Migraine aura anyone? Or does the cheese stand alone?

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LadyChicken

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Apr 5, 2017
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Canada Ontario
I've had migraines since I was 10 and they always started off with the little flashing aura and then ended with a headache behind the eye and vomiting. Very frustrating as a kid, especially when you have a step mom who thinks you'e lying and won't help you. Needless to say, migraines are a topic that I don't discuss with people due to some pretty messed up childhood b.s. lol. Fast forward to the age of 34 and I hardly get them anymore. Maybe 1-2 a month and I can cure them quickly if I pop Ibprofen as soon as the aura shows. With that said, I'm a bit frightened that something may have happened during surgery to make things worse:( No joke, I'm getting these ocular migraines 2-5 times a day since surgery (November 14). I don' eat much at all, so I know it's not triggered by food. In a way I'm hoping I'm the only one as it would make me sad to think anyone else has to go through this, however, on the selfish side, I kinda hope somebody has experienced this too and can assure me that this period of cluster migraines doesn't last long.
 

Paleowoman

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LadyChicken;n880342 said:
I'm a bit frightened that something may have happened during surgery to make things worse:( No joke, I'm getting these ocular migraines 2-5 times a day since surgery (November 14). I don' eat much at all, so I know it's not triggered by food. In a way I'm hoping I'm the only one as it would make me sad to think anyone else has to go through this, however, on the selfish side, I kinda hope somebody has experienced this too and can assure me that this period of cluster migraines doesn't last long.
There seem to be quie a few of us get these migraine auras post surgery. The doctor on the cardiac ward told me they happen post cardiac surgery. I started getting them, the aura starting in middle of my vision spreading outwards, but no headache, the day after surgery. Also episodes of double vision and sparkles of light crossing my vision (not floaters). I still get all those things nearly four years since AVR. The auras and double vision are slightly less frequent now, just a couple of times a month, but the sparkles of light are daily. There's whole threads about this happeneing after surgery on the forum, do a search for visual disturbances.
 

Zoltania

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Feb 16, 2015
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SF Bay Area, California
I've been getting these painless optical migraines for about 20 years, starting long before my surgery. I used to get one or two per year. Since the surgery, I get one or two per month. As Paleowoman said, there are many similar anecdotes in the archives.

So they may not go away for you, but there's no reason to think that they will turn into the full type of migraine with headache.
 

doclewis

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Apr 4, 2016
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Location
Orlando, Fl
I was very interested to hear others talk about ocular migraines. Like previous posters, I had migraines since adolescence. In my thirties they morphed to ocular migraines with only lights and jagged lines. Rarely got a headache at all. This occurred maybe once every 3 months. Had open aortic valve replacement about 4 years ago they have been occurring much more often and I frequently have a slight but bothersome headache for hours or a day after. Initially after surgery was having them almost every day or two. Now about every week or 10 days. Started baby asa at suggestion of neurologist and about that time they began to get less frequent. Also have noted that I have them frequently when I exercise and for that reason I have cut way back on exercise. I am 74 years old and was very proud of my ability to exercise strenuously. Still walking 3 to 4 miles a day but not as fast. I wonder if I should cut back further. All of my doctors (heart surgeon, cardiologist ) say they have never heard of such a thing. I have posted this two or three years ago but no reports from others. I wonder what caused this to occur and is there anything else to do about it. Never got any answers and have given up trying.
 

Protimenow

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Aug 10, 2010
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California
For me, it seems like bright lights can trigger these ocular migraines. Avoiding bright light when I'm having the ocular migraines usually helps to reduce the apparent severity.
Your doctors are probably content with the license that they got decades ago and aren't doing the right continuing medical education. You probably aren't the first to mention this to them, but they're probably not curious enough about them to confirm that yours isn't an isolated incident.
I've just started exercising. I'm not noticing any change in the frequency or duration of these events. If it was me, I probably wouldn't cut back on exercise just to avoid the occasional inconvenience of these ocular migraines -- avoiding the pain may be a different issue. You're probably benefitting considerably more from the exercise than you're potentially reducing your well being by NOT exercising.
When I get the ocular events, it seems to help, sometimes, if I have a piece of chocolate or a caffeinated drink. This may reduce the length of your events from 30 minutes down to a half hour (actually, it may stop the current event almost immediately).
I take an 81 mg aspirin at bedtime - this wasn't specifically to reduce the occurrence of migraines (I don't think I was aware of this theory) but, rather, to make my platelets a bit less sticky.
 

workmonkey

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Dec 2, 2013
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Location
Brooklyn, NY
You can find the longer story in another chain, but in recap: For five years, starting the day after my surgery, I had all the problems described here: Auras throughout the day, vertigo, double vision, and odd bouts of brain fog and deja vu. All of it eventually diagnosed as complex migraines, caused by surgery.

Ultimately, it was resolved by Propranolol, 2x/day. This is commonly used to treat occular migraines, and it did wonders for me. It has the added benefit of being a betablocker, so helps keep the blood pressure down. I rarely have auras anymore, and if I do, they are short-lived. Give it a try.
 

Thomas

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Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
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Location
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
In my case, I experienced them for several years, one to two a month. It would start with double vision, a bit of brain fog as workmonkey describes; then I'd go totally blind in one eye with what i can only describe as a white film that would block everything for a couple minutes. Then it would slowly open again. No pain. It sucked when it happened while I was driving.
Since my surgery a year and a bit ago, I haven't had one. I have no idea why but I'm thankful.
 

DachsieMom

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Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
258
Location
CT
I have the same issue - ocular migraines starting the week of my surgery 4 years ago. Several times a week after surgery but now maybe one a month. If I take two Tylenol within 5 minutes of seeing the sparkles and visual aura, it goes away and I don’t get sick. If I don’t immediately take Tylenol, then I’m miserable.
 

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