The Idea For This Post Just Flashed Into My Mind……Literally!

I don’t how many of you have ever heard of an ocular migraine, sometimes referred to as an aura migraine, but take it from me, they are weird.

About 10 minutes after I finished my power walk this morning (“power” being a very relative term in this instance), I started getting an ocular migraine. For the last 30 years  I have been experiencing these about 3-4 times a year. To say it is a strange sensation is the proverbial understatement.

It starts with a small partial loss of vision. Eventually the partial vision block widens but does not obscure total sight. Mainly it is just annoying. It only appears on one side of the vision field (even though it is happening simultaneously in both eyes). In my case, it is the left side, but it can be the right side for others. The illustrations in the slideshow below below will give you an excellent idea of how the vision field may appear for me during these episodes. It varies greatly and is never the same each time. They can be in all shapes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The most foreign thing is the flashing. The jagged edges are always blinking like a neon sign. When closing the eyes, the images normally appear black and white. However, if I am outside and it’s a bright sunny day, the images will be in full color. The one this morning was in the shape of an arrowhead with the edges flashing white and the inner part a solid ruby red. They can be spectacular!

Before you start speculating, I have never taken an illegal drug in my life, not even marijuana. You didn’t know I was so sheltered did you? I think my brain just decided that since I live such a boring life, it needed to provide me with some kind of entertainment.

In my case, these auras last for exactly 20 minutes. The duration differs for each person. Oddly, I do not have a headache with these although that is not true for everyone. They do not debilitate me in any way while they are happening but I do have to rest afterward because they make me quite tired. When I get actual migraine headaches (rarely) they do not come with an aura. Go figure?!

Medically, they are not particularly dangerous unless total vision loss should occur. There is a slight increase in the chance of stroke for persons with this condition. Research has found it can be genetic within families but then, what isn’t?

This music link will give you and even better idea of the experience.

Anyone out there with their own story of odd medical occurrences?

Have a great aura free day everyone!

16 thoughts on “The Idea For This Post Just Flashed Into My Mind……Literally!

  1. Whoa! I had a vitreous tear that was a lightning strike in my field of view. I thought I was going to need surgery and totally freaked out. They heal on their own. Mine took a year! I would still see it a little bit on the far left side at night.

    Glad to hear you don’t have any serious eye issues!

  2. Al, I occasionally have the ocular migraines. With the first one I lost total vision in one eye for about an hour. Mine usually last for about an hour. They have not been painful. My son also has them.

    • Thanks for the comment, Diane. Seems like it is a bit more common than I realized. They can freak you out, but at the same time amaze you.

  3. Is this a coincidence or not?! The only two Presidents of the ‘Never Been Freshly Pressed Club’ both have ocular migraine! Mine is on the right side, not sure how long it lasts because I’ve never timed it. I’m not able to drive, or read or… well see very well, for the latter part of it. I’ve never had a migraine headache. I started getting them when I was a young adult. My doctor had never heard of such a thing, so I was sent for some sort of a brain scan. Like you, I get them maybe 3 or 4 times a year, but sometimes they cluster so I get a couple in the space of a week or so.

    • Margy, I’ve often thought we were kindred spirits, but sharing medical oddities is taking it a bit far, don’t you think? At least we were smart enough to pick opposite sides of the vision field so people wouldn’t talk.

  4. Hey Al, I didn’t know you suffered from migraines. I’m so sorry, they can be very painful and life disrupting. I get them on rare occasions but never with the ocular sensations thank goodness.

    • It’s weird but not as disrupting as you might think. Just thought people might be interested in what they are like.

      By the way, our San Diego wedding was postponed until July 26th, 2021. Sure gives us plenty of time to plan a meetup. Put that on your calendar just in case.

  5. Well Al since you asked….. a lot of what you described also happens with retinal detachments. I have had that experience unfortunately. I am quite used to seeing flashes in my eyes. Once my optic nerve hemorrhaged while I was teaching and I could witness this phenomenon from inside my eye. Take care big guy!!!!😊

    • Wow. Didn’t realize you had that. I get thorough eye exams every year. No indications of anything out of the ordinary. In fact, I still have 20/15 vision without glasses. Now, if I could only hear worth a damn!

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s