Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Ocular Migraine

In the past I have blogged about my various vision challenges here. There were two challenges that I did not mention in that blog.

One is allergies. One day I may see clearly with my glasses. The next everything may be a little off. It seems like I need a new prescription, but it is just allergies. Allergies can cause a little swelling in the eyeball, which changes the focus point in the eye just that little bit; hence I cannot bring in a truly clear focus until the eye is back to normal.

The other problem is the ocular migraine. I had never even heard of the term "ocular migraine" until I was in my fifties. Looking back after diagnosis, I knew I had had them before. I just didn't know what they were, and since they passed fairly quickly and painlessly I would quickly forget about them. Then one day I had one that was a good deal more dramatic, and that is what sent me to the doctor.

I was at work. My boss had come into my office and we were just visiting about this and that when I started losing my vision. My view field just shrank away until I was almost blind. I can tell you that I definitely found this disturbing! I thought I must be having a little stroke. My vision came back, but I could not overlook that happening. I immediately contacted my doctor and went to see her. After visiting with me about what had happened, she reassured me that she did not believe I had a stroke, but that it sounded like an ocular migraine. My response was, "But I didn't have a headache." She explained that the ocular migraine is often painless. She referred me to the Eye Institute. The diagnosis I received there was the same--ocular migraine.

Both yesterday and today I have had ocular migraines, today with a little headache to go with it. My first clue that one is happening is an inability to get a clear focus on something I'm reading or looking at. Then I see a tiny, squiggly, colorful bright line. The line grows, makes an oval shape that expands to fill my vision. This halo is still a fine line, the space within it is an area of blurry vision.

It is aggravating, but doesn't usually last more than a few minutes to a half hour before the halo effect is gone. It may take a few hours before my vision clears. I was glad for recorded books yesterday. I couldn't read without difficulty, TV was blurred a bit, but I could listen to a good book!

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