Tuesday, June 5, 2012
"I see these wavy lines in front of my vision; kinda like heat waves. Sometimes they're like jagged lightening bolts off to the side. It lasts about 10 minutes and then I feel like I just ran a mile. What the heck is going on?"
We hear something like this almost every day at Skyvision Centers. This is called an "Ophthalmic or Ocular Migraine", or a migraine without the headache. A "Classic Migraine" (that's what it's really called!) is a terrible headache that has some sort of warning symptoms or aura that come first. In an eye center these warning symptoms always involve vision, of course, but they can be things like an unusual smell, deja vu, or a sense that something bad is about to happen. But in an Ophthalmic or Ocular Migraine once the vision symptoms go away the episode is over.
Why and how does this happen? Migraines are felt to have some sort of vascular or blood vessel part in their cause. The vision symptoms are caused when the blood vessels constrict or close down. The blood vessels then dilate or open up wide, and if they just go back to their normal opening the whole thing is done. Something about over-dilating is felt to trigger the headache part (the lining of blood vessels has pain fibers but the brain does not).
Ophthalmic or Ocular migraines, like classic migraines, can be triggered by things such as foods (aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine), too little sleep, and extra stress on top of our normal every day stress. If you get one you should just stop what you are doing, sit down, and wait for it to pass. Ophthalmic or Ocular migraines (and regular migraines for that matter) are only signs of more serious problems in the very rarest of cases.
If you get something like this feel free to call us for an appointment at any time. You don't need to be seen WHILE you are having your symptoms.