Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ever wondered what it is like to experience the visual aura of a migraine attack?

As I write I am experiencing what medics call a scintillating scotoma, which is something that happens to me every once in a while. Usually these are associated with migraine, but I get what is called a "forme fruste" of migraine or acephalgic migraine, where I don't get the headache, but do get the visual effects. So, I am not sure whether I should count myself lucky not to get the headache, or unlucky in that I get this problem at all!

Anyhow, trying to explain what it is like is often frustrating, but recently I came across this YouTube video which captures it perfectly (although running at over ten times normal speed: attacks usually take 15-20 minutes):

Who needs fireworks with all this going on in one's visual cortex!


Tanya said...

You should consider yourself lucky to have the aura only, I would not wish a full-on migraine on an enemy. I get the whole thing including nausea, vomiting and intense pain for up to 24 hours. Even looking at pictures of those hateful squiggly lines that presage an attack makes me feel sick - very occasionally I have an aura without the following attack, but I still end up exhausted for 48 h aftwerwards.

Mark Pallen said...

Yes, I guess you are right. From what I hear from others a migraine attack is truly horrible. I do get a bit of an after effect from the aura--just feel a little headachy but without a full blown headache.