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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10584
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I had a very weird aura the other day (my first) that was from

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I had a very weird aura the other day (my first) that was from what I can research a scintillating scotoma. It lasted 15 min. I had my eyes checked and I'm 20/20 and there are no tears etc after my exam.

My eye doctor seems to think it was a type of migraine, and I did have a mild headache through the rest of the day but I don't have a history of migraine. I do have a history of sinus headache.

Is this something to worry about?

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

No. This is nothing to worry about.....and I agree with your MD -- It sounds like you experienced the ocular effects of a 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.


Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

I see that you are offline. I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)


Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much for easing the fears of a known hypochondriac! Much appreciated Dr Rick. Very interesting that you have also experienced this for so long!
My pleasure. Have a good day.