Ocular or retinal migraine

I was calming sitting at table enjoying my home-made Chinese meal this evening when I looked in the direction of the TV at an old black and white film my SO was absorbed in between mouthfuls, and I reached the conclusion my eyesight seemed to have gone a bit blurry which is unusual but then I found I could see a reflection - of my own eyelashes maybe - out of the corner of my right eye. Seemed rather odd but, as the meal progressed so did this visual illusion. It became coloured, moving, sort of shimmering and it got a bit bigger but only in my right eye. I didn’t lose vision, I could see quite clearly all around apart from this small shimmering portion at about 1 o’clock high up in my right eye. This experience lasted about 20 minutes, then cleared quicker than it had arrived. Discussed it with my SO who says he’s experienced similar but in both eyes for more than a decade and an optician told him not to bother about it unless it got really often. He doesn’t get migraine.

Initially I assumed it to be migraine aura. As I don’t experience regular migraine headaches, just vertigo attacks, I think I may have had two or three auras all in the last two/three years, during acute attacks only, never before but if they were aura, they were very different from today’s experience, just large patches of deep pretty colours float from afar up close and then receeding again and these only last a couple of minutes each time,

I haven’t been feeling great today, balance rather ‘off’ so sure it’s migraine related some way. Conflicting info on the internet about the difference between ocular and retinal migraine but I did read they can be caused by dehydration or caffeine withdrawal, and alot of other things too. I’ve recently cut my caffeine to 1/3 or less and doubt today at least I haven’t been making up much of the difference in water, Cold water on a cold day isn’t something that appeals I’m afraid. Helen

My balance has been " off" today as well…not feeling great…could it be the cold weather?
Jo xx

Does your homemade chinese use any shopmade sauces with triggers in it like msg? I have heard often people complaining of temporary loss of vision from migraine.

It sure sounded like a familiar migraine to me.

Sounds like “scintillating scotoma.” Search for that phrase on Google and view the images.

Then watch this short video animation:


Argh! That image should come with a trigger warning!

Hmm, should I remove it?

No, I just won’t scroll up. I’m being a weenie.

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Yep. It does. I’ve had precisely one in the 3 years of MAV though.

They are most odd.

The out of focus part is the most freaky because at that point you don’t know what’s going on. Then when the glitzy part starts you realise.

Was about 20 minutes for me too.

Thanks for that but, like Emily, I think I’ll pass on that one. You know what they say ‘Once you’ve seen one of them, you’ve seen all of them’. Yes. It was virtually identical to the shot at the video start. Could have been its photo. Helen

Well, if one in three years is the quota, I’m up to date, thank you. I know I spent the longest time ever in recent times on PC yesterday, rather than Ipad, and have always seen PCs as main trigger and I was engrossed so not bothering about light sources. Dull contrasty day it was too and I felt bit nauseous all morning. Just put it out of my mind. At first I thought a lock of hair was against my eye, daft really, it’s too short anyway to reach, then couldnt make out what it was. It is odd certainly. Whatever next doesn’t bear thinking about. After all these years thought I’d had most of the symptoms available. Do wish they’d publish a catalogue! Helen

Yeah that was exactly my reaction at the time.

Pretty sure it started whilst I was on my laptop btw - at least that’s when I noticed the out of focus bit.

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@jojo65. Might be the cold I suppose. Severe cold will produce headache. Was it windy? That would do it more I’d think. Yesterday was my second ‘off’ day so mine wasn’t the cold. I didn’t venture out yesterday at all as it happens.

@GetBetter. Good point about the MSG. I’m sure I’m sensitive. Always wondered that because restaurants a main trigger, could say a guaranteed trigger and the question always ‘lights or food, or both’. But no shop sauces. All ‘home-made’ from scratch myself. Known ingredients, well searched but of course have been trying to follow John Hopkins Diet. Failed last two days. Had homemade lasagna day before yesterday then Chinese Last night. That did include some vinegar, pineapple and a bit of pickle and tomato ketchup - all ‘banned’ substances but I get so bored with plain, plain, plain and end up hardly eating anything at all.

Triggers hard to identify but too much (PC) computer time more than coincidence and then I read could be link to ‘caffeine withdrawal’ and I’ve just slowly cut my tea consumption back to under 50%.? Trying to reduce rear head pressure which seems more constant in recent months since 24/7 dizzies stopped, and less caffeine seemed to be helping. Can’t seem to win, eh. Helen

That’s interesting. More than coincidence for me I’d say, i’ve got Theraspecs on the dresser. Never thought to use them though. Not a thought. Don’t really think it could be food. I feel it started as I was eating it. Helen

I think if it’s just once every few years you don’t need to worry. I don’t think there is any evidence these things are damaging and they appear self limiting. It’s just an artefact of having breached a neurological algorithmic threshold. It’s just evidence we are an amazing machine that has its quirks.


I think it’s just as well I’m not a vehicle cos I’d be off road having failed my MOT! Again!

My SO says he’s had something similar, once a month, for years. More than a decade. His last about one hour and is in both eyes, mine’s only right eye, so far, Luckily my ‘freak out’ threshold is alot higher than most though not as high as my SO’s quite. His is amazing. Helen

So did you think there was a link to PC? Seems odd to me because that day was the first day I’ve spent any length of time on PC since MAV went chronic although at the time I was amazed at how comfortable I was doing it.

Did you link it to increased sensitivity, reduced tolerance thresholds, whatever. It must surely be sign of increased irritation. I’m wondering now because yesterday my light tolerance threshold plummeted. As soon as dusk approached and the room I was in was backlit from outside, and before I noticed and switched house lights on, Bam, I felt nauseous and bit dizzy, and then last evening for first time in more than 18 months I couldn’t watch the TV. Away from it I was fine. Otherwise verging onVisual Vertigo and accompanying nausea. As overall I’ve recently been improving almost daily now the cold’s gone, this seems an odd recurrence. Helen

I’m going to go with yes for the pc as the trigger. Past week or 2 I’ve been on the pc for extensive periods without my theraspecs and I’ve noticed my symptoms kicking up, especially when I do a long stint in front of the computer. I pushed it 2 days ago big time and I ended up going to bed very dizzy and waking up 4 hours later very dizzy and off. (Felt off most of yesterday after that stint) Anything I looked at if there were spatial difference of closer or further like a wall and a box next to it then it’d send my anxiety high like my eyes couldn’t focus but I could see fine. It sucked. Went back to sleep for a good 3 more hours and woke up feeling that issue for about 5-8 mins then it finally dissipated.

When pushing the computer the past 2 nights too (took a break yesterday to relieve the symptoms) I started to get a sort of cloudy vision. I thought there was a fire in my apartment because it looked smoky in my apartment even though my vision didn’t blur. This issue always seemed to have occurred at night and after the very extensive time in front of the computer and pushing bedtime. (Roughly 11-12~ hours in front of computer).

As a note, I didn’t use the Theraspecs when using my MacBook Pro. I notice more issues via the computer screen than I do using my phone screen extensively.

I had a massive attack too maybe it is the weather :confused: could it also off been the Chinese food ? @Onandon03

Helen, don’t worry too much. I had my first ever Scintillating Scotoma well into my remission phase. Yes I think you may get them when there are enough cumulative visual triggers.

Let’s hope you get them only rarely.

And let’s face it, the 24/7 stuff is far worse.