LilyLabVA

Ocular Migraine MRI?

Recommended Posts

 3 to 4 years ago I experienced a classic ocular migraine and have not had one since yesterday. It really caught me off guard but again it was a classic ocular migraine with the zigzags that span out until they disappear after about 20 minutes. Mine have never been followed by headache. Everything online says they are basically harmless and mine matched perfect description. My fear is that they are going to continue to the point where I need to seek medical treatment and they are going to order an MRI I am totally against a brain MRI because I feel  that it would show incidentals or abnormalities. It actually TERRIFIES me to think of getting a brain MRI and the wait. Please help. What if I get more?! Please help me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would ignore it for now, but if it keeps happening, maybe ask your doctor? I am not familiar with ocular migraines though, but if you say it's something benign, I wound't worry about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, LilyLabVA said:

 3 to 4 years ago I experienced a classic ocular migraine and have not had one since yesterday. It really caught me off guard but again it was a classic ocular migraine with the zigzags that span out until they disappear after about 20 minutes. Mine have never been followed by headache. Everything online says they are basically harmless and mine matched perfect description. My fear is that they are going to continue to the point where I need to seek medical treatment and they are going to order an MRI I am totally against a brain MRI because I feel  that it would show incidentals or abnormalities. It actually TERRIFIES me to think of getting a brain MRI and the wait. Please help. What if I get more?! Please help me. 

I have had these for 20 years :( mine used to be followed with a migraine from hell, lasting for 8 + hours. Then I started getting less and less and the migraine after the zigzags left was shorter as well. Now I get them maybe once a year and the headaches last maybe 2 hours. I think there is no rules to these annoying headaches/auroras. I wouldn't jump 5 steps, I know with anxiety that is hard. hugs you are ok. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lily...don’t worry about a thing!  I get those ocular migraines all the time, some followed by headaches and other without.  It seems I get them when I’m under periods of stress, or sometimes they are simply triggered by bright sunlight.  They are common and harmless and I’ve even asked my eye doctor about them, who confirmed the same.  You are just fine!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lily,

I as well get these; aura without headache. i average 1 per year. I mentioned it to my doctor way back when and there was no comment about an MRI being needed. You are SO right worrying about incidental findings! I made a huge mistake about 7-8 years ago, that only one with HA would make. I had some complaint, not sure now what it even was. I practically demanded a brain MRI. i remember she said she'd agree, but gave me a lecture about incidental findings. Not only did I get the MRI, but rather than wait and have my doctor discuss the results, i went to the MRI Center and picked up my results.  I read the radiologists comments and was certain I was about to die or worse. It mentioned "white spots". It said these could be early MS, Lyme or "of a vascular nature". I researched for hours. I read that these white spots increase in number as we age. AND they can appear as a result of migraine history. I guess that's the vascular part.  I never got MS and I'm now too old to. Never worried about Lyme as I never go near wooded areas and freaked for a long while about what else "vascular" could mean.

By all means, fear the incidental findings.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had one a few years ago, same as you with no headache, and my optometrist said no big deal and I haven’t really thought about it since.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Missy2626 said:

Hi Lily...don’t worry about a thing!  I get those ocular migraines all the time, some followed by headaches and other without.  It seems I get them when I’m under periods of stress, or sometimes they are simply triggered by bright sunlight.  They are common and harmless and I’ve even asked my eye doctor about them, who confirmed the same.  You are just fine!

Thank you! How often is all the time? What does your DR say? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You’re welcome!  I haven’t had any recently, but I was getting them pretty frequently a few months ago,  at least two to three times per week.  My doctor has said they are just that...ocular migraines and are nothing to worry about!  I remember I had my first one in my early 20s and am now 51 (yikes, how did that happen??), so that goes to show you they are harmless and do no damage!  You’re absolutely fine!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow 2-3 per week! Did yours have the headache? Thank you for sharing. I will now have some peace if another comes along soon. Right now I’m like waiting for it to come any moment and que the panic attack. Ugh 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I would get the headache afterwards, other times I wouldn’t.  Like yours, it was the bright zig zag lines that slowly crossed my visual field and slowly disappeared after about fifteen minutes.  I think eye strain from the computer, bright sunshine and fatigue and stress tend to bring them on in my case.  Don’t have a panic attack if you get another one! They are harmless and common!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started getting these exact same symptoms, zig zags and blurred vision a couple of years ago.  I went to the eye doctor and she said classic ocular migraine, absolutely harmless no need to worry or do anything.  I was listening to doctor radio last week and the show was about migraine and they said that as women get older the traditional migraines lessen and more ocular migraines occur, that it is very common as hormones change.  I am 45 so it makes sense that I have been getting them a lot more lately. I wouldn't worry, I told a group of friends about them and three out of the five knew exactly what I was talking about because they had them before.  Two women at work have had them lately as well, very common.

Ivy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a brain MRI a year or so ago the doctor was checking for a tumor because blood work showed something funny.  Turns out the steroid that my allergist prescribed caused the issue and it wasn't a brain tumor at all but the MRI was fine.  I actually fell asleep in the machine.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good morning everyone . I am literally making myself sick with anxiety! I am way ahead of myself with the ocular migraine thing I am waiting moment by moment for another one to happen,  which will send me running to the Doctor Who will order some kind of brain scan which will terrify me to the point of no return. I’m having a very hard time getting past this I am in weekly therapy and I take medication.  I understand that these happened to many people but it also seems that a lot of people’s doctors order testing to rule anything more sinister out if I continue to get them I will have to go through this process and that terrifies me to no end! I take some comfort in the fact it has been three years since I’ve had one but I do know that for many people they can come in clusters and so I’m just waiting for the next one in total fear. I joined a facebook group of people who have ocular migraine’s it has thousands of members and a lot of it has brought me comfort most people say they get them all the time and they are of no significance or harm. At the same time a lot of these people sought medical care and their doctors ordered scans to be safe. I am so frustrated with my anxiety it is such a beast and I have let my family down by going through this spiraling hole of darkness once again  I joined a Facebook group of people who have ocular migraine‘s it has thousands of members and a lot of it has brought me comfort most people say they get them all the time and they are of no significance or harm. At the same time a lot of these people sought medical care and their doctors ordered scans to be safe. I am so frustrated with my anxiety it is such a bitch and I have let my family down but going through this spiraling hole of darkness once again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And of all those people who got scans did anyone find anything? My guess is no and the doc was covering their ass or doing it to make the person feel better. If you don’t want any testing then don’t have any. You are in charge of your health. If you ask the eye doc and they say it’s nothing, which I’m sure they will, then you can put it behind you.

I would also get off that board. You have had two in four years. The reassurance you get from reading those stories is short lived and you will get into a vicious cycle, unable to stop. How are you supposed to put it behind you if you’re reading about it every day? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lily...I agree with lugrad! Whenever I’ve mentioned it at my eye doctor visits I’ve been told it’s normal and they’ve always just done the routine testing and no further scans or tests.  As I said, a few months ago I was getting several a week, and they have pretty much subsided.  Try your best to stay off the forums discussing the ocular migraines, because it will only keep feeding your fear.  You truly have nothing to worry about!  Do you have an eye doctor? Maybe you can just schedule a routin eye exam and you will be told that everything is perfectly fine!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been getting those for years now - I'll take 'em because it means I don't get migraine headaches any more!  I was getting one a week or so when I was taking hbc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You all have helped me a great deal! Each reply means so much to me. 

Thank you all . Not 100% but getting there.... 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, mollyfin said:

I've been getting those for years now - I'll take 'em because it means I don't get migraine headaches any more!  I was getting one a week or so when I was taking hbc

Molly- hbc - hormonal birth control? What did your Dr say? Any scans? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Missy2626 said:

Hi Lily...I agree with lugrad! Whenever I’ve mentioned it at my eye doctor visits I’ve been told it’s normal and they’ve always just done the routine testing and no further scans or tests.  As I said, a few months ago I was getting several a week, and they have pretty much subsided.  Try your best to stay off the forums discussing the ocular migraines, because it will only keep feeding your fear.  You truly have nothing to worry about!  Do you have an eye doctor? Maybe you can just schedule a routin eye exam and you will be told that everything is perfectly fine!

Thank you! I just had a full comprehensive exam a month ago. Do you mind me asking your age? I’m 36 just seeing if these are possibly hormonal. I hear they can increase after 40

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Iugrad91 said:

And of all those people who got scans did anyone find anything? My guess is no and the doc was covering their ass or doing it to make the person feel better. If you don’t want any testing then don’t have any. You are in charge of your health. If you ask the eye doc and they say it’s nothing, which I’m sure they will, then you can put it behind you.

I would also get off that board. You have had two in four years. The reassurance you get from reading those stories is short lived and you will get into a vicious cycle, unable to stop. How are you supposed to put it behind you if you’re reading about it every day? 

Thank you for the straightforward advice. You are right! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LilyLabVA said:

Thank you! I just had a full comprehensive exam a month ago. Do you mind me asking your age? I’m 36 just seeing if these are possibly hormonal. I hear they can increase after 40

Lily, I firmly believe they are hormonal!! I am 51 and still have not hit menopause.  Since I’m in the throes of peri-menopaise, I truly believe there is a hormonal connection.  By the way, I’m also blaming perimenopausal hormones on my uptick in health anxiety!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Missy, I’m blaming perimenopause for everything. I’m almost 49. It’s just easier to think it’s hormones and it will eventually go away 😃

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Iugrad91 said:

Missy, I’m blaming perimenopause for everything. I’m almost 49. It’s just easier to think it’s hormones and it will eventually go away 😃

lugrad, perimenopause IS to blame for everything lol!!   I’ve had anxiety, including health anxiety, my whole life, but it really, really flared and got out of control two years ago when I was 49.   I truly feel it’s due to the crazy hormonal fluctuations.  And of course...all of the  physical changes that go along with it...ugh 😕

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, sorry, hormonal birth control!  I had scans for unrelated things over a decade ago and nothing was found beyond a couple of standard spots (that were probably caused by migraines!), but I just had a neuro exam (again, for something unrelated) a few weeks ago and all was normal, so I assume my brain is working more or less as it should.  My GYN offered to switch birth controls but he didn't seem worried about it.  I've never had a doctor tell me I need scans for migraines, and I've had migraines since childhood (though the ocular ones didn't show up until my mid-late 20s; they're really annoying but I'll take them overthe headaches or the one-sided facial numbness!).  My mother gets the ocular migraines regularly, never had a scan.  I think it's pretty unusual to be sent for one for migraines unless the pain is debilitating.  There are medications that can head off migraines, I think, but I don't know much about them.  In my case my migraines seem to be mostly hormonal but sometimes flashing/bright lights set one off.  Also, if your doctor suggests a scan, you can decline.  TBH sometimes you have to do what's right for you even when the doctor suggests something else, because medicine isn't a one size fits all situation.  But I think that's crazy unlikely to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Missy2626 said:

lugrad, perimenopause IS to blame for everything lol!!   I’ve had anxiety, including health anxiety, my whole life, but it really, really flared and got out of control two years ago when I was 49.   I truly feel it’s due to the crazy hormonal fluctuations.  And of course...all of the  physical changes that go along with it...ugh 😕

I agree Missy - nice to see your posts lately - I will be 50 later this month and I am starting to believe perimenopause definitely has been increasing my anxiety...hugs to all.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now