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Dr. Stevens
Dr. Stevens, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 1404
Experience:  Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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Right now, I am currently having a weird darkening pattern

Customer Question

Right now, I am currently having a weird darkening pattern in my visual field. It started Tuesday morning. I woke up, hungover, with a sore throat. I noticed my uvula was moving to the right and knew there was something wrong with my vagus. I went to the dr. and sure enough, I had an infection in my throat that was affecting my l. recurrent laryngeal. I didn't bring up the visual field issue because I thought it was just because I was hungover, exhausted and apparently a little sick. Now I've been on antibiotics for 3 days, and while my throat issues are almost gone, the visual field thing is still existing. It looks like the field (bilateral) is darkened in spots and light things, like the computer screen are still visible after I turn away from them for a few minutes. I'm wondering if this could be meningtis, silent migraines, alcohol withdrawal, epilepsy or what. The day after it started I began taking 5mg of valium in the morning, because I didn't want to seize. What could this be?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Stevens replied 8 years ago.

Has this been constant the whole time? have you ever experienced this before? what is your age, gender? Do you have any headaches? fevers? pain in the neck or base of the skull when you flex your head forward? lightheadedness?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The only time I've experienced this before is when I have been abruptly awaken, before the floaters in a migraine come or before fainting (I fainted a few times in adolescence.) Its pretty constant, but it increases after I wake up, after I eat anything, or after staring at powerpoints in class. At its worst, its accompanied by dizziness and a feeling of trepidation. 2 Days after it started I tried to have a glass of wine thinking maybe since I had been drinking a lot over the past few weeks and I was experiencing anxiety, a glass of wine may help, but after one sip I became extremely light headed and the darkness increased. My blood pressure has been a little high for me 120/80-130/85, when its normally low, but I also take it once I start the darkening, so I'm probably starting to get anxious. I have been having light to moderate headaches, but they feel more associated witht he sinus pressure that I'm having as a result of the throat infection that I described (that is, whichever sinus feels more clogged, that side of the head has more pressure and pain.)

I'm 27yo female. No pain when I flex forward, but I feel tension along the sides that is very uncomfortable a few times a day.

I know your an ophtho and this probably won't help, but since the morning of onset, my urine has been bright, almost flourescent yellow. I haven't changed water intake (usually 2-3 liters a day) It is never like this. Since the headaches and infection started, I've been taking a multivitamin, but that has not increased or decreased the intensity of the color.
Expert:  Dr. Stevens replied 8 years ago.


your visual symptoms sound much like a visual migraine. This needs some clarification as the names can be confusing. Think of it this way:

only the visual symptoms - no headache = ophthalmic migraine (also known as ocular migraine).

Headache by itself may be a migraine - usually has no visual symptoms

headache with an aura is called a classic migraine (headache with some peculiar visual warning / episode prior to headache)

Now you were wondering if this was possibly something else. Your lack of symptoms pretty much rules out seizures and meningitis. Although I cant put all your symptoms together. Couple of things concern me, typically visual migraines dont last as long as what you are experiencing and the bitemporal nature is a bit odd. Bitemporal anything makes me concerned for pituitary growths, most being benign. I would see an ophthalmologist to get your retinas examined just to be on the safe side and get a Visual Field Exam to ensure there is no definite loss of your vision, especially in the bitemporal fashion you described. The rest of your symptoms hopefully will improve as you get over your infection, I wish you well, Dr. Stevens