Migraine aura anyone? Or does the cheese stand alone?

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

ZachL

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
8
Location
California
follow up on my ocular migraines. 4 years post op. Initially averaged about one every day or two. Now down to one every eight or nine days. I do not feel well for a day afterwards. I guess the brain fog thing. I have tried many dietary manipulations (eliminating alcohol, wine, nuts, cheese, artificial sweetners). Initially I was convinced that exercise caused them. Most were occurring with exercise. I have kept a log for 16 months. Quit exercising 5 or six months ago. Still walk or ride a bike most days but slowly and not nearly as far as I was and I don't time it any more. The four months that I have logs for before and after stopping exercise I find that the frequency has not changed. Still get about half while I am outside walking, biking. I live in Florida so it is hot and usually sunny. Some occur when I first start walking and some a few minutes after I get back. Sunglasses don't help and taking water and drinking while outside does not help. In the past when I was walking five sub 15 minute miles, I found that if I continued walking in spite of migraine that I would get a second one either before I finished or immediately after. Still looking for something I can do to decrease frequency. I am interested if anyone has found a trigger that helps. Others have said that beta blockers have helped, but I have been on beta blocker continuously since before surgery. I think that I may start exercising more aggressively again to see if they get worse.
Like you, initially after my AVR, I started having migraines every few days, which slowly became about once every week or 2 and stayed like that for about a year. I started going to a chiropractor that does not do "major adjustments" like others I have been to over the years. She mainly focuses on stretching and loosening the muscles in my spine and neck. I started going to the chiropractor ever 2-3 weeks and went 12 weeks without a migraine until about 5 weeks ago unfortunately. I have had 1 migraine a week for the past 5 weeks and it has been brutal. I know that is not much help, but might be worth a shot to try and find a reputable chiropractor or even get a back/ neck massage which has seemed to help lower the frequency of my migraines.
 

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
2,701
Location
California
I've been getting the auras since I was 16 years old. The painful migraines for me, fortunately, are extremely rare.

For me, bright light seems to trigger them. I sometimes think that eating certain foods may trigger them - but I can repeat with the same foods and have no problem. Sometimes a chocolate bar helps turn the auras off. Sometimes, it has no effect. Sometimes coffee can help turn it off (and maybe a high caffeine drink will do the same for you.)

I'm hope that your migraines stop completely or, if not a complete stop, that they morph into the much better tolerated (and often painless) migraine auras that MANY of us get.
 

ZachL

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
8
Location
California
I've been getting the auras since I was 16 years old. The painful migraines for me, fortunately, are extremely rare.

For me, bright light seems to trigger them. I sometimes think that eating certain foods may trigger them - but I can repeat with the same foods and have no problem. Sometimes a chocolate bar helps turn the auras off. Sometimes, it has no effect. Sometimes coffee can help turn it off (and maybe a high caffeine drink will do the same for you.)

I'm hope that your migraines stop completely or, if not a complete stop, that they morph into the much better tolerated (and often painless) migraine auras that MANY of us get.
I have never heard of having chocolate when the auras arrive to help prevent the headache/ migraine that follows for me. Usually I try to take Tylenol and drink some coffee quickly. Or if I have one available sometimes a small high caffeine drink helps and prevents the headaches from getting terrible after the auras. Unfortunately I work in an office and my job depends on computer work and my partial vision loss/ auras make it to where I can't even track the courser on the screen. If...... WHEN the auras arrive I try and take Tylenol, drink some caffeine and cut out all light until the auras is gone and my vision is back. If I do all that fast enough the migraine will only be painful for 1-2 hours, but I will have "brain fog" for 1-2 days. Recently I have started tracking my blood pressure very closely in hopes of figuring out if my blood pressure is low or high when the migraines hit and see if there is any correlation. Its all a guessing game and slowly but surely I am figuring out ways to deal with it. I will have to try chocolate next time to see if that helps at all.
 

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
2,701
Location
California
I think Dark chocolate may be slightly more effective than milk chocolate (I don't remember which worked best, and they weren't always effective). It can't hurt...

I think you meant 'cursor.'

When I used to drink canned drinks, I found that Diet Coke and a few pieces of chocolate seemed to turn the auras off.

I work at the computer a LOT, and sometimes when the auras hit, it's hard to read the screen. I can sometimes accommodate to it by looking slightly away from the text I want to see - sometimes it moves into another position in the field of vision where it's 'sort of' readable.

But, as with others, avoiding bright lights DOES help - sometimes, for me, it reduces the time that I'm having the aura from a half an hour all the way down to 30 minutes. (Avoiding bright light during the aura seems to reduce the annoyance or disruption - bright lights are not good when you're having an aura -- as anyone who has had these more than once can tell you). I've never found that Tylenol did anything for me.
 

AZ Don

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Messages
680
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I get the ocular migraine/aura ever since my OHS 6 years ago. But they are not accompanied nor followed by headache, last only 15-20 minutes and are just a distraction. They tend to be triggered by light or if I get overheated during exercise.

My daughter gets classic migraine aura followed by migraines. The best recommendation we got from the neurologist was to take vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). It is one of the most effective preventions for migraine (google it). My daughter doesn't always take it but I do and I get way less headaches. Not sure that it has any effect on the aura's, I still get them from time to time.
 

harrietW

Attitude of Gratitude
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
562
Location
Magrath, Alberta, Canada
I started getting them after my first OHS terribly. I am now 8 wks post my second surgery 3.5 yrs later and they are ever so present. Frustrated !! I have had vision problems also that become increasingly worse.
 

Astro

Active member
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
30
Location
Adelaide, Australia
I started getting them after my first OHS terribly. I am now 8 wks post my second surgery 3.5 yrs later and they are ever so present. Frustrated !! I have had vision problems also that become increasingly worse.
Good luck with the migraines. Hope you are gathering strength after your ordeal. ;)
 

Astro

Active member
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
30
Location
Adelaide, Australia
I started getting them after my first OHS terribly. I am now 8 wks post my second surgery 3.5 yrs later and they are ever so present. Frustrated !! I have had vision problems also that become increasingly worse.
Good luck with the migraines. Hope you are gathering strength after your ordeal.

Sorry about the double message. Can’t see how to delete. Anyway, best wishes
 

MrsBray

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
282
Location
Clearwater/Tampa FL area
I may have previously chimed in on this. Anyway.... I started having aura migraines around age 20 (before diagnosis) and chalked them up to college life - heavy drinking, copious caffeine, and little sleep. They continued, along with dizzy spells, and I just went along with them. Primary doc didn't seem concerned, optometrist didn't seem concerned. the got progressively worse, triggered by bright flashes of light (usually sunlight glinting off windshields or chrome). I was up to 4-6/month pre-op at age 42. Post op for 5 years, I have less than 1/month, probably less than 6/year.

Caffeine/darkness/quiet makes mine go away, it's not painful, and the brain-fog lingers for a day-ish. Naps help :)
 

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
2,701
Location
California
MrsBray -- yours sound a lot like mine. I had my first migraine (with the aura) when I was 16 years old, a doorman at a movie theater, taking tickets for a Saturday Matinee, or early evening shows. The reflection of the sun off of cars driving past the theater started my first migraine. After a few years, these changed to auras, most often not accompanied by pain.

Bright lights are often triggers - or, at least, if I can't avoid bright lights, they seem to make the auras worse.
And, yes, caffeine, darkness, (maybe quiet?) make these more tolerable, but I don't think that, in my case, they helped them to go away. Occasionally (rarely) caffeine or chocolate may turn the thing off, just like flicking a switch, but these don't seem to be helping much. I haven't recorded the frequency of these things - it seems like they're coming a bit more frequently than they used to.
 

Solar Rays

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Rochester NY
Update on my experience with auras. I was told to take B2 and magnesium and feverfew by a neurologist. I cant take the feverfew due to coumidan. I posted awhile back that Ive had a huge increase in the auras since mitral valve repair probably from the heart lung machine. Drs. dont seem concerned. Ive had approx. 60 since Oct 2018. Sun glare and fluorescent lights are triggers. Has anyone had experience with anything that helps? What about antireflective eyeglasses? Thank you.
 

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
2,701
Location
California
I take magnesium -- 200 mg of a mixed source (citrate, oxide, and another form) that I get from Trader Joe's. Sometimes I take 200 twice a day - too much gives me digestive issues.

I don't intentionally take B2.

Sometimes something caffeinated helps, sometimes chocolate helps. In the past, when I was drinking Pepsi (I think that it was only Pepsi that helped), one sip will turn the damned auras off. I haven't had anything carbonated, aside from filtered water, in years.

The only thing that consistently stopped the auras was TIME -- after about 30 minutes or so, they usually fade away.
 
Last edited:

doclewis

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
18
Location
Orlando, Fl
I have posted on this thread several times so this is follow up. As several others I started with severe migraines with aura at about age 14. Morphed in to ocular migraines at about age 25. Had them about every 3 to six months. Were not much more than a nuisance. Lasted every only 20 minutes. Sometimes on right and sometimes on left of visual field. Certainly in central nervous system since they were in both eyes. Post op (AVR and ascending aorta repair 4 years ago) } began getting them daily to every other day. Gradually got a little less frequent. Now about every 8 days on average. Many dietary manipulations without success. Logged when they occurred for a year. Thought due to exercise. Quit exercising completely. Before that about 75% occurred during exercise or immediately after. However when I stopped exercising have not changed frequency just get them first thing in the morning or even at night. Just had one this AM when I turned on computer. I really dont feel myself for a day or so after (i guess brain fog). May start back on my exercise program. Was walking five sub 15 minute miles before. Will try the B2 and magnesium tablets as suggested. Have about decided to just live with it and be thankful that it is not worse. I have discussed with neurologist, surgeon, cardiologist, and PCP and nobody has ever heard of this.
 

Latest posts

Top