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Migraine aura anyone? Or does the cheese stand alone?

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Freebird

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Sep 27, 2019
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119
Freebird, My experience is remarkably similar to yours. I was on beta blocker preop for aneurysm. Post op it was decreased because blood pressure too low. Beta blockers are a medication sometimes recommended for frequent migraines so I went back up on the dosage but it has not made any difference one way or the other. I also have discussed with all the types of doctors I have seen with no suggestions. My longest spell without one is 30 days, but still have weeks with two or even three. Sunlight does seem to sometimes cause one. I was certain that exercise brought them on. Still feel that it is a factor. I cut way back on how fast I walk and how far. I do walk on the beach so usually sun is a factor. When I try to speed up my walk and go full five miles, definitely causes one, but not every time. Now always take water when I walk and wear sunglasses when sun is out. I have also noticed several while sitting at computer with blinds open and sun shining. Since I had these preop maybe once every three months and postop several a week, I too am certain they are related to surgery. Will think about posture as recommended by pellicle and protime. Your experiences very similar to mine reassure me Thanks
I head to the optometrist today for my annual visit, where I'll once again try to nail him down on what causes them.
Forgot to mention another theory is that it's hormonal. I've done pretty well since trying the B12, although I had a minor one yesterday, but it was the first one in 15 days, which is an improvement for me.
I did find it funny that when I asked my PCP about them she said that beta blockers could be prescribed. No thanks!
Grateful that they're not painful and last maybe 20 minutes.
 

doclewis

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I head to the optometrist today for my annual visit, where I'll once again try to nail him down on what causes them.
Forgot to mention another theory is that it's hormonal. I've done pretty well since trying the B12, although I had a minor one yesterday, but it was the first one in 15 days, which is an improvement for me.
I did find it funny that when I asked my PCP about them she said that beta blockers could be prescribed. No thanks!
Grateful that they're not painful and last maybe 20 minutes.
I have spoken with heart surgeon, pcp, neurologist, ophthalmologist, and cardiologist. All say they don't have any idea why this has happened, but have never heard of it being related to heart surgery. Neurologist did say she has seen this occur with opening stenosed carotid artery and felt sudden increased blood flow to brain was cause and that if that is the case, then sensors that control blood flow to brain in carotid arteries should improve with time.
 

Freebird

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119
I have spoken with heart surgeon, pcp, neurologist, ophthalmologist, and cardiologist. All say they don't have any idea why this has happened, but have never heard of it being related to heart surgery. Neurologist did say she has seen this occur with opening stenosed carotid artery and felt sudden increased blood flow to brain was cause and that if that is the case, then sensors that control blood flow to brain in carotid arteries should improve with time.
Interesting. In pressing my optometrist again yesterday he said that given the frequency of mine (about once a week) that I could ask my cardiologist to run a carotid doppler test as it's an inexpensive test. He said it's unlikely the cause but that was his only guess. When I emailed the cardiologist for her opinon she said, "It is not necessarily warranted from a cardiovascular standpoint." She said she'd be happy to order it for me. I'm assuming she's saying that because she doesn't want to get sued (that's how things work here in the US).
 

johnmarkos

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I started getting ocular migraines when I was 16 years old.
I did, too! I got them every few weeks with headache in my late teens and early twenties, aura with no headache every few months till age 49, and then almost constantly (no headache) right after surgery. Since then, they’ve gone back to once every few months, no headache. I used to treat them with aspirin and coffee, and now I just go on with my day and basically ignore them.

During COVID, I work from home (software engineer) and almost never drive. Once I’m back at the office, I’ll bike to work, but I guess I can either wait it out (usually no more than an hour of aura) or walk the two miles downtown when I need to commute.
 

esvaja

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ann arbor michigan
After all I have read, these auras (anecdotally) seem to be evidence of aortic valve disease. Long before I had my surgery at 55 I was having these auras with no headache since I was in my late teens. In my opinion they are bothersome but not needful of medical attention. I did go to an opthamologist (work in the field now) and unless accompanied by headaches or to the point it interferes with your quality of life just let them be, the bigger problem is the aortic valve disease
 

Justmadi

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Apr 1, 2016
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Wisconsin
Just to add one more person....
i started with the optical migraines in my late 20’s. At that time, birth control pills was deemed the culprit. I went off the pills and they DID improve, but didn’t completely go away. Throughout the years I chalked it up to eye strain. Ordered “computer glasses” since my work was in front of a computer all day. That helped.
here I am, 7 years after my mech. AVR. I still get them, but rarely. MAYBE 6 a year.
This commonality is fascinating!
 

slipkid

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I've posted some of this b4, not sure if this thread or elsewhere, but also made a discovery this year that I may not have mentioned.

I've had ocular migraines starting when I was about 16. First one I was outside cutting the lawn. Ran inside in terror thinking I was going blind or something. My mom (& some other relatives) also got these so she told me what it was and calmed me down.

Since then I would get them maybe 1-3 times a year on average. Not pleasant but no big deal. Although I do recall one day have them twice in the same day and it was the day of a superbowl, I passed on going to the party.

Mine always start the same way. I realize I cannot see quite right, there is a small gap in my vision but can't put my finger on it really being there or not. Then within 5 minutes that "spot" shimmers making it standout, then it turns in a shimmering lightning bolt thing (the worst ones are when that bolt is circular and connected all the way round, like a meteor or something), which then turns into a bunch of them obscuring my vision. My head then aches dully over my left eye. The visual crap goes away in about 20-30 minutes. Then I just feel shitty, kind of like a hangover, that lasts the rest of the day. And I get very short tempered, fly off the handle easily.

If I am home when it happens I try to lie down and take a nap which makes me feel better. Also it makes me very light sensitive. Otherwise I just tough it out, could be worse. Sometimes I take a tylenol but not sure it makes the slightest difference.

Things changed dramatically after my open heart surgery (AVR & double bypass). The first month afterwards I had at least 30 migraines that I know of (I kept track). I say that I know of because some of them happened while I was asleep and unless I happened to wake up I would not know they were going on, although also some of them I SAW in my dreams and that woke me up in itself.

Very slowly the # of migraines per month tailed off. About one year later it became a weekly rather than daily thing, averaged about 5 per month.

My PCP recommended going on a beta blocker since that may help but I said I would rather just suffer with the migraines than go on a drug like that. Ironically I WAS on a beta blocker (2 different ones) for about 6 months after my OHS so not like they helped with migraines at all, they friggin' exploded in frequency despite being on them.

This went on for 5 years but last October I had another coronary artery blockage and had to get a stent put in. The cardiologist put me on a beta blocker (metoprolol) to keep my heart "protected", don't want it working too hard after procedures like that supposedly (not for high blood pressure per se).

I had several problems on metoprolol though. Incredible crazy and vivid nightmares which were out of this world. The worst thing was that I was completely non-functional. All I could do was sleep and stay in bed. Had less than zero energy. Also felt like I was on a planet with a stronger gravitational field, or was under water. I could not go back to work. Long story short after 2 weeks of that with no improvement they cut the dosage in half and I could function again. Still had some things I did not like. Stayed on it that way for about 2 months b4 finally able to stop that godawful med (& you have to taper off it slowly).

It was then that I noticed a side effect which was a good one. Instead of 5 migraines a month I had either zero or maybe one. And as the months went by this year I actually was migraine free for about 7-8 months!!!!

Starting about 2-3 months ago they have come back, having about 2 a month.

So I do believe that a beta blocker can help with them in some way, even after stopping it, at least for a certain period of time.
 

doclewis

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Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
36
Location
Orlando, Fl
I've posted some of this b4, not sure if this thread or elsewhere, but also made a discovery this year that I may not have mentioned.

I've had ocular migraines starting when I was about 16. First one I was outside cutting the lawn. Ran inside in terror thinking I was going blind or something. My mom (& some other relatives) also got these so she told me what it was and calmed me down.

Since then I would get them maybe 1-3 times a year on average. Not pleasant but no big deal. Although I do recall one day have them twice in the same day and it was the day of a superbowl, I passed on going to the party.

Mine always start the same way. I realize I cannot see quite right, there is a small gap in my vision but can't put my finger on it really being there or not. Then within 5 minutes that "spot" shimmers making it standout, then it turns in a shimmering lightning bolt thing (the worst ones are when that bolt is circular and connected all the way round, like a meteor or something), which then turns into a bunch of them obscuring my vision. My head then aches dully over my left eye. The visual crap goes away in about 20-30 minutes. Then I just feel shitty, kind of like a hangover, that lasts the rest of the day. And I get very short tempered, fly off the handle easily.

If I am home when it happens I try to lie down and take a nap which makes me feel better. Also it makes me very light sensitive. Otherwise I just tough it out, could be worse. Sometimes I take a tylenol but not sure it makes the slightest difference.

Things changed dramatically after my open heart surgery (AVR & double bypass). The first month afterwards I had at least 30 migraines that I know of (I kept track). I say that I know of because some of them happened while I was asleep and unless I happened to wake up I would not know they were going on, although also some of them I SAW in my dreams and that woke me up in itself.

Very slowly the # of migraines per month tailed off. About one year later it became a weekly rather than daily thing, averaged about 5 per month.

My PCP recommended going on a beta blocker since that may help but I said I would rather just suffer with the migraines than go on a drug like that. Ironically I WAS on a beta blocker (2 different ones) for about 6 months after my OHS so not like they helped with migraines at all, they friggin' exploded in frequency despite being on them.

This went on for 5 years but last October I had another coronary artery blockage and had to get a stent put in. The cardiologist put me on a beta blocker (metoprolol) to keep my heart "protected", don't want it working too hard after procedures like that supposedly (not for high blood pressure per se).

I had several problems on metoprolol though. Incredible crazy and vivid nightmares which were out of this world. The worst thing was that I was completely non-functional. All I could do was sleep and stay in bed. Had less than zero energy. Also felt like I was on a planet with a stronger gravitational field, or was under water. I could not go back to work. Long story short after 2 weeks of that with no improvement they cut the dosage in half and I could function again. Still had some things I did not like. Stayed on it that way for about 2 months b4 finally able to stop that godawful med (& you have to taper off it slowly).

It was then that I noticed a side effect which was a good one. Instead of 5 migraines a month I had either zero or maybe one. And as the months went by this year I actually was migraine free for about 7-8 months!!!!

Starting about 2-3 months ago they have come back, having about 2 a month.

So I do believe that a beta blocker can help with them in some way, even after stopping it, at least for a certain period of time.
I smiled when I read your post about first migraine aura because I had such a similar experience. When about 14 I was out running through some woods with other kids playing some type of game and when it came on, I too ran inside very upset and told my mother. She said she had these since childhood and don't worry about it. She called them sick headaches. Use to get headache and vomit then it would clear up and feel fine. After age 20 or so never got headache again. Spells were rare only three or four a year. After surgery my experience same as yours with aura almost daily. As I posted before almost daily and occasionally two a day. After a year, I went a full week with no spells. My record is 30 days but average is about one every 10 days. I really didn't feel well for a day or two after the aura. A little nausea and sort of depressed and no energy or appetite. These symptoms now are much less frequently associated with spells. No recent change in frequency. I became obsessed with finding a trigger, but nothing panned out except I still feel may be related to extreme exercise (for a 75 year old). Have been on bisoprolol since before surgery. Cut back on it, went up on it and currently trying off of it completely. Don't think there is any relation to these beta blockers. Certainly have had no side effects. Your description of the aura is absolutely identical to mine. Last 20 or 30 minutes and try to lie down and close my eyes but frequently I am out walking or driving when they come on. If driving I just slow down and drive very carefully. Sometimes on one side and other times on the other. From what I have read, retinal migraines are sometimes cause by vascular problem and are rarer. They are in one eye only. Mine are both eyes at once and occur in visual field not a particular eye. They are in central nervous system and better termed ocular migraines. It is the retinal migraines that should have ultrasound of neck and see neurologist. I have done both on my own. I have decided it is best to just live with them. Thankful that postdrome is improved so I can continue with my daily life and not worry about them as much.
 

slipkid

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Schwenksville, PA, USA
I wonder if we might be related :)

Several members of my family on my Mom's side get these like me ("ocular migraines" as you say). Wonder if there is a genetic component. Also similar with intestinal problems we have that I can't get a diagnosis for (one cousin did get a diagnosis for that as ulcerative colitis though). I think our autoimmune systems may play a role in all this but who knows...certainly the Drs haven't a clue.
 

Jane V

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May 16, 2013
Messages
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MO
Have never tried the chocolate! What a great excuse to enjoy the treat! My came on very heavy after open heart 14 years ago. Oddly, they happen when my INR is low, but not always. They last 22 minutes. If I know it is coming, I will take a break from driving. Otherwise, just one of those weird and wild things in my life!
 

pellicle

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Oddly, they happen when my INR is low, but not always.
this is the problem with people making quick comparisons, if its not rigorous we tend to make mental notes of things (which we are unconsiously looking for) and then see evidence where it isn't.



This is also quite true of people making attributions of "x" makes my INR [low | high].

The only way to do it and be sure is to write it down carefully then go back and examine the data. I'm pretty sure there is no actual linkage of chicken and US crude oil exports without ignoring data either side.

:)
 

slipkid

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Sheesh. Today was a migraine rarity for me. Double-duty. First one started about 1:30pm with the usual "Hmm, I can't quite see right" like glare or something was hiding some letters in what I was trying to read. Aura then came on & lasted the usual 20-30 minutes but it was a doozy, very very large shimmering lightning bolts. Then had a dull headache all day.

To my surprise (& disgust) at about 8:30, it started all goddam over again. Aura only lasted about 15 minutes that time but the headache is worse now. Am gonna go to sleep now or at least get in bed with the lights out. Thought I would post this first here b4 I do that though.

I blame this migraine, er migraines, on the fact that I had scrambled eggs for lunch, and chicken for dinner. Also that the new AC/DC album arrived in the mail today (but I felt too lousy to even listen to it). Crude oil is holding steady so I don't think that has anything to do with it. I would blame the full moon but there isn't one today, at least not here.
 

Alchemist

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Sturminster Newton, Dorset, UK and Brittany, Fran
'I blame this migraine, er migraines, on the fact that I had scrambled eggs for lunch, and chicken for dinner. Also that the new AC/DC album arrived in the mail today (but I felt too lousy to even listen to it). Crude oil is holding steady so I don't think that has anything to do with it. I would blame the full moon but there isn't one today, at least not here.'
Slipkid, hoping you feel better soon. Thank's for posting your experience, I've been following this thread for months. Prevaricating, as day by day I think I might have cracked the cause of my optical auras (usual manifestation - 20mins, painless, bilateral and out of the blue) so over the last 10 days I've experienced just two episodes thus I'm looking at what exactly I'm doing different?
All the medics connected with my bicuspid valve replacement (Inspiris Resilia 2018) have denied a link and sounded suprised that I should make the connection. The cardiologist who does my echo's is married to an anaesthetist and has said he'd ask her about a post operative connection, I'll have to wait until January for that feedback. I can go through periods where I experience them daily, I'm always relieved that I've not been caught out driving, that's only happened once.
So returning to what's different and the reduced frequency of the auras, I've started taking 1.9mg per night Melatonine, this is part of my antiviral strategey, bonus is a good sleep for up to 6 hours and fresher mind in the dark mornings we experience here in Brittany, France. So I just thought I'd through that ingrediant into the mix.
 

Superman

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I'm pretty sure there is no actual linkage of chicken and US crude oil exports without ignoring data either side.

:)
Well, I hate to break it to you, but both are moving in line with the overall economy. Chicken isn’t cheap per pound. Around 2000 we had the .com bubble burst, accounting scandals, 9/11, overall poor economy. Less chicken consumption. Less oil consumption.

Between 2004 and 2008 we see economic recovery leading to increased chicken and oil consumption. Then in 2008, the mortgage crisis. Back to cheap ground beef and public transportation. :cool:
 

Superman

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we now have a strategy to solve both vegan issues and climate change.

well done :)
I’m about solutions. And change. Working together for solutions and change. I’ll start a go fund me for campaign contributions.

But the chicken and oil lobbies are strong. It’s an uphill battle. Guess I’ll drive the gas guzzler to the store to pick up some chicken for dinner.
 

slipkid

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Schwenksville, PA, USA
..... Back to cheap ground beef and public transportation. :cool:
During the first wave of corona buying panic around here ground beef doubled from like $4/lb to $9!!!! Insane. Steaks & roasts were over $20/lb. I never saw the supermarkets so well stocked with meat in my life (people weren't buying at those crazy prices).

Has since gone back down but who knows for how long with what looks like more stormy corona-covid weather ahead....
 

doclewis

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Orlando, Fl
Sheesh. Today was a migraine rarity for me. Double-duty. First one started about 1:30pm with the usual "Hmm, I can't quite see right" like glare or something was hiding some letters in what I was trying to read. Aura then came on & lasted the usual 20-30 minutes but it was a doozy, very very large shimmering lightning bolts. Then had a dull headache all day.

To my surprise (& disgust) at about 8:30, it started all goddam over again. Aura only lasted about 15 minutes that time but the headache is worse now. Am gonna go to sleep now or at least get in bed with the lights out. Thought I would post this first here b4 I do that though.

I blame this migraine, er migraines, on the fact that I had scrambled eggs for lunch, and chicken for dinner. Also that the new AC/DC album arrived in the mail today (but I felt too lousy to even listen to it). Crude oil is holding steady so I don't think that has anything to do with it. I would blame the full moon but there isn't one today, at least not here.
Hmm, I think we are related :). Again sounds like same thing I have had before with two a day rarely. Haven't had this for a couple of years though. As I mentioned before the "postdrome" of the migraines have been less the last year or so. I also think that these ocular migraines are in some way related to congenital bicuspid aortic valve which I did have. Don't have any idea why the frequency is so dramatically increased post op. I had AVR and aneurysm repair five years ago. This is only problem I have had related to surgery or heart. It has been three weeks today since I had one. This is a rarity for me, so I guess I am overdue. Eat chicken daily. Maybe I should quit?
 

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