National Migraine Centre
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Flashing lights - is it normal to see them so much?

I see blue flashes of light (sometimes other colours) several times a week. Maybe every 4-6 weeks I'll get a massive migraine within the next couple of days - with all the aura bits and every possible migraine symptom going.

I also get migraine without the headache - sometimes I really know I'm having one, and other times the symptoms are quite mild.

I've been having botox for a while - which is massively helpful in reducing the intensity and duration of the headaches but doesn't stop the other symptoms. I've been to the eye clinic and they say my eyes are absolutely fine and can't explain the persistant blue lights.

Does any one else get this? I also have chronic pain and my neck is out of alignment, so I'm wondering if the lights are anything to do with this? I'm also wondering if sometimes the non-headache migraine symptoms are so slight I'm not always noticing them? The lights were really vivid yesterday and today I have no symptoms other than roaring tinnitus.

Suppose I could keep a diary again....

3 Replies

I get flashes of light regularly in the build up to an attack, sometimes I will have several days of visual disturbance before the migraine starts. I have been referred for eye tests on a couple of occasions as doctors worry about flashes/floaters, and they've never shown any cause for concern. I've just accepted that the visual symptoms are an annoying part of having migraines - but it can be very disconcerting.


You're right, sometimes it can be disconcerting, but at other times I'm aware of the lights but ignore them. It's been suggested that I take a triptan everytime I see them, but as they don't always lead to a massive migraine - and because triptans don't seem to do anything for me - I'd rather not.

I have decided not to mention the lights at my next eye test - the last time I had one the optician freaked out and sent me to eye casualty.

It's funny, but for two or three years I was blaming them on the medication I was on for chronic pain. In fact, I blamed the medication for the nausea and dizziness and word-finding problems, only to find it wasn't that at all!


I also get visual disturbance and flashes. If the day is cloudy (which is almost every day in London!) I see some tiny flashing dots when I look up to the sky... But the migraine might not start immediately after that, it could take up to 2 days.

I also have pain in my neck and shoulders, and bruxism and that really makes the headaches worse.


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