Ocular migraines/ vision issues: Has anyone... - Anxiety Support

Anxiety Support

46,165 members46,612 posts

Ocular migraines/ vision issues


Has anyone else suffered occasionally from ocular migraines? I only get them a few times a YEAR usually but live in constant fear of having one 😩

I’m also really sensitive to bright lights, even driving when it’s sunny or the sun reflecting off of chrome/cars drives me nuts!! Probably because I fear the ocular migraine. & also- I don’t usually have an actual headache, just the horrid visual stuff that makes you feel like you can’t see & are having a freaking stroke! Lmk if anyone has helpful tips or can relate.

8 Replies

Hi there , I was diagnosed with ocular migraines in 2016. The first time it happened it was very very scary. My vision went zig saggy blurred I thought I was losing my sight. It lasted about 20 mins. I'm not sure why I developed them, perhaps from having pelvic inflammatory disease and I've been in and out of hospital since dec 2015 had a lot if time of work and my home life has suffered. When I told my optician about the blurred vision he confirmed it was ocular migraines. Once I new the vision would return if I had an episode it didn't feel as scary but it's still not peasant. I have had 2 in the past week and it knocks you for six sometimes. I know when I'm getting one as my vision starts to go hazy or I get a pain in my head. Try not to worry about when or if you may get another one. If you do get one while driving , pull over safely and just relax until ypur vision comes back then go home and lie down in a dark room. Hope this helps. Message me any time xx

Thanx Boodie! I think ocular migraines actually run in my family- we have all got them at some point in time. Its the continual fear of them that is the worse cause I don’t even get them THAT often. So stupid I know. Thanx for the kind words. 💓

I get them with the zig zag flashing auras...couple times a year. My mom does too.

I get them as well, spoke to the optician and she said not to worry about them they will only last for 20/30 minutes, I don't think they actually know what causes them. Mine seem to be tied to my digestive issues, I get them more when constipated or low on blood sugar, try not to panic about them they are nothing serious, as Boodie said if they occur whilst driving just pull over safely and wait out the episode, if you have problems with glare then use sunglasses when driving or if you use spectacles ask your optician about an anti-glare coating. Take care

Thanx for the tip on anti-glare glasses! I need them. 👓

I think I have had them also. Driving home looking on a bright day, I started to have a lightning bolt pattern that would not go away. Very frightening, when I got home couldn't read anything for about 20 minutes. I also had in the past 4 years some episodes of double vision which lasted from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. These all came about when my dad was dying and I was taking care of him. Went for 2 years with nothing and then all of a sudden I started getting them again. No pain, but when I was a kid, use to get migraines on a daily basis. Seems as an adult , when I started drinking coffee, I never had a head ache. When I got these vision things. I was going to a naturepath, she told me to give up coffee. I was under extreme stress with my father, so trying to eat healthy, take vitamins and exercise. Thinking back, I wonder if the coffee thing started my vision symptoms.

The only thing I think might trigger mine are dehydration. Not 100%. BUT, Coffee can cause that if you don’t drink enough water!

Ocular migraine is a misleading term because it implies you'll get a headache which of course you don't. The old name for it was far more descriptive: Scintillating Scotomta.

I had it first 40 years ago but I sensed it was 'nerves' even then. Since that occasion I have them 2 or 3 times a year and always related to stress. Only once have I had 2 in the same day.

I first notice a small hole in my central vision, so the letters in a word I'm reading disappear. I close my eyes and notice the beginning of the scintillating zig-zag and give a sigh of relief. This is because it's confirmation that it's 'only' a scintillating scotomata - not the beginning of a detached retina which would be serious!

I don't fear them because I know that in precisely 25 minutes it will move across my field of vision and disappear as quickly as it arrived. No need to lay down afterwards in my opinion, it's all over. Until next time.

I've never heard tell that they can do any damage, it's just pressure on some nerve serving the eye in the visual cortex at the back of the brain.

The only trigger is stress not food. 30 years ago I had one whilst driving but as it only affects 25% of my vision I kept driving. Not to be recommended. Oh, and I only get it in my right eye.

In 40 years the only other people I've met who have them are people on this anxiety forum.

You may also like...