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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11363
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have two episodes of tunnel vision in the last 7-10 days.

Resolved Question:

I have two episodes of tunnel vision in the last 7-10 days. Kind of a halo blurry area throughout my peripheral vision. Both times lasted about 5-10 mins. Also in these last 10 days had a void area in my central vision. i.e. the words in a book were disappearing. Any ideas?
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 :

What you are experiencing is called 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.


Dr. Rick :

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 :

Are you available to chat?

Dr. Rick :

I guess that you have stepped away from your computer. 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..... :)


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.
I have no associated headache so this answer does not seem that relevant.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
As I have said, I too suffer from this condition and it is very rare for me to actually get a headache.
It is not unusual to have only the visual symptoms......
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
the episodes you have described with halo blurry area throughout your peripheral vision with episodes of voids in your central vision are classic for acephalgic migraine. I have had the exact same personal experiences multiple times over the last few decades.
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)
Trust me. You are having a migraine without the headache.
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