all of this spiritual stuff after an episode like this. And then we’ll be seeing you on Super Soul Sunday. And we’ll say we knew you when:).

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  112. I very occasionally get aural migraines (and so did my dad–followed the same pattern as mine)–sort of a shimmery area in my field of vision–starts off to the far left and moves over the course of an hour to the far right and is then gone. No pain involved at all (which is awesome as I know what my mom went through–she had regular, painful, nausea-inducing migraines for years).

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  113. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen an actual “hairy eyeball” pose. Point to Ferris!

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  114. Eye issues are freaky & scary! I hope it all clears up soon! I’ve just returned home from our friends’ wedding in the Dominican Republic accompanied by sun poisoning and food poisoning. I alternate between fever dreams and chills dreams, mostly about German guys named Rolf and mamajuana (not to be confused with marajuana). I don’t think my cat could replicate what’s going on here! Put yourself in a dark and quiet room until the migraine recedes, and feel better.

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  115. 115
    Ethel Mertz

    I get those once in a blue moon. Sadly, I don’t get a disco bal — for me, the world looks like a Picasso painting. Sideways faces. Eyes stacked one over the other. Weird stuff like that.

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  116. Migraines seem to be the new catch-all for weird neurological stuff. Co-worker missed over a month of work with vertigo= migraine. Kid having serious speech difficulty= migraine. Brains are crazy…

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  117. 117
    @shthisisme

    Reading the comments and hoping that your migraine does not evolve into a pain filled one. Hopefully it was just because you were sick and won’t keep hhappening. Feel better soon!

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  118. I have that too, sometimes with the head pain, sometimes without. Even without I still get the hungover feeling & slight nausea.
    If you like to research things, I suggest “The Migraine Brain” by Carolyn Bernstein. Well written & reassuring.

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  119. I’ve had Aura twice, once as a precursor to the evil migraine. Totally freaky. A big old blob of light like a flashbulb in the middle of my vision for about 20-30 minutes. Super hard to read WebMD to see if I was dying. If I was dying, why bother getting out of bed, right?
    P.S. Didn’t die.

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  120. Hopefully you never get the pain after the aura! I have been getting migraines with aura since I was 11 and hit puberty (so for 17 years). Apparently this means I might stop getting them when I hit menopause, Yippee! The best is when your hands go numb and you can’t speak without messing up words, like that newscaster girl that one time (you know who I mean!). There is not much you can do to stop a migraine, unless you only have one trigger and can figure out what that is or if you are lucky enough that the migraine drugs actually work for you.

    If you are driving and get an aura please just pull over somewhere and wait it out!!

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  121. I get it. I found that it starts off with people having halo-y heads and glittery faces. Then it escalates to me thinking the floor really is made of lava, with the walls trying to get all huggy. The visuals while disorienting have inspired some of my best art so who am I to question it?

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  122. I get migraines with auras also, and my vision gets blury. Sometimes I have ear ringing and vertigo with numbness. My head NEVER hurts.

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  123. 123
    Sillymagpie

    Have you read “Hallucinations” by Oliver Sacks? I recommend it for some time when you aren’t having them. I wouldn’t worry unless the disco ball is followed by John Travolta in a polyester disco suit.

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  124. The disco ball you are describing may have been a scintillating scotoma. The first time i had one, i thought i was dying or something too. Here’s a Wikipedia article about them.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scintillating_scotoma

    I get them periodically, often preceded by a blind spot. The most disturbing time was once when the migraine didn’t really kick in all the way, and just screwed up my vision for a week. I had a hard time reading text, and was sure it we some kind of terrible disease. I even got a ct scan after telling my doctors about it. The scan came back clean, and then it kind of caught, and progressed through the migraine with the scintillating scotoma, and then everything was back to normal.

    It’s freaky, but apparently it’s just some blood vessels in your eyes or brain kind of spazzing out, and isn’t really a cause for alarm.

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  125. 125
    Christopher

    I get them as well… have since I was in college. The first time it happened I completely thought I was going blind.
    I get about a half hour of slowly progressing visual involvement, and then the visual part goes away and turns into what feels like a pretty bad tension headache. I’ve found that if I slam about four aspirin (or Advil or whatever) as soon as I notice the visual stuff, and then make a conscious effort to relax, the headache never really blossoms.
    Never have figured out what triggers them.
    And yes, enormous fun while driving.

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  126. If you’re on birth control, check to make sure you’re not on a combined contraceptive pill. It puts those who suffer from aura migraines at additional risk for stroke.

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  127. Wow! Reassuring that so many other people have had these sneak up on them. I had a white-out in one eye minutes after a particularly nasty food poisoning incident and thought I was done for. Fortunately, after a fun ER visit and a followup with the ophthalmologist, I got the ocular migraine diagnosis. Like someone mentioned, it’s a cheap and kind of interesting light show once you get past the 10 seconds of freaking out!

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  128. My regular ol’ migraines come with visual phenomena, but I’ve had it occur without the following headache too. Mine starts by losing my peripheral vision (it just sort of whites out) and I also lose my central vision where I’m trying to focus. It happened once in fiddle class while sight reading music, and wherever my eyes were focused, the page would just go white and those notes would disappear. Unnerving as heck, AND a unique challenge when playing an unfamiliar tune… I wound up taking cover in my room before the headache really hit, but there was a step dancing class in the room above me, the fiddle class down the hall, the bagpiping shacks were right outside my window, and children were being children in the hall. So basically it was the worst possible environment short of warfare in which to have a migraine…

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  129. I get those ocular migraines too. They usually make me feel weird and spacy for a while afterwards. Scared the heck out of me the first time. I went to the doctor and he told me he gets them too. Now I’m dealing with true chronic migraine headaches. I’d prefer the ocular ones! Glittery sparkly things are better than being laid up in bed for 2 days at a time feeling like someone is poking you in the head with an ice pick!

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  130. Wow, I can’t believe how many of us suffer from the same thing. We should form a club. “The Most Exotic Visual Disturbance Benevolent Society and Hand Puppet Preservation Organization.” What does hand puppets have to do with it? Hell if I know. I blame it on my migraine…

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  131. My husband gets those. The first time it happened he thought he was having a stroke. O.o

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  132. Sounds like an occular migraine. I thought I was dying the first time I had one too. It’s like there is a small fragment of broken glass in your peripheral vision that gets larger and moves towards the center. Like you are looking though a kaleidoscope of broken glass. No pain at the time – just a minor residual headache afterwards. I’ve never had them last more than an hour. Only get them when I am super stressed.

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  133. My wife and I just listened to your audible “let’s pretend this never happened”. Holy hell that was the best thing I’ve hears in years. Keep it up.

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  134. Dehydration is the cause for my ocular migraines. And I never got see cool stuff. I have synesthesia so I see all sorts of shit all the time.

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  135. I’m sorry you went through this Jenny; hope it doesn’t happen again.

    Glad to see nursemaid Ferris though. You’re in good paws.

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  136. 136
    Lydia Arnold

    I get the auras sometimes as a precursor to a pain filled migraine. I have seen a grid in my left eye. Like Tron except uncool. The first Tron, not the remake. You are not alone in your struggle, wee Bloggess.

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  137. I get them also. I had my first one when I was 10. I can remember it quite vividly. I got them frequently then, always with terrible nauseousness. I still have them, although infrequent. My father has them also. Neither of us get headaches but have, what we call, rubber band head the next day. They are no fun. No fun at all.

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  138. Other than being freaky and annoying they don’t hurt. But they’re scary as hell. I get them often

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  139. I experienced what I’m almost certain was an aural migraine a few months ago, though I didn’t experience any blind spots or dark patches. It started with a little shimmery pinpoint, and slowly grew to be a patch about the size of a quarter held about 6″ in front of my eye. Eventually, the round patch turned into a hoop(with normal vision in the center) as it continued to grow across my vision. It took about an hour from the first symptoms to when the hoop had completely left my field of vision, and it was pretty terrifying while it was happening(have you ever tried to read wikipedia when half your vision is obstructed by the thing you’re looking up? NOT EASY). At least we didn’t get the headache half of the deal, though, which is something!

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  140. The first migraine I ever had started like a normal migraine–blinding pain, sound and light sensitivity, nausea, etc., but no weird vision things. And then it settled down into a persistent, unresponsive (to medication) headache that lasted for somewhere between four and five months. It was so long that I don’t remember how long it was. When I saw a neurologist for it, he told me that one definition of a migraine is any headache that lasts for longer than four hours without responding to normal painkillers.

    If you get migraines a lot, I took a high dose of vitamin B6 for about six months. I don’t remember the exact dose, but it was something like 27000% of my daily value. You pee most of it out, honestly (neon yellow pee for a while), but I’m guessing a lot was absorbed and processed first.

    I still get migraines, occasionally, with a weird pulsing in my eyeballs before the pain starts, but never as bad as the first one. It’s kind of like I can see my heartbeat, but it’s my eye that is pulsing. Makes concentration super difficult. Anyway, that was four years ago, and it’s pretty manageable now.

    My advice: Get lots of rest, caffeine + sugar helps some people, try to keep stress/anxiety levels low. I’ve also found hot showers super helpful with getting rid of the vestiges of a migraine. And if you crave something when (or after) you have a migraine, go get some of that stuff, or have someone get it for you if you can’t. I almost always crave ice cream, usually chocolate, after I’ve dealt with a migraine.

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  141. I had this once before … I’ve never had any other migraine and was completely pain free. The friend sitting next to me at the time it happened gets them a lot. He was so jealous mine didn’t hurt.

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  142. 143
    Michael Lipphardt

    Welcome to the migraineur club. I’ve been getting them for as long as I can remember. I think the only good thing is they seem to get less intense as you get older. At least it tells you it’s coming, so you can prepare for it! Not every sickness is so polite.

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  143. Totally been there. They are so freaky. I’ve had a few but it always freaks me out.

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  144. I also get migraine auras. They last about 20 minutes and the last two I have had has been only on my right side.

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  145. I get those too only mine look like glittery snakes – I like the disco ball better! I usually go ahead and take some Tylonol and a nap and it goes away. I never get the head ache either for which I’m very grateful!

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  146. I’m lucky I’ve never experienced a migraine. The closest experience to the aura thing for me is when I think I hear a hammer pounding and then I find out that nope, it’s just me and my jacked up hearing. I’d rather be able to see people’s auras though. At least that skill is marketable, unlike my imaginary hammer pounding.

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  147. 148
    Lesa Tschopp

    Have had the standard, garden variety of migraines since I was a kid. Just recently, in my old age or menopause or whatever, I started having the visual migraines that didn’t hurt. Scared the wee-wee out of me. I thought I was having a stroke the first time it happened. Happily, the same meds I take for regular migraines helped with this one too. I thought that the aura looked more like a kaleidoscope instead of a disco ball, but hey, sparkly.

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  148. Thank you so much for this post, and for all of the great comments! My daughter has been having weird vision issues for several years. We tried vision therapy, which didn’t help with most of the problems, and she’s had four or five different prescriptions in the past year, which didn’t eliminate all of the problems, either. The issues that are left don’t sound exactly like visual migraines, but they sound similar enough to tell me that my early suspicion that this is neurological rather than eye-related was probably right. We have an appointment with a pediatric opthamologist soon, and I’ll definitely bring this up. Thank you all for sharing this, and letting my daughter and I know that we’re not alone in this struggle, and that cyborg eye implants (which I thought would be the final thing we could try) may not be necessary. This is truly the best tribe!

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  149. Is it weird that I want one? Should I not want one? I kind of want one.

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  150. I have gotten auras since I was 12, but didn’t start getting migraines until I was 18. I still get the auras as a warning for the migraine, but they didn’t used to mean anything. It’s REALLY disorienting the first time you have one, though. I have told my mom and a friend about them and they each recently had one and said they thought I was nuts until they experienced it. Sorry you seem to have developed them😦 hug your puppy and take a nap🙂

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  151. I’ve never heard of an aural migraine but if you can tell me that I’m going to win the lottery, I’ll happily give you a share of my winnings.

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  152. I get waves of migraines — used to be always pain&nausea after the aura, but about 10 years ago I started getting aura without pain&nausea. Unfortunately I still get “the stupids”, and I’m starting to realize that although I can work through them, I shouldn’t — because my short-term memory malfunctions. There are entire projects that I started&released and can’t remember. Scary that.
    However, I’ve never heard of the disco ball in the peripheral vision – mine have always been the other way around, leaving me with ONLY my peripheral vision working.
    Try googling “migraine art” – there are some people making beautiful images of the way the world looks while they’re having one.

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  153. I get migraines and migraine auras sometimes. Usually my auras precede an actual (and might I say debilitating) headache. They’re annoying as hell, aren’t they?

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  154. I experienced the same flashy light and floaters problem a couple of weeks ago. Turned out NOT to be a detached retina, but a separation of the aqueous humor (jelly-like liquid in your eye) from the retina. Not a problem. 😀

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  155. I get the auras, too. They usually come before the major head pain for me, but in others, they can come all by themselves. Sorry you’re going through this! You aren’t alone! Rock that disco ball!

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  156. I’ve had these. Because I sew, I likened them to flashing rick-rack. I agree that being dehydrated may have something to do with them. Loved the video in an earlier post complete with garden gnomes.

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  157. Atypical migraine. Meaning no headache, but there can be trippy visuals, and/or aphasia. My husband has migraines now and then and had his first every atypical one with aphasia a couple of years ago. I called 911 because the symptoms were stroke-like. Good times. Not.

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  158. I am glad I am not the only one who gets those. When I get a optical migraine it is a warning for the major headache. Glad yours didn’t go that way. I know when I see the flashing lights to take my migraine prescription. Which for me is followed by basically blindness for about 10 minutes before the fun pain starts. At least the meds blunt the impact.

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  159. Yep, acephalgic migraine-they have some radical pictures and videos online that show what it looks like by someone who’s having them. Although lots more fun to BE that person. I get them too and usually exercise is the trigger. I got migraines with pain before I started my period when I was a girl then again with only aura after menopause-which is the exact opposite of how it’s supposed to happen. But that’s how I roll. It also tells me there might be a hormonal tie in there somewhere. Just for good measure. I hope you don’t get it again, or if you do, you don’t get pain with it. Ibuprofen seems to help me. Or at least I think it does so I take it when I feel one coming on. Good luck.

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  160. Wow – I’ve never heard of anyone having a migraine with a snowy glittery ball aura before! Here’s hoping you are feeling so much better x

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  161. I have optical migraines when my thyroid meds are too high. Might be worth checking your blood!

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  162. I’ve heard of aural migraines, but never with glittery orbs. I want that!

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  163. 164
    Princess Judy

    I can’t read these comments. They are making my eyes freaky.

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  164. Yep, I get those, and they are tied to my menstrual cycle. As if having a period wasn’t fun enough.

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  165. Lol, that story (which is horrible, & I’m sorry for your weird migraine) reminds me of this:

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  166. My auras precede a migraine that hurts like a mother frigger. I’m sorry for everyone else’s pain, but I’m loving seeing what other people’s auras are like. Is that weird? Mine always come with numbness that spreads on one side of my body as well. (And yes, I’ve been checked for strokes. Several times.) The visuals can vary…I’ve had flashing lights, a weird movement that looks like a spinning fan, and blindness in one eye (I walked into a closet door because I thought both doors were open. Nope! Just couldn’t see the closed door. Ugh.). And I’m not sure what it’s called but I’ve also had a few times where I was unable to speak correctly for fifteen to thirty minutes. I could think of the words I wanted to say (or text), but I was speaking gibberish (or typing words that weren’t right). Those times were scary.

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  167. I get migraines a LOT and every so often I get one that is not painful but causes spots and funny shit in my vision. I was too scared to ask my doctor if that was normal, I don’t need to give her another reason to think I need to be locked up😉

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  168. 169
    whawhawhatsis

    I get visual migraines occasionally and have for years. The only problem with them is that they make it hard to actually see anything clearly for a few minutes because of all the crap occupying my field of vision. But since they’re not accompanied by pain, I am not going to complain about them.

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  169. Had my first ocular migraine a couple of months ago – sparkles! Have always had “regular” migraines – no aura. But did you know there are dental migraines too??? Unexplained tooth-ache that goes away with tylenol.

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  170. I had my first – in 6 months- whammo of a migraine last Tuesday at 3AM. The nauseous kind that woke me up and made me seriously think -WTF!!! I hurt so bad I cant honestly say whether or not I had an aura because everything was a blur of white pain. It was debilitating for about 9 hours. so what do they do for that??? Because I need whatever it is.

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  171. If they mentioning “tenting” and “lasering your retina”, get ready for a real light show.

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  172. Aura can be startling. I get the just breathing is too loud poundy migraines but when I get them I usually have things start to go numb (hands lips side of face you name it) and lose pieces of my vision (was in san antonio one year and completely lost peripheral vision and feeling in my hands…that sucked). The twisty everything shrinking to a pinpoint is kinda cool but not when an ahole PA decides to shine that stupid light in your eyes to make sure it isn’t a stroke. Luckily they aren’t 28 of 30 days a month anymore (just a couple uncontrollables like when the weather changes).

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  173. Auras are fun while they’re there, but as soon as they leave, it’s the worst migraine ever. Just reading this post made my head hurt with sympathy.

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  174. I get ocular migraines where part of my vision is blocked for a period of time. Prety freaky until you figure out what it is. Never had an aura though. I feel gypped.

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  175. I get those every now and then. No headache, just the weird, flashing, floating light. “Stalked by a disco ball” is spot-on. Now if I was only at Studio 54 when it happens.

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  176. I’ve had a variety of aura types with migraines. I’ve lost peripheral vision, had weird dancing shadow thingies, and once the world sort of oozed off to the left and then back again. The brain is a strange thing.

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  177. Ah yes. Optical migraines. They’re fancy. Ignore the fact that everyone is reporting having them and create your own story. Mine is that they’re mini-strokes. WAY more dramatic and fun, and it’s fun to see if people actually remember that whole “FAST” acronym to perform a field test on me. I do what I can to keep half my face drooping when I smile just to fuck with them.

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  178. Had a detached retina 3 years ago FOR NO GOOD REASON other than my eye was bored. Look – bright lights, dragon shaped floater passing by and now a curtain… All fixed then EXACTLY one year to the DAY my other retina decided it wanted a vacation too but me, being a bit wiser to the laser light show, got in to the doc before it could pack its bags and no surgery needed. I live with a massive floater though – sort of like a metronome keeping time in my eye. Pretty much ignore it now. As to the light show – yep, every day, holidays and weekends. And I figure, hey people PAY good money to see things like this, and I get it without all the unpleasant side effects.

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  179. Scintillating scotoma! Fortification spectrum! I was sitting in a neurology lecture when I found out that there are names for that glittering diamond that passes in front of my eyes. Cool yet creepy.

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  180. I got those when I was expecting. Half of the vision in one eye was wavy, like you were underwater, but only half of one eye. I seriously though I was losing it. Doc told me to drink a coke and lie down if it happens again. Go figure it worked. Now if the disco ball decides to attack and not just stalk, that is a different issue…

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  181. I get those, too! They’re the worst because they don’t hurt, but they’re obnoxious. Mine form perfectly around my iris so I can see outside of it and inside of it, but not the area in the stupid glittery ring. Except most of the time, about five minutes after the glittery ring goes away, I get a headache from having focused on the stupid ring so long.

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  182. My doctor calls them Occular Migraines. I have them a lot. They don’t hurt, but they make me dizzy and a bit queasy. Nothing helps but laying in a dark room for a while – just like with a regular migraine.

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  183. I’ve been doing research on Charles Manson (as one does in their free time) and “stay away from LSD” was my takeaway there, too. I’ve heard of “migraine auras” from people but they say they’re precursors to really nasty actual migraines, so I hope that isn’t the case for you.

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  184. 185
    Pelicanlake71

    It’s a common misconception that “Migraine = Headache.” Headache is just one of the many possible symptoms of migraine, which is a neurological disease. I don’t normally rely on Wikipedia for medical information, but their page on migraines matches what my neurologist says, and contains awesome animated gifs of brains as well as a photo of a trepanned skull.

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  185. Careful! I had my first aural migraine in November, same thing with no paid — then five days later, I got a massive headache that lasted for almost three weeks.

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  186. Migraine Auras are a pain. It starts in the middle and slowly goes to the outer part of your eyes. I had no clue what it was at first. Mine are normally followed by a headache from the devil. Apparently my Aura is fire red!

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  187. Appropos of nothing but cats, cleverness, and chariots… I suspect some of thebloggess’s fans will like this as much as I do. If it works, I plan to make a harness to hook it up to my daughter’s Barbie horse. And then I’m going to go back and download the Athena Makeover Kit as well. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/191197566/faire-play-2-when-in-rome

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  188. I’ve had these over the years (as I said to my doctor, I paid money to have experiences like these when I was in college). I never get headaches–just weird prisms in my vision. The doc says they can be hormonal, and it’s true–they started right before and after I had my baby, and have flared up around periods and now, menopause. They make it hard to drive or read, but they are a good excuse to ask my husband to wait on me hand and foot. Mine never last longer than a half hour or so, but they do make me tired.

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  189. I get the aura and like to play around with them and tame them to match up like a game. I didn’t know these colors were migraines either because I had them a lot as a kid. It wasn’t until I had an eye test in emerg recently and I couldn’t read a damn thing because the f’n rainbows wouldn’t go away that they told me. I get the headaches later but a magic pill and a dark room nap solves that. Sorry you are getting them. Glad you have soft company to get you through it.

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  190. I get these a couple of times a year, usually when I’m overtired. Annoying, but I’ve learned not to freak out. First time it happened, in high school, thought for sure I was having a stroke or something. Weirdest part is I can feel it just before I see it. I think, Wow, suddenly everything’s very weird and then, pow: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scintillating_scotoma

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  191. Dr. Oliver Sacks, aka “the brain guy”, recently published a book called Hallucinations that you might be interested in reading. There are apparently a ton of reasons to see hallucinations: migraine, drugs, lack of sleep, and my favorite “Charles Bonnet syndrome”, which can afflict the visually impaired. It’s like a little gift your brain gives you when it doesn’t get enough stimulation from your eyes: you get to see shit like fairies and elves climbing up the side of your chair. I’m looking forward to that one as my pathetically myopic, messed-up eyes get worse and worse over time. 😦

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  192. I’ve had several of these. The worst was one that filled my vision so that all I could see was glitter. Pretty, but alarming. No headache, though. Lasted about 10 minutes. I only get them rarely, so hopefully it’ll be rare for you, too. I told my eye doctor and he said, “Oh, that’s an eye migraine.” Real casual-like. So I could stop hearing Ah-nold in my head saying, “It’s a tu-moh.”

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  193. First time commenter on your Amazing blog… You are so funny sweet caring and always interesting.
    I had one of those ocular migraines for the first time a couple months ago and definitely panicked a little. Mine was more like heat waves in my left eye. The craziest part thought was that I was at work and while it was happening was sort of hiding out in the back of the copy center where I work and after a few minutes of the lights I realized that all of a sudden peoples faces were looking strange. It was the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. Somehow the facial features of everyone were twisting and made them look almost demonic to me. You can imagine I was in a bit of a panic having never experienced that before!

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  194. AWW – migraines suck. I am sorry. Used to get them from time to time – the only amusing part of it was the weird auras around lights I’d see just before it hit. Felt very sci-fi film. Painful painful sci-fi film.

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  195. Welcome to a select group — those who occasionally go blind-ish then see a wild, flashy light show that isn’t really there but with no painful headache afterwards. The first time it happened to me, I told my husband to watch me, because I thought I might be having a stroke. The video Jenni posted in the comments is pretty accurate to mine, but my arc is closer to a circle than that, and there are black and blue colors in the flashy goodness. Luckily, our ophthalmologist is also a close friend so the first time it happened I called him up and he said don’t panic, it’s an ocular migraine. He also told me it can be triggered by really manky cheese. Have you eaten any blue cheese or gorgonzola lately?

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    Nooce recently posted Steampunk Pins.

  196. The description sounds like a detached retina. Your optometrist might be correct, but I’d check with an ophthalmologist (a real MD) before dismissing the episode.

    I get blind spots when I get migraines. Doesn’t hurt, but later on I feel vaguely nauseous and generally sub-par. If some people get auras it doesn’t surprise me.

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  197. This has happened to me before and my doctor said the same thing. One time I was at Michael’s craft store and the florescent lights were doing some kind of stroby thing and my vision went all sparkly, then gray and then black. It was awful. My husband lead me back to the car. We went to the doc and they said it was an ocular migraine. I have the regular migraines too but that day, it was just the freaking temporary blindness. Nothing like a little terror to set up your mood for the day.

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    Shari recently posted New Book The Secret Lives of the Harvested.

  198. I started getting those when I was pregnant with my 3rd child. They are really scary especially when you get one while you are driving and you try to see around the blind spots in your vision.

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  199. Why Jenny, your Superpower is beginning to reveal itself… how exciting. I await the day your blog references what star system you’ve received a download from regarding your ancestry. (I’m Pleiadian)
    I say it again … the veil is thinning … weird stuff like that is rampant and ramping up.
    Exciting times. Or are we all just going crazy?

    http://cuppajoy22.blogspot.ca/2014/12/finding-your-super-power.html

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  200. I had one of those. The colors were intense. There’s a wikipedia that has visual examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aura_(symptom)

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  201. I just had one of those the other night, I’ve had them before but not often enough for me to be comfortable with them, so i always think I’m either going blind or having a seizure or a stroke. There’s a pretty good representation here of the effect for the curious: http://healthwise-everythinghealth.blogspot.com/2011/10/scintillating-scotoma.html

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  202. An ophthalmic migraine! I just got diagnosed with that myself… It happened a couple of times…like looking through fractured glass, very prismatic… kind of interesting… it would start with a glare of light and get a bit bigger around my peripheral vision and eventually subside… Hey…can I get out of work now? Even if they don’t hurt. Hey, if I’m going to get migraines, I want the kind that don’t hurt. Here’s looking at you through fractured, prismatic glass!

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  203. I had that too! I thought I was going blind; my husband thought I was having a stroke. The doctors thought my retina was detaching, but fortunately it was just the visual migraine. I have gotten some since then; I don’t get a headache afterwards but they are tiring. Also, for me the first one was the prettiest (once I realized that I was not going blind).

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  204. Many people have mentioned that what you may have experienced was a scintillating scotoma. I have had them for 25 years. Sometimes more than one a day, sometimes six months apart, sometimes in my sleep. I was just commenting to my husband a few days ago that I cannot remember the last time I had one. I think it’s been over a year? Maybe, at 50, I’ve finally outgrown them? I never had a headache, but maybe some nausea. I don’t believe I’ve suffered any ill effects from them in all this time so hopefully you have nothing to worry about.

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  205. wow, for 15 years I was always trying to figure out what was happening to my daughter sometimes…all the symtoms fit what she used to try to describe to us (she was only 8 or 9 years old when it started) … the dr’s kept telling me it was panic attacks, but this it what it must have been! I knew it was not a panic attack (unless you count how frightened the optical migraines made her)

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  206. I just had one tonite! Yeah, that little sparklie boomerang shaped thing! So crazy
    Eye dr said ocular migraine. Yay what fun!
    Glad I have good company

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  207. I had migraines for years before I started having the aura. The first time I had one, i was convinced I had a brain tumor and was going to die immediately. They are scary but luckily they don’t usually lead to a headache if I have my meds.

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  208. Ok so not about cats but I saw this today and immediately thought of you. What if all haunted things were this helpful? http://www.ebay.com/itm/HAUNTED-2007-Apple-Macbook-13-3-White-VERY-HAUNTED-/231475293155?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35e500abe3

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  209. I get the sparkly aura too. Unfortunately about an hour later I get blinding pain, nausea and occasionally pass out. Glad that you only get the sparkling. Or maybe Victor is secretly a vampire and saves his sparkling for those special moments…

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  210. Optic migraines do not hurt but the first time I had one I thought it was a stroke. It looked like a tear in the universe, a jagged, watery thread through my vision that emitted rainbows. It scared me a lot – lasted 45 minutes… after that I got ised to it. It’s noting like a migraine headache.

    I have also seen auras around people (only in life and not onTV or in pics) since I was little. They say it’s a form of synasthesia. I don’t talk about it to anyone I know any more… The first time I mentioned it, a girl I knew had a very bright red and fuscia aura around her and it was so strong that I told her about it. I was in fourth grade – and she tought I was seeing demons… That was when I realized other people didn’t see the auras too… kept it to myself after that so they wouldn’t think I was nuts. I have NO idea if they have a pattern. Almost everyone has an aura and I have no idea how my brain got cross-wired to see them… Perhaps some day we will find out why… In the mean-time all I can do is describe them. They move – some are brighter than others – most look like colored wi-fi symbols. Some are huuuuge and others are almost non-existent.

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  211. I get aural migraines too. so weird. but i’m grateful it’s just f-ed up vision and pain free!

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  212. My optometrist told me I get those because my eyes are recessive and let too much light in. I can’t see out of one eye and get those sparkles and dark spots and it’s very annoying. I’ve too been told they are visual migraines. I usually get a mild headache when my vision comes back to normal.

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  213. Hormones! I had my first migraine in 6th grade (hormones), suffered through both pregnancies with severe migraines (hormones), and then started with ocular migraines after my lupus diagnosis. I had the vision disturbances, numbness in my hands and face and the very inconvenient throwing up. It’s all been BIG fun. But there’s hope….I had a complete hysterectomy at 40 (to fix other problems) and, knock on wood, no more migraines!

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  214. I have had these things for years. Once they found out I had a tear in my retina, which is where we thought the flashing lights were coming from (similar symptomology) and after they lasered that sucker closed (one of the more fun and exciting15 mins of my life, having a laser shot into my eyeball and burning the back of it), I started getting them again. Then we figured out that they were aural migraines, and now I just sit ’em out. But they get worse with stress, so if someone’s messing with your head, vent — or you’ll keep getting ’em.

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  215. Ocular migraines are so trippy! I got them when I was pregnant and I remember looking around and asking people, “are you seeing this? All these flashing lights?” They didn’t hurt, but it was impossible to carry on a conversation. Glad you’re ok now.

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  216. I’m extremely late to the arty, but yeah, visual migraines don’t hurt, but suck anyway. They zap energy just as badly as normal migraines, too. Mine look like medieval forts, only in rainbow colors.

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  217. 219
    Melissa Marie

    I’m glad you went to the doctor so I don’t have to. I just figured I was going blind. And then I didn’t. In 6-12 months it will happen again and I’ll sit at my desk silently saying goodbye to my vision and life as I know it.

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  218. Aural migraines are all I’ve ever gotten. Thankfully not many but the first one I had I thought I was having a stroke. Thankfully (not for her, though) my sister gets migraines all the time and told me it sounded like an aura and I was probably going to get a headache soon. I never got the headache part but I got nauseated. Since then I got a few more, usually while driving.

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