85 Silent Migraines Since Surgery 10/2018

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Solar Rays

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I had an average of 6 to 12 silent migraines per year starting in 2006. After mitral valve repair I have had 85. That number does not include the days I had 2 or 3 per day. I have consulted with the surgeon who told me to drink more water, my cardiologist who never heard of it and my primary care physician who suggested a neurologist. Neurologist agreed with me to try magnesium and B2. I have kept a food journal and have not seen any specific foods that cause these. I know that fluorescent lights can cause them and sun glare but other times I don't know what the cause is. I have searched the internet, message boards and youtube and no ideas as to how to stop these. Any new ideas anyone has found?
 

Solar Rays

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They are painless migraines with auras (mine are colored zig zags) lasting 20 minutes. They are caused by the same brain changes. Also known as acephalgic migraines.
 

pellicle

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They are painless migraines with auras (mine are colored zig zags) lasting 20 minutes. They are caused by the same brain changes. Also known as acephalgic migraines.
ahh ... never heard that term either (nobody hears mine either)

I'd say that the majority of mine (which have happened since my teenage years) are that way, although its not without some sort of cognitive issue and also a strange feeling on the side of my face. The feeling is not unlike the after effect of being touched there for some long duration (say by wind on my motorcycle) and then that "after image" of touching when I get off the bike (after say a 2 hour ride with my open face helmet).

To my knowledge we have no clear understanding of the causes yet, however I can say that when I've had good chiropractic (and many are useless) that whatever that practitioner does (and trust me, I keep going back to them) vastly reduces the incidence. A chiro once a month can mean I'm migraine free for the entire year.

Also, I've found that giving up desk work and doing an amount of backpacking and XC Skiing also has a similar effect, so I believe its postural that triggers it.
 

Paleowoman

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The day after heart surgery I started getting these migraine auras but without headache and, less frequently, episodes of double vision. The cardiac doctor on the ward said they often happen after heart surgery. Since they are not a bother to me and I don't drive - otherwise 20 mins of zigzagging light obscuring my vision might be risky for driving - I haven't done anything much about them.

These kinds of migraine auras without headache have been discussed several times on the forum. If you do a serach for them you'll find many threads going back years popping up ! This tells me that the trigger for these is heart surgery or probably the heart lung machine.

My GP told me to keep a diary but all it tells them is the frequency, there's no correlation with what I've been doing or eating. They can happen any time, day or night - I've woken up at night and found myself having one !

I had an average of 6 to 12 silent migraines per year starting in 2006. After mitral valve repair I have had 85. That number does not include the days I had 2 or 3 per day. I have consulted with the surgeon who told me to drink more water, my cardiologist who never heard of it and my primary care physician who suggested a neurologist. Neurologist agreed with me to try magnesium and B2. I have kept a food journal and have not seen any specific foods that cause these. I know that fluorescent lights can cause them and sun glare but other times I don't know what the cause is. I have searched the internet, message boards and youtube and no ideas as to how to stop these. Any new ideas anyone has found?
 

catwoman

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I started getting the auras 2 days post-op and have had them on and off for 16 1/2 years. Surgeon didn’t know what I was talking about. I asked my eye doctor, who said there wasn’t much that could be done since they don’t progress into a migraine headache.

A friend who was an optometrist and taught at a college in Memphis, Tenn., knew exactly what I was talking about. His mother had had MVR in her 60s or 70s and had the auras post-op. He attributed them to a disruption in blood flow that affects the optic nerve (I think that’s the gist of what he said).

My dad, who had a right bundle branch block, had them, too. He consulted a neuro-ophthalmologist, who said nothing can be done because they are of short duration (mine last about 20 minutes), triggers can’t be determined and they don’t progress to migraine headaches. My former family doctor was willing to prescribe something, but it would be useless since you can’t predict when you get one and they don’t last very long.

My current cardiologist said these auras are common after OHS.
 

doclewis

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I have always termed them ocular migraines. Certainly the same thing. Have posted many times on this thread about my experience with these since surgery 5 years ago.
 

Protimenow

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I'm one of the many(probably) who had these migraines a long time before having the OHS. For me, I don't think the OHS increased the severity. When I was 16 (an usher at a movie theater), migraines would be triggered by a flash of light -- usually sunlight from the window of a car driving past the theater - would start the migraines. For the first few years, these were accompanied by pain. After a few years, the painful headaches stopped.

Perhaps my bicuspid valve had something to do with the ocular migraines. Perhaps there's something genetic that people with bicuspid valves also have, and this can cause the ocular migraines. Surgery (and hours on the heart lung machine) might make it worse.

For me, the ocular migraines seem to last 30 minutes. If I eat chocolate, and have some coffee, they may last for a half hour. (I stay away from bright lights during an ocular migraine, if I can).

My auras seem to move around in my field of vision, after a few minutes, it feels safe to drive.
 

bizinsider

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My dad, who had a right bundle branch block, had them, too. He consulted a neuro-ophthalmologist, who said nothing can be done because they are of short duration (mine last about 20 minutes), triggers can’t be determined and they don’t progress to migraine headaches. My former family doctor was willing to prescribe something, but it would be useless since you can’t predict when you get one and they don’t last very long.

My current cardiologist said these auras are common after OHS.
Catwoman, like your dad, also have right-bundle branch block and have had them for 40+ years, starting in my mid-20s. Don’t know why but I remember exactly where I was when I had the first one! 😬 I’ve typically had them several times a year; in recent months, multiple times a week. Since the frequency has increased with the size of my aorta/sinus and possibly left-ventricle, which has been dilating (bicuspid valve) I see them as a not-so-silent warning.
 

catwoman

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Catwoman, like your dad, also have right-bundle branch block and have had them for 40+ years, starting in my mid-20s. Don’t know why but I remember exactly where I was when I had the first one! 😬 I’ve typically had them several times a year; in recent months, multiple times a week. Since the frequency has increased with the size of my aorta/sinus and possibly left-ventricle, which has been dilating (bicuspid valve) I see them as a not-so-silent warning.
My father never mentioned his ophthalmic migraines until I told him about mine after my MVR. That led me to believe they weren’t frequent. My father never had OHS, although I believe he once said his cardio suggested a pacemaker. He died of complications from Alzheimer’s.

Mine are sporadic: sometimes several in a week, sometimes months go by without one.
 
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KSS

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I’ve had the zig-zagging color auras since I was in my twenties (I’m now 60). My dad had them as well. Sometimes they develop into headache & most times they don’t (for me). One dr told my dad that it was caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure. The drs I’ve talked to haven’t a clue of what it is & just brush it aside. After having AVR surgery 5 weeks ago, I get the auras more frequently, plus some double vision occasionally. My new symptom is stars off & on in my vision. The surgeon told me that this is caused by some inflammation behind the eye as a result of the surgery & should clear up after a few months.
 

Zoltania

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I used to get one or two ocular migraines per year for the twenty years or so before my mitral valve repair surgery. Since the surgery I have been getting one or two per month. They don't bother me in any way. What I like to do is look at the clock when one starts. I reassure myself that it will be over in less than half an hour (usually just twenty minutes), and it always is.
 

doclewis

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I had an average of 6 to 12 silent migraines per year starting in 2006. After mitral valve repair I have had 85. That number does not include the days I had 2 or 3 per day. I have consulted with the surgeon who told me to drink more water, my cardiologist who never heard of it and my primary care physician who suggested a neurologist. Neurologist agreed with me to try magnesium and B2. I have kept a food journal and have not seen any specific foods that cause these. I know that fluorescent lights can cause them and sun glare but other times I don't know what the cause is. I have searched the internet, message boards and youtube and no ideas as to how to stop these. Any new ideas anyone has found?
I read your post for first time today. I have posted regarding my "silent migraines" several times and have periodically followed the various migraine threads on this site. Very briefly there has been no one who has posted a good idea as to why this seems to occur after valve replacement and various ideas about triggers have not helped me. I probably had more silent migraines than you the first year after my aortic valve replacement. The only optimistic fact I can share is that very slowly over past 4 1/2 years they have gotten less frequent. It was one year before I went a whole week without one and 4 years before I went a whole month. I have had only two each of the last two months. This is the only problem I have had since surgery and still baffled by it but thankful that my heart is doing very well and otherwise had a short, uneventful recovery.
 

johnmarkos

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Five days after AVR, I had six ocular migraines painless migraines with aura today. One yesterday, and possibly another one a day earlier, but I hadn't started keeping track. They don't last long (some just a couple minutes), and they're painless (so far, knock on wood), so I'm not super worried about it, thanks to people on this forum posting about their similar experiences. Nevertheless, I will mention it to the nurse tomorrow, and to the doctor, next time I have the chance. I brought the one (two?) I'd had up to the hospitalist before discharge, and he didn't seem perturbed.

I also had one three days before AVR. Pre-surgery and post-adolescence, I only got them a few times a year.
 
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Seaton

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I’ve had migraines with aura (and always a post aura throbbing headache) on and off since pre-pubescence.

At times they are very regular with several a week - sometimes twice a day. Then other times quite a few months can pass without issue.

Last week I had two in one day. The first for weeks. The post headache lasted a few days.

I had one in the hospital post surgery last August. With a mild headache. And on and off during the couple of months post surgery.

I was told years ago to cut out cheese. Which I did without effect. I still got them. I started eating cheese again. A number of years ago I stopped eating cheese altogether as it was affecting my joints (with inflammatory pain). The pain resolved once stopping but the migraines never have.

I love cheese, by the way! 🐭

*For the record, An Ocular Migraine is also called a Retinal Migraine. This is a migraine that affects one eye only.
My migraines are always regular ones, affecting both eyes at once.
 
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