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Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
What you have experienced is called an ocular migraine.
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.
Does this make sense to you?
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My system shows that you are in the chat room.....are you there?
Yes, just reading your answer....
As you can see, this is not an emergency....
I've never had this before - is their a common cause other than genetic/age... like stress or something?
stress always gets a bad rap -- it gets blamed for everything that we don't have a good explanation for
That being said, stress is a known trigger for ocular migraines.
It is very common, as I mentioned, to have the visual symptoms like you experienced and yet never get a headache....
Typically, how long until your vision feels completely normal? It still feels a little bit "off"/very mildly blurry
Mine usually last no more then 30 or 40 minutes but the literature reports episodes lasting up to a few hours.
Ok, thanks so much for the info, I'm glad it's not an emergency.
My pleasure. Have a good evening.