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Auro Without Headache?


Darlene
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Sometimes my vision gets distorted. I see zigzags, flashes of light, blind spots... this lasts about 20 minutes then my vision returns to normal. I am not experiencing a headache when this happens. My neurologist says this is auro without the headache. Does this happen with anyone else? This really freaks me out when this happen, because I think what if my vision don't return to normal. I have tried topamax, but it does not keep the auras from happening. Is there medication for auras?

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I get the same thing, well about 4-5 times in my life. ALL but one time were caused by taking female hormones. I didn't take the pill my whole adult life. Way back when we were trying to get pregnant, I had to take Clomid, and I had my first aura. Then, at perimeno time I tried HRT a couple of times, and each time I reacted badly and had the aura. The last time I had one, I was not taking any hormones, but I had eaten a bunch of chocolate. It was stuff from the Christmas holidays. So, something that chocolate has in it affects me like hormones do. I know chocolate has copper, magnesium, and threobromine(?). The last thing does something with blood pressure, I believe.

So, anyway, whatever common denominator that hormones and chocolate have is what causes mine.

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Hi Darlene,

I used to get the aura that would start as a little blemish in my vision and then would start to glisten and arch over the top part of my visual field - like looking through a kaleidoscope - then I would get the full blown migraine.

Lately, I have been getting just a dark spot in the left side of my field which is usually brought on by brightness - bright skies etc.

I just deal with it till it goes.

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Hey yal,

I have had migraines since 7th grade and am now 33. Every migraine i have ever had always begun with an aurora. At first it starts off little in my eyesight as a silvery/grayish circle that 'blinds' out the vision, and then within about 15 mins, then the little circle has completely taken over my vision.... that would last for an hour or two and then the migraine pain would start. However, for several years now, I am having the aurora, but with no pain.... I was told that these are called 'silent migraines'. So, it's been 21 years now, and i STILL never get use to these auroras. If i am out somewhere, and this happens, i have to call someone to come get me.... or i get hubby to come tow me home due to not having any vision. Im honestly not sure if i would rather have the pain or the aurora.... the moment one starts, i get so so so panicked.... i hate it. But, it always passes. I do notice, that if i eat more msg's than normal (i love slaw-hot dogs, which hotdogs have lots of msgs in them), then i notice an increase in the auroras.

I know this doesn't really help much.... but wanted you to know you are not alone! I always used imitrex for the full blown migraine, but since there is no pain anymore associated with the same auroras, no doc has ever 'treated' it. As a matter of fact, my old doctor that i fired, had never heard of a silent migraine.... that shocked me.

Many blessings,

tennille

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oh, i had meant to say in this that my auroras completely blind me for an hour or two.... i cannot see, anything. I have even been stranded in the middle of walmart and at a drive thru when these have happened..... i call my hubb or mom to come find me and take me home.... lol..... but it's always traumatizing to me to lose my vision.... always....

tennille

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Yes I also get them sometimes with the headache sometimes without mostly around my cycle and also some other slight numbness disorient ion I just don't feel right... and its very scary its never happened in public I always have warning signs about 15-mins ahead of the full blown aura.

Is this pretty common finding among dysautonomia? Has there been any studies or research on the part of the brain thats being affected?Or is it just about the constriction?

Lissy

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This sounds very similar to my symptoms. I thought I was havinga stroke of some kind. I don't get a HA with it. It almost feels like tunnel vision surrounded by prisms on all sides. It normally lasts about 20-40 minutes for me too. After ruling out a brain tumor of some kind I was told it was an optic migraine. Fun fact ... if I feel one coming on I load up on caffeine and it seems to shorten the duration. I've heard of people totally losing their vision from these. Scary!!

Brye

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Even though aura's sound benign, they can be so scary! Long before my ANS issues, a neurologist diagnosed my odd seizure-like aura-type episodes as complicated migraines with and without aura. She explained that while a prodrome/aura can precede a headache in a migraine event, that in some patients, the cascade of events is aborted for some reason, so the headache doesn't actually happen. During some of these episodes, I couldn't move half my body, leading to diagnosis of hemiplegic migraine. After working through neary every migraine med on the market and being unable to tolerate depakote and verapamil, she prescribed Topamax, but I couldn't tolerate this med either, unable to titrate past the second dose level.

She then recommended a book called "Heal Your Headache" by David Bucholz, a neuro at Hopkins. After following his three phase plan, which included stopping certain meds and getting off the rebounding cycle and eliminating numerous dietary and environmental triggers, especially MSG. His threory is based on lowering your migraine threshold. I was skeptical, but faithfully followed his plan. I was able to go from multiple migraines a week to zero for over five years. The funky auras also stopped for years. Last year, I was intrigued to learn that my previous neurologist did a fellowship at Mayo and was instrummental in setting up the autonomic lab at the department which later diagnosed my autonomic neuropathy. Too bad she moved out of my healthcare network way before I got my ANS diagnosis. :huh:

Take care, Lyn

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I get these from time to time. They're kinda scary. I call it the "floating C" - it's a colorful crescent shape that causes some temporary vision loss, goes across my field of vision over the course of about 20 minutes and then goes away. And NO headache. The last one I had when I was pregnant, so I'm thinking it may be hormone related. I believe it's called an Ocular Migraine. Here's a little article.

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/ocular-migraine.htm

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I was told they are optical migraines, I get them with and without pain.

I stopped driving cause I get them suddenly and can be blind for a while, can't imagine it happening with the kids in the car, some areas round here there is just no where to pull over!

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Shoegal,

You kinda sound like me, but i do drive, because mine are infrequent. The last one i had was at the drive thru with my 12 and 14 year olds..... BAM eyesight gone! Had to get my son and daughter to help me pull out of the way and call my hubby to come and tow us home. That was aweful..... it was the first and only time it happened with my kids out somewhere.

:)

tennille

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I always get the aura with a headache. Ususally it's only when I drink too much of something that contains an artifical sweetener, though. But it will start with things starting to look all warped and twisted. Then I'll see a bright speck which will turn into full bright zig zags on one side of my vision. Then it blocks out everything for 30-40 minutes until it travels to the other side then fully disappears. I always get a headache afterwards and feel sick in my stomach. But there are times I will see spots and dots for just a few minutes and it will go away. I don't get a headache then.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, I pretty much get only the aura with no headache. I get the vision loss/scintillating scotoma that begins as a small spot and then grows to more of my field of sight. It lasts about half an hour to an hour, then goes away. I don't usually get a headache after.

When I was on the pill, I got one or two every month. I have fewer episodes now that I am off the pill, but it still happens a few times a year. It's not as scary now that I know what it is.

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Yep I get Aura with and without headache, I had them since being a small child had no idea what they were then! I tend to have many aura's without the headache, but my aura's are not just visual, I get tinnitis, numbness, memory problems as well. I found this article quite explanatory:

What Is a Migraine With Aura, and What Causes It?

"Migraine with aura" is a relatively new name for the less common type of migraine headache. Other names you might hear are classic migraine or migraineur. Aura refers to feelings and symptoms you notice shortly before the headache begins. These early symptoms are also called a prodrome.

Scientists aren't sure what causes migraines with aura. It's thought that at least two brain chemicals -- serotonin and dopamine -- play a role. According to the theory, something goes awry in the way these chemicals regulate brain function. This may cause the brain and the body's immune system to overreact. When this happens, a flood of immune response cells flows through the blood vessels to the brain. The brain's blood vessels open wider to accommodate these cells. Even more chemicals are released to help control the vessels' muscles. The vessels open and constrict. A severe, often throbbing headache results.

Factors suspected of causing migraines with aura include genetics and being overweight. Substances, behaviors, and environment may trigger migraines, as well. It is known that migraines often run in families.They frequently begin in childhood and worsen through adolescence. Although more boys than girls have migraines, more adult women than adult men have migraines. Over time, the number of migraines lessen, and they become rare after age 50.

Whatever the cause, the good news is that -- although painful -- migraines with aura are not life threatening.

What Are the Symptoms of a Migraine With Aura?

Migraines with aura account for less than 20% of all migraines. But that's little comfort when you are the one who falls victim to this painful headache.

Headache is considered the symptom common to all types of migraines -- although a few children experience an aura without a headache. Migraine pain usually occurs in the front of the head on one or both sides of the temples. It may throb or be steady. The headache may last from four to 72 hours.

Other symptoms of migraine may include any of these:

nausea

vomiting

yawning

irritability

low blood pressure

feeling "hyper"

sensitivity to light, sounds, or motion

dark colors under the eyes

A migraine with aura comes with additional symptoms, which often begin about 30 minutes or less before the headache. These early symptoms are called a prodrome.The prodrome or aura may last for five to 20 minutes, or it may continue even after the headache subsides. Symptoms of aura include:

blind spots or scotomas

blindness in half of your visual field in one or both eyes (hemianopsia)

seeing zigzag patterns (fortification)

seeing flashing lights (scintilla)

feeling prickling skin (paresthesia)

weakness

seeing things that aren't really there (hallucinations)

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