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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11228
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My 17 year old daughter experienced about 20-30 minutes of

Customer Question

My 17 year old daughter experienced about 20-30 minutes of a bright spot/flashes in the peripheral vision of her right eye. That has now subsided and she is experiencing a headache. This doesn't seem to be a medical emergency such as a detached retina, but I'm wondering if it may be something else serious that needs attention now. Thank you.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Your daughter has experienced an ocular migraine.

Dr. Rick :

A typical migraine headache starts with shimmering lights, often times they surround a blurry area or have dots or jaggedly lines associated with them. They tend to progressively increase in intensity and sometimes march across the visual field causing difficulty with reading. Many times this is then accompanied by nausea, irritability, sensitivity to bright lights and/or loud noises. After the onset of the lights (called scintillating scotomas), the headache typically starts and the light show tends to progressively go away.


Many people can have this migraine phenomenon without the headache; it is called an acephalgic migraine. Some people even start having these late in life, or may have had a few much earlier in life that behaved differently and haven't had any for decades and then begin to have them; this is not uncommon. A family history of migraines is often present as well.


This is nothing to worry about. It is not a sign of a more serious underlying condition, brain tumor or anything like that. If the episodes become so frequent that they are bothersome there are medicines that can be used to decrease their frequency or stop an episode once it has started.


I, personally, have been suffering from this condition for almost 30 years. I almost never got the headaches after the visual effects and, hopefully, this will continue to be your experience.


 

Dr. Rick :

 


There was one time, I was in the middle of a very delicate retina operation, when an attack started. After a few moments I, like you have noted, lost most of my central vision and the inferior part of my visual field. I, calmly, removed my surgical instruments from the patients eye and we all sat around in the OR for 15 minutes until my vision returned. Other than that my ocular migraines have not really caused me any significant problems :o)


 

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

From what you have posted your daughter is not experiencing a retinal detachment or anything that requires an emergency evaluation.

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)


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Dr. Rick :

Are you still there?

Dr. Rick :

It seems that you have stepped away from your computer. We can switch to the Q&A system and continue to work on your question there. An email will be sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. See you there :o)


 

Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She has never experienced this before. She is now lying in a dark room having a migraine. I have already given her 2 Extra Strength Tylenol. Is there anything else I can do to assist her. Like most 17 yr. olds...she has a lot of studying to do this evening!
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Caffeine sometimes helps....two soda pops or cups of coffee. If they continue to happen frequently there are medicines available that can decrease the headaches and/or stop them before they start. Here is an excellent article on the topic: (sorry, but the spell checker is running all the paragraphs together for some reason :(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migraine_medication