Ocular Migraines

In the past I have had the odd encounter with premonitory ‘aura‘ before a long, agonizing migraine. First of all, let’s get something straight, the term ‘migraine’ gets thrown around a lot in society; It’s become this bastardized, catch-all category encompassing the mild temporal discomfort that comes from listenting to a long, drawn-out argument to the full-blown, hysterically pain-full migraine. Any person who actually suffers from a real, full-fledged migraine disorder will tell you that even the word migraine itself carries such foreboding that it’s use is severely limited in every day speak. Migraines themselves last anywhere from 2-72 hours. They are felt uni-laterally (one ‘side’ of the head) as a sort of dread ‘pulse’. There are many accompanying antecedent and peripheral symptoms I won’t get into great detail describing here (I think I may have actually written another blog on this… if I find it, I will link it here).

As the title suggets, I’d like to talk about ocular migraines. First, I’d like to share a few personal anecdotes on the topic of ‘weird eye vison-ey stuff’.

This year has been a great year for me, relatively speaking. Although looking from the outside in, you’d think such a statement indicative of severe cognitive decline, from the inside looking out I can tell you that the positive definitely outweighs the negative – especially when matched up against the previous year.

I have gotten my pain under control… relatively. I am back in school and, I’d like to think, I’m doing fairly well. I have a new focus and determination about me that I can only say has come about directly from the varied aversive experiences I’ve had, and had to endure getting to where I am today… cleansed by fire and all that. As a result of all this, though, I have fallen into some less than ideal patterns. One, which bears direct relavence to this blog, is staring at a computer screen in a poorly lit room for hours on end… a sure-fire way to induce an ocular migraine in the ‘ocular-migraine-prone’.

To make a long-story short, I have experienced three mind-bogglingly, eye-crushingly confusing events in a matter of just two months; two of them resulted in almost full blindness… I literally couldn’t do anything but lie down on my back, close my eyes and wait for it to run its course.

From what I can remember, it started in one eye, than progressively took over both eyes… at least I think. After a drawn out night staring for hours on end at my computer screen, I would start to see sort of peripheral flashes of light just outside my field of vision. The flashing, lightning zig-zags eventually took over until my entire field of vision was affected; however, quite anti-climatically, within thirty minutes everything was ‘back to normal’.

The term ‘Ocular Migraine‘ can refer to one of two conditions. migraine with ocular aura, and ‘retinal migraines’. As you may have already guessed, migraines with ocular aura is the more benign of the two. The easiest way to differentiate between the two similar pathologies is to remember that retinal migraines effect only one eye, whereas migraines with accompanying ocular ‘aura’ can affect two.

The link provided below gives a concise and accurate account of all things ‘ocular migraine’. My own personal experience with visual ‘aura’ and retinal migraines has provided a subjectively truthful yet somewhat adulterate representation of this odd medical phenomenon. If any of you find yourself pulling the proverbial short stick, have no fear, you probably won’t permanently lose vision in your eye(s).

Here is a useful link http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/ocular-migraine-basics …

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