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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11020
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Hi, Over the last 4 days Ive gotten 3 migraines (at least,

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Hi,

Over the last 4 days I've gotten 3 migraines (at least, that's what I think they are). Before that, I haven't had a migraine for over 9 years. Do I need to do anything about this? Or is it normal for migraines to just suddenly appear like this?

Symptoms of the migraine / headache: First, my vision becomes slightly blurry. I can't really focus on anything I'm looking at. Then I seem to get extremely blurry peripheral vision. From there I get a severe pain in the area of my head directly above my right eye. After about 30-45 minutes of pain, I become nauseous (something I rarely get). Tylenol doesn't seem to have any affect, and it generally takes about 4-5 hours for the pain to dissipate.

Dr. Rick :

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

Customer:

Awesome

Dr. Rick :

As a fellow sufferer for the past 3 decades I can assure you that you have hit the issue right on the head (no pun intended). My experiences are exactly the same as yours. Here is some information on migraines:

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 :

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)


 

Customer:

So really, the main thing that had me concerned was the fact it seems to have started so suddenly. So this is normal?

Dr. Rick :

It is not unusual for them to suddenly come in clusters like you are currently experiencing. The good news? If they become a real problem there are medicines that your doctor can prescribe that can make the episodes less frequent and/or break them once they have started.

Dr. Rick :

Yes. This is normal. You don't have a brain tumor (And don't try telling me that you didn't think of that one) lol!

Customer:

Haha, that's the main reason I was asking...just to rule that out

Dr. Rick :

Here is an excellent web page from a very reputable source on this topic:

Dr. Rick :

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/migraine-headache/DS00120

Customer:

So, last question then: Is there anything I can do to decrease the frequency or anything (other than prescription meds)? Such as diet, or exercise...anything like that?

Dr. Rick :

You don't have a brain tumor, so you're going to have to come up with something else to get sympathy points from the good looking women in your life ;-)

Dr. Rick :

I find that if I chug a soft drink -- pepsi is my pop of choice -- right when the visual things start that many times I won't get the follow-up headache....

Dr. Rick :

Other then that, I've not found anything other then Rx meds to be of help.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Customer:

So I'm guessing just ignore all the supplements and things people suggest on websites and what not?

Dr. Rick :

Ya....all of that stuff is a scam. Read the webpage from the Mayo Clinic. They're not trying to sell you anything....other then good information.

Customer:

Okay. Well thank you for your help

Customer:

Greatly appreciated

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Take care and have a good evening.

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