Friday, May 21, 2010

the eyes have it

Last Sunday, I experienced what I'll call a visual episode. Suddenly my peripheral vision to the right went black except for a shimmering zig-zag line (metamorphopsia). When I tried to focus on one object, say a person's face, I only saw the left half of it. This episode lasted about 20 minutes, then my complete vision slowly came back. Weird, right?

Behold the ocular migraine. These migraines may only produce visual symptoms, as I described, or they may produce both the visual symptoms, as well as a raging headache that can last for hours or even days. I had a headache for four days, but that very well could have been my increasingly nagging allergies (I am falling apart at 26!).

I went to the eye doctor yesterday, and she said these ocular migraines, however strange and scary, are normal. They can be stress or hormone related. I've been getting them about once a month. What else happens once a month?

These migraines are not related to the eyes directly, but rather are a result of migraine activity in the visual cortex in the back of the brain (allaboutvision.com). My eye doctor said taking a magnesium supplement can help reduce the frequency of any type of migraine.

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