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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11267
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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This past Wednesday, I experienced a migraine for the first

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This past Wednesday, I experienced a migraine for the first time with visual effects. I pretty much lost most of the vision in my right eye. I have floaters and thought I had torn my retina so immediately went in to see my eye doctor. He confirmed that my retina was still healthy and suggested I follow up with my GP about the migraines. I have an appt on Tuesday. However, this has happened 3 additional times since Wednesday. Each time my vision gets blurry, then bright spot appears in the center of my vision, shortly followed by a scintillating pattern in my peripheral vision. It is very disorienting. I also experience waves of dizziness and nausea (no vomiting) and within an hour this is all followed by a severe debilitating headache. After a few hours, I can function again, but the headache has never completely gone away. My neck also feels stiff and is sore and I just feel wiped out (almost like I had the flu and am recovering). I have been taking 600 mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours to keep the headache at bay, but when the visual stuff happens, the headache still gets pretty severe.

I am a little worried about this because I have never had problems with migraines in the past. I just had a baby 4 months ago and assumed at first that perhaps this is just another postpartum thing I will have to deal with. It is worrying me, however, that I have had 4 separate occasions of visual disturbances. Is it normal to have so many instances of this so close together? I am leaning towards heading to the hospital to be evaluated since my appt with my general practitioner is not until Tuesday. I just don't have experience with this and would like some quick advice as to whether is it is reasonable to wait to be evaluated until Tuesday or to seek attention sooner. Thanks.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 5 years ago.
I understand your worry. While it is always a good idea to get things checked out whenever you experience a significant change in your usual headache pattern it does sound like what is going on is consistent with a migraine.

Now, If you can't touch your chin to your chest due to pain in your neck that could be a sign of irritation in the covering around your spine etc and should be evaluated ASAP.

Other then that, if you are a healthy new mom in all other respects I think you would be fine to wait for your routine appointment next Tuesday. Of course nothing would be lost by calling your Doc and seeing if she agrees with this plan :o)

Does this make sense to you?

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Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 5 years ago.
Here is a little bit of information on ocular migraines:

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.