Aura with no headache: I have had aura (zig... - AF Association

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Aura with no headache

Gowers
Gowers

I have had aura (zig zag lines, blind spot etc.) followed by migraine for over 40 years. But, following my 1st ablation last October I had aura with no headache while in hospital for 2days running. Since 2nd ablation for af nearly 5 months ago in February I seem to have the aura but without a headache more frequently - 3 days in a row. I have checked the diet, kept hydrated, no caffine etc. It came on the once while watching tv. I have regular eye tests & am due a chat with my cardio nurse. Optician doesnt think its because of any eye issues but suggested a neurologist would be the best person if I want further checks/tests. Just wondering if anyone else experiencing the same & what they have done about it. I know it is listed as side effect on the ablation fact sheet - due to the puncture hole. I'm suprised it is happening more frequently after 5months. Any thoughts?

48 Replies
oldestnewest

I have 2 ablations and over the last year or so I have had auras without a headache. I stopped taking magnesium and the auras went away

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to bmand

Thank you for replying - must admit it's a bit concerning when they happen in runs. I've not taken magnesium - do you know why it could have caused them?

BobD
BobDVolunteer

As we say in our fact sheet on Recovering from Ablation, aura is a common side effect caused by the transeptal puncture but usually fades away after a couple of weeks. I had them post all my ablations, but strangely I recently had two weeks or more of daily and sometimes twice daily aura events again with no pain although some slight nausea. All it took was maybe a flash of reflected sunlight and away she went. Been a week clear now thankfully so I do sympathise.

I did have about two or three years of full blown migraines about forty years ago but that was stress related and stopped once I dealt with that issue.

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to BobD

Very similar to me then Bob - my optician did say I was light sensitive. In the past if I was for example cleaning windows when the sun was shining it would often bring it on + if there was a bright light on anywhere + the lines & reflection on a escalator. Interesting you have had a run of them recently too. Another reason that fact sheet is a must read before ablation - it meant I was prepared for the auras but didnt think they would be happening still after 5 months. Do you know why in some folk the puncture sometimes bring on auras? (I've not found any links despite looking)

Thank you for taking the time to reply & share your experience

BobD
BobDVolunteer
in reply to Gowers

Sorry do not understand the mechanics. It took me a long time to fnd out why they happen and to be honest I can't remember which of my many learned contacts it was who enlightened me but since the fact sheet was approved by NHS and our A F A medical board it must be true.

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to BobD

I certainly found it helpful & refer to it many times. Lot of hard work & research must have gone into it

What is aura?

CDreamer
CDreamer
in reply to Padayn01

Read the link I just posted which explains it very clearly.

Hi, I've had Afib for some time with no real symptoms, however in the last 12 months my breathing has become very difficult, still waiting for tests after a telephone consult and now on Apixaban. I have had the migraine auras and blind spots for several years without the headaches, sometimes one will follow another. My optician said it was nothing to worry about.

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to District

Sounds similar to me - thank you for replying

It’s common after ablation - 1 of the many things they don’t tell you to expect. Funnily enough I used to have auras with migraine but after ablation - not had a migraine or aura since.

In my case it seems migraine was caused by an undiscovered atrial septum defect. This meant that the EP did not need to puncture the septum to ablate. The hole was not closed so it is a mystery to me that I no longer have aura and migraines. Migraines have been associated with septum defects for a long time.

I am also very light sensitive.

I found this article quite informative and could explain why post ablation aura migraines are so common:- coopervision.com/blog/diffe...

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to CDreamer

Thank you for the information - interesting to read about the defect they found - not heard of it before but, must be great to be aura/migraine free. Great link too - thanks

PS - To any one who is light sensitive and find bright light triggers a response - I now develop Ptosis (eyelids just close) - I found that wearing a cap or a visor and dark glasses eliminate the problem. There is something about shielding eyes from overhead light — I need to wear them in quite a few indoor venues as well - which seems to work for me. Sunlight through trees is the worst so I dare not drive without a visor and dark glasses.

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to CDreamer

Yes, same here I tend to wear sun visor & sunglasses when I'm sat in my conservatory on a sunny day & they are a must when driving. They are the Maui Jim make & are wraprounds, recommended to me by optician when I was visiting friends in Louisianna many years ago. He said its like pulling down the blinds ( only on your eyes not actual windows!) A lady at my opticians said her son who is a pilot wears them. Thank you for reply

BobD
BobDVolunteer
in reply to Gowers

My wife and I both have Maui Jim prescription sunglasses and mine are varifocal as well. Bought cheaper houses mind lol .

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to BobD

I have Maui Jim prescription sunglasses. My optician quoted £400-500 for new pair as he said the lens in my current ones couldn't be replaced with prescription lens as they are the wrap round style with slight curve + Maui said they couldn't replace them. After visiting several other opticians in my area I found a optician who replaced in their workshop the original lens to the required precription standard at a cost of approx £70. I was on the point of selling them on ebay! So glad I asked around. They are really are superb sunglasses

BobD
BobDVolunteer
in reply to CDreamer

Wondered why you always look like a croupier. LOL 😁

CDreamer
CDreamer
in reply to BobD

Now you know why, I’m a secret croupier!

I have the photosensitive varifocal lens as my glasses so I don’t need to the keep changing my glasses. I bought the Adidas wrap around back in the day when I used to ski and sail and have prescription inserts for them which I still wear on very sunny days. I like them as I can change the lens and so the colour. They are especially useful spring and autumn when the angle of the sun changes which are the times of year which affect me most.

BobD
BobDVolunteer
in reply to CDreamer

For may years I bought Zeiss Umbramatic prescription glasses looking ultra cool in clubs with UV lights. lol As my prescription became stronger the weight of those glasses lenses became unacceptable so I had to switch to plastic which were never as good. Once I went to varifocals I gave up on photochromic lenses so have to switch glasses now but it does hurt every two or three yeare when I have to buy new ones.

CDreamer
CDreamer
in reply to BobD

My varifocal specs are plastic, very light, very photosensitive but VERY expensive. Think thousand+. But I have had these now for 3 years now & still perfect, fingers crossed they stay that way.

BobD
BobDVolunteer
in reply to CDreamer

My Rhodenstock lenses are that without the photochromic content but being frameless does make them more expensive. I could have bought a very nice car for what they cost these days. Must be in the wrong business I guess. What I don't like about plastic lenses is that after a few years they go yellow which apparently they all do so three years is about as long as I can go without new ones.

Hello Gowers.

I’ve had migraines on and off for 40 years!

I have had no ablations.

These past years I just get Auras. Sometimes mild headache. Take co- dydramol and they go in 20 minutes. Some come back again. I have many problems with my eyes list too long to mention.

Mine seems to be started by bright light flashing light sun light. Stress I take amitriptyline low dose it has helped.

A chat to your GP may help.

I hope you find your list of causes and they improve.

Keep smiling keep safe. 😎😎😎😎

CDreamer
CDreamer
in reply to sotolol

My migraines didn’t respond to any medication and I tried some pretty strong meds the only thing I could do was go into a darkened room and not move. They could last for 2-3 days but thankfully that didn’t happen often. It was the most excruciating pain I ever experienced and the auras very frightening.

My daughter in law is the same.

sotolol
sotolol
in reply to CDreamer

Oh dear. I never had them that bad. I tried Propranolol but I got itchy legs that I scratched and they bled. Weird. I get the darkened room too. Bright lights affect the eyes a lot.

It must be horrible to get them as bad as yours.

The brain is a hard organ to even begin to understand.

I hope you are ok CDreamer?

CDreamer
CDreamer
in reply to sotolol

I’ve had a rough couple of months but not because of AF. I’m more surviving than thriving currently, still in Lockdown & not sure I’ll be going anywhere, any time soon. I normally have 3-6 hours of productive time daily. It’s tedious because I know it’s not going to improve but plenty a lot worse off than me. Thanks for asking.

How about you? Hope you are good?

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to CDreamer

Hope you feeling a little better now

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to sotolol

Thank you for reply - yes, I take co-codamol as it's about the only medication safe when on Rivaroxan. I used to take Amitriptyline for muscle aches - will check with cardiologist & check ok to take

I used to have regular migraines in my youth, but the frequency dropped to almost nothing in adulthood. Two hours after ablation I got the aura, (but a completey different shape to normal) without headache or nausea. I continued to have them for more than a year afterwards. There were no common triggers.

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to johnMiosh

Thank you - same as myself then. I had the aura 2days running after 1st ablation but no headache. I'm used to them as had them for off & on for 40years+-but, usually followed by migraine type headache. Yes, they seem more common than I thought judging by all the replies

I believe the medical term is Scintillating Scotoma or Acephalig Migrane. How do I know. One Sat morning after a very stressful week at work. My wife was following me around the house with a list of jobs that wanted completing. I escaped to my shed sat down to try to relax and out of the blue these flashes and zig zags appeared in my field of vision. No headaches. But a frightening experience. Opening or closing eyes, one or two eyes open made no difference.

They have occured a couple of times since. You can feel when they are about to occur, vision somehow becomes more focused, brighter, slight lightheadedness. For me it usually follows stress and waking up with a start.

My cure is to sit quietly, close eyes and do Tai chi or box breathing. I'm sure mindfulness or any relaxation method may work just as well. For me within 30 mins I've forgotten about it as its faded away. Now - What's the first job on the list?

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to Tryfan

That's interesting - I used to find the aura quite worrying when I first got them. Your description is spot on, in fact sometimes I feel I could almost reach out & touch the zig zags!! Will certainly give tai chi breathing a go. I shall read up about auras - following the info you give on the medical term. Thank you

sotolol
sotolol
in reply to Tryfan

Lists do my husbands head in. Funny. You made me smile. Hope you still got your shed!

Scintillating scotoma after ablation is thought to be caused by deoxygenated blood getting through the puncture hole in the septum and mixing with the oxygenated blood, causing an increase in carbon dioxide which can trigger theses auras. There are articles about it if you Google it. Having said that, you'd think that it would go away as the hole closes. I had my ablation in January, and then 2 weeks of auras, often with a headache. Like you and Bob, I've had several episodes of aura over the last couple of weeks, seems to be triggered by a bright reflection, no headache and it goes away after 20 minutes or so. Maybe the puncture hole takes longer to close than the doctors believe.

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to Ecki

Your information is really helpful - thank you so much. I had looked on the internet but, now you have given the condition a name I shall be able to look it up. Thank you for reply. Interesting how a few of have experienced them recently - yes, mine last about 20mins. (My last ablation was February.)

My cardiologist did a “bubble test” to see if I had a hole that wasn’t closed—due to my migraines. This was before my ablation, and I didn’t...and mine were full-blown migraines. I’m just wondering if this might be related at all.

CDreamer
CDreamer
in reply to Hallju

I had the bubble test as well During my ablation and luckily my PFO didn’t require repair. There is a long association between people with Atrial Defects and migraines. 20% of the population have one that doesn’t close but not all require closure.

There is a relation between atrial septum defects and migraines but as far as I am aware, no-one really know why. I know it made diving difficult and there were some that said you shouldn’t dive but that advice seems to have changed of late.

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to Hallju

Interesting - I shall ask my cardioligist about the bubble test - not heard of it before. He may have done it as it was my second ablation though I thought any previous hole could be seen when they do the procedure. They do seem related. Thank you for replying

I have auras with no headaches. I have not had an ablation. They came on about the time I started having afib. Bright light, stress are my main triggers. I must dim my computer and tablet screens. Sometimes I wear double sunglasses. They last 20 minutes. My optician says nothing to worry about. I keep track of date and time I have each one. Usually 2 a month sometimes it will go 2 months with nothing.

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to Buffy-1

Similar to me - certainly more frequent since having af & a 2nd ablation. You have given me good advice re dimming the screen as I had forgotten it can be done. So thank you for that & taking the time to reply

Seraphimin
Seraphimin
in reply to Buffy-1

This may not be a helpful remedy but this very Victorian remedy works for me. I haven't had an ablation but I do have auras with no headaches. I have single 'dose' of quality malt whisky. I can assure you that the aura etc will disappear in about 10 minutes. Maybe the alcohol opens the vessels through the body I don't know but its a great and delicious remedy. By the way I only have the bottle in the house for these reasons.... I can tolerate alcohol otherwise and any wine makes me really ill.

Hope this helps!

Gowers
Gowers
in reply to Seraphimin

Thank you for reply

sotolol
sotolol
in reply to Seraphimin

😎👍🏻

I suffered migraine with aura after my ablation 8 months ago. I have suffered from just aura once in the last month. I also experienced just aura twice before my AF diagnosis, but it was contributed to menopause.

Thank you for the reply

I have a permanent scotoma and it results in a blind spot. So far I can still drive and my right eye is really great and had cataract op too. But my left eye has been a pain from birth.

So it’s like I’ve auras in that eye all the time. I’ve got used to it. But like many of you I always know when I’m getting a migraine you know your own body how it behaves.

I wish the Body shop sold new ones. Imagine the queues ?? 😷😷😷

Took me a while to get used to the auras - but after over 40years like you I've got used to them

I can get that. I feel for you horrible position to be in. Like stuck in glue. Some worse off or not you are still having to feel this yourself. This virus has done so much damage it’s sometimes like you wake up and feel worse than before you went to bed. If you ever get sleep that is. You have a lot to put up with. Motivation is hard some days worse.

Do you have any hobbies or pass times. I know it won’t be Zumba dancing.

The government haven’t a clue how it affects REAL. People.

My daughter’s friend is a GP she is getting lots of stress symptoms herself for all she has to cope with.

No easy answer. July 4th is not one of them.

I’m ok. 10 mg Bisoprolol at night it’s like a horse 🐎 tranquilliser but once I get going I’m ok. It’s just getting going.

Miss my grandchildren hugs but I hope soon to get a bubble.

Then I can float away. I’ll stop and pick you up we’ll float on together and share my Bisoprolol well sit down and do nothing. 🥰🥰🥰

sotolol
sotolol
in reply to sotolol

For CDreamer

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