Anyone else got the same symptoms as me? Could it be bad eyes?

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Hello everyone

Can't stay long on here because using the PC, reading or doing any kind of close work like sewing is bringing on a migraine for me these days.  Please understand why if you kindly leave a reply and I don't respond at first.

Hope this isn't too long a story, but I first had a migraine when I was late teens and they were always on one side of my head (right) and very painful, also with nausea and diarrhoea - but never had an "aura" or any visual disturbance.  Doctor gave me some painkillers and sometimes it would go with sleep, if I could get some.  I got a maximum of about 4 a year (usually less) and they were always menstrual-related.

Fast forward to now, I'm 52 and have been in menopause for over 2 years.  The migraines are now almost every week and always after reading, using PC, sewing (which is my work and hobby) and pretty much anything that you would do close-up or use reading glasses for.  It always starts with my eyes feeling strained and a bit blurry, then if I don't immediately quit and take 1g of Paracetamol, I'll get a migraine.

I thought it must be caused by eye strain so I went to the opticians and had glasses prescribed.  This made the migraines much less frequent and I thought I'd cracked it.  Now, about 7 -8 months later they are back more than ever.  Now I can't even do 10 minutes of reading/PC/sewing, whatever and the migraine is threatening to come.   I feel as though my sight is deteriorating rapidly, although the optician has done 2 eye tests within a year and says she can see nothing wrong.

Along with the symptoms I posted above I also feel physically and emotionally weak the day after the headache goes.  So weak I can barely get out of bed.  I often feel like crying at the same time, not from frustration, but from an overwhelming feeling of despair and melancholy (to use an old fashioned term).  This usually disappears the next day.

This weekend everything has come to a head and after a migrainelast Thursday I was feeling a bit weak, but not too bad on Saturday and I started to make a felt flower - not a very small item, about 2 inches across and within 10 minutes of starting I had the strained eyes, the feeling of impending migraine, nausea and also bright flashing zig zag shapes in the right half of my right eye.  I couldn't see properly and I was quite frightened as I've never had an aura or whatever before.  The zig zags went after about 15 minutes then my fingers on the right hand went numb for about another 15 minutes.  For about an hour I couldn't read or understand words properly and I kept smiling without reason.  AFter 2 or so hours I was back to normal (ha!)

I've booked a doctor's appt for this week but I have no idea what to tell him.  Do I want to see a neurologist or an eye doctor or what? 

I'm hoping somebody on here will have had the exact same symptoms as me before and know what's going on.  I'm really confused as to whether this is all just migraine or there are other things going on.

Before I got my new glasses this year I saw my GP about the worsening migraines and he said "would you like to try some medication for anxiety?" and I was livid.  I felt like he hadn't listened to me at all and was just fobbing me off as a neurotic old woman so I said no thanks, in the end all he gave me was Paramax (paracetamol with an anti-nausea drug), which is actually quite useful for the headache itself.

I think I judged him a bit harshly because he may be right about me having anxiety and I just was in denial.  I am quite an emotional and fearful person and the older I get the worse it is.

Sorry this is so long, I'm getting a bit desperate and I read the posts on here and am in awe at how much some of you are suffering, but still take the time to help others.  Thank you all.

Now I've got to go!  Eyes going funny already sad

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8 Replies

  • Posted


    I'll try to help, I'm the same age as you with similar history but not yet menopausal (had it checked recently).

    Your doctor was insensitive, though I find diazepam/old type antihistamine can help as it relaxes the muscles round your neck.  You should  get checked out, possibly a brainscan.  It's probably migraine though and you need a neurology referral - I have had, on occasions, to pull up my car on leaving a junction cause I'm not sure which side of the road I should be on!  I also, occasionally get numbness.  For what it's worth my best (migraine relief) friend is ice and the 'chillow' pillow I bought on Amazon.  I also recently bought some 'Migralens' glasses which help me use screens without the pain being exacerbated.  Get cool and quiet and in a darkened space, suck icecubes, be as accepting and relaxed as you possibly can be.  Sorry I cannot offer more.


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    • Posted

      Thank you jolalala, I think I replied to one of your other posts last week or so.  You mentioned the migralens then and I hadn't heard of them, but I certainly found a piece from a green plastic water bottle very soothing against my eyes.  I'll have to look into the chillow as well.

      Sorry to hear about your symptoms, must be a bit frightening to have that happen whilst you're driving!  I had a migraine on the motorway once on a very hot sunny day and I thought I might crash the car, it was awful. 

      Thank you.

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    • Posted

      Hi again

      Yes I've never told my husband about the driving problem or he'd have a lot to say about me driving with migraines but,  seriously, you cannot just put your life on hold for a week every month can you?  I feel useless enough as it is. 

      You can buy flexible 'icebox' sheets (I got one from Matalan for £2) to freeze and rest your head on.  I use those in the daytime and keep my chillow in the fridge for at night.

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  • Posted

    My daughter was given an anti neasea that sent her to er with dystonia in her face and throat. This may be happening with the forced, uncontrolled smiling. Some can get it behind eyes. Try to see about the side affects and that anti neasea meds. The er staff said the see it frequently. Benadryl was given to her and it subsided. I get the zig zag auras. I have to ice pack, eye mask and go rest in my bed.
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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your situation. Don't you hate it when the docs brush things off as anxiety?  Although I will say stress and anxiety are a major component of most illnesses. Sounds like you may be coming to grips with the fact that the emotions and negative thinking play a big part in our illnesses.​ So that is a huge step in the right direction. I have been an emotional but not fearful person myself. Since my last 12 week episode, I have been focusing on praying more, doing meditation to calm my mind, and not dwelling on negative thoughts. Our brains get trained to think in a certain way, but it is possible to catch our thoughts and rewire our brains. Check out Dr. Amen's research and books on the brain. You are on the edge of breakthrough and now you know what needs to change. Also,  I used Valerian which is an herbal supplement for anxiety and 5htp for my serotonin levels since I am sensitive to pharmaceuticals. You will get thru this.Take care of yourself and keep us posted. Blessings!
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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I have suffered with migraine my entire life, your description of your symptoms sound a lot like mine. I felt light headed, all the strength went out of my right arm and I lost the power of speech. I thought I was having a stroke. I regained my speech slowly during the next few hours but felt weak for two days. The doctor sent me for a brain scan but they found no trace of damage and concluded it was migraine. I have never suffered migraine in that way before or since. I do have aura headaches, sometimes with pain and sometimes without. I nearly always fall into a heavy sleep which looks like unconsciousness. I have also had attacks where I have lost part of the visual field, usually in my right eye. I find that taking ibuprofen as soon as I begin to feel "strange" works better to ward off or lessen an attack than any other drug I have tried - including prescribed ones. I wish you well.

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  • Posted

    Thanks to all who've replied. 

    The more I read about this, the more I realise that the medical profession don't really know what's going on with us.  There seems to be as many causes as there are sufferers and everyone's case is a little bit different.  They'd rather stick pins in their eyes than admit they dont' have a clue.

    I had to attend a tia clinic and have to have a brain scan and another scan on my neck, all of which I believe to be a complete waste of time.  The tia doctor said he thinks I've had a migraine rather than a tia and I agree.

    I originally went to the doctors hoping to get something done about these migraines and headaches, but they've gone off on a tangent about my blood pressure and "possible" tia.  

    Well, duh doc!  Has my blood pressure gone up?  Anything to do with my stressing out over migraines and rotten eyesight and frustration over not being listened to?  No wonder it's gone up :0(

    Once all these tia tests and scans are over I'm not going anywhere near the docs ever again.   I'll work out my own solution one way or another.

    Thanks again for your replies, I do read them all but my PC time is severely limited nowadays.   That's how I'm currently staying migraine-free - I don't work, don't read, don't sew, don't go on the PC.    Oh well, I see other people on here are really suffering and I know it could be much worse.  I hope they get the help they need.

    Bye for now :0)


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  • Posted

    Hi, I also suffer with migraines so I can sympathise with you.

    My Speciaist has just prescribed amatryptaline,they are known for lots of medical issues. I to get the flashing lights,zigzagd and auras and tbh I thought I was losing the plot!

    It sounds like you would benefit from the same meds as me.

    When I got told they were a form of antidepressant I was quite taken aback. Im willing to try anything if it makes a difference to my way of life.

    You should to.☺

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