When does this nightmare end?

Posted , 11 users are following.

I am beginning to scare myself by Googling symptoms, but I am worried about some vision problems I am currently having. Since starting the menopause 12 years ago I have had ocular migraines (where a line of flashing lights move across the eye), but they were many months apart. I read that they can be hormonal and/or caused by similar triggers to normal migraines. I can now get up to four a week, but recently I have also had another type of eye problem, with flashing lines in the left eye peripheral vision, and then I had a funny dizzy spell where I felt everything go blurred for a few seconds and my head felt really strange. I had one of these episodes about 18 months ago and thought it was a one-off, but this second one now has me quite worried.

I saw an ophthalmologist about the flashes, who said there was no detached retina, but recommended I see a neurologist. I saw one last week and he referred me for a CT scan but that was then cancelled as the machine broke! My sister has had similar ocular migraines over the years, and also had these dizzy spells, then she had a stroke last year, so now I am really concerned. I am currently taking beta blockers (for palpitations/irregular heartbeats) and vision problems are one of the side effects listed, so now I am not sure whether it is the tablets, menopause, or whether I am about to have a stroke!

Can anyone relate to these symptoms?

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  • Posted

    Why, oh, why, did I read your post?!?! A stroke!!! Oh, dear. Now, I have another worry. I had my first migraine with aura about a month ago. I had all sorts of tests and all were normal. I was told by the neurologist that he sees lots of women my age (43) who begin having them. Since the migraine with aura, I have had visual disturbances. My vision is blurry 24/7, flashes, sensitivity, after images, static, periphery weirdness, etc.. I saw a neuro-opthalmologist in NYC on Monday and he diagnosed me as having persistent migraine status. I tried to bring up hormones and perimenopause, but he was dismissive. It's so confusing because I have read posts on forums from people who have persistent migraine status, but I have also read menopause posts from women who have similar visual problems due to hormones. My aura happened on the third day of a heavy period, when I was tired and dehydrated.

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    • Posted

      Staci, I am so sorry my post alarmed you. It was certainly not my intention, and I do understand the health anxiety that this sort of thing can cause. Your situation sounds very scary, but as you have had tests and they were normal, I would take some comfort from that.

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    • Posted

      Don't be sorry! I'm basically a hypochondriac now. I went from a sane working woman to a paranoid couch dweller overnight. Thank you for the kind words.

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  • Posted

    hi there

    i suffer with awful migraines and yes ive had issues with my eyes and blurry vision at the side...try not to worry as our minds go all over the place during this difficult time ...hang tight...stay away from google except look up the 66 menapusse symtoms that was featured at this site....it will ease your mind....you are not alone xxx

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  • Posted

    hi there

    i suffer with awful migraines and yes ive had issues with my eyes and blurry vision at the side...try not to worry as our minds go all over the place during this difficult time ...hang tight...stay away from google except look up the 66 menapusse symtoms that was featured at this site....it will ease your mind....you are not alone xxx

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  • Posted

    Hello!

    I can relate and can reassure you that I've not had a stroke yet. I've had migraines with aura, ocular migraines and visual disturbances all linked to hormones. I take bhrt, and they were more common after I had taken progesterone. Naturally they can occur at the time of your period. I know they are really scary but if you can get you ct scan that will help put your mind at rest, but opticians are really good with it too. I havent had one for a long while, so finger crossed it will pass for you too xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Sassy,

      How long did you have the migraines with aura and how long have you not had them? Also, are you still in peri or are you in meno? I had no idea what an aura was when I had my first one a month ago. I was (still am) terrified. I swear I have PTSD from the incident. I am so afraid it will happen again and notice EVERYTHING in my vision now. The instant I notice something even slightly off, my heart starts racing and I immediately panic thinking it will happen again. I have read so many posts from women who take them in stride. I wish that was me. I am in a constant state of high alert. I wish it never happened to me.

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    • Posted

      Hello Sass, thank you. I have only had an actual headache a handful of times following these auras. The frequency of them at the moment is worrying, whereas they were initially happening months apart. I had a brief respite of 5 months, then they started up weekly again, and then 3 or 4 times a week. I had a hysterectomy in my 30s (I am 59 now) so I can't relate them to my cycle. I wouldn't take HRT as my sister had breast cancer, and now the stroke, so that is not an option for me.

      It's the new flashing lines in the periphery of my left eye that is my worry now, but I have read that vision issues are a side effect of beta blockers, which I am currently taking for palpitations, but trying to wean off. This morning I had a horrendous stabbing pain in the left eye, which sent me into a bit of a panic. Can't wait for that CT scanner to be fixed!

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    • Posted

      Hi DH, I also had a couple times the very scary stabbing pains in my eye, first time it happened was middle of night trip to bathroom bent over and there it was, I never had a pain like that so sharp in my eye I immediately thought stroke.. I laid in bed afraid to move around the next day.. It came back the following month really really sharp in the eye and behind, that pain lasted about an hour. I now get twinges quickly of t h e same sharp pains but they are random and don't last, I believe its a migraine from what I've read about the different kinds of migraines.. I also get the auras and the wavy lines, the monthly migraines, all of it, and before any of this hit me I could count my headaches that I've had on my 2 hands, aside from the awful hangover headache when younger lol! But anyhow I also had the hysterectomy in my 20s so can't go by cycles other than I write down my symptoms daily and all my symptoms repeat to the day every single month,.. HRT isn't an option for me either as my hysterectomy was for pre cancer cells that they got all out during my surgery, and moms mom had breast cancer. So just wanted to ease your mind a bit that my symptoms are exactly like yours and been fighting these migraines for over a year now, and pretty much have to know your triggers.. Fluorescent lighting in stores , foods , smells, so many things can set one off or just make them worse,, I've found out staying away from the fluorescent lighting or wearing the blue light blocking or rose colored glasses and baseball hat into stores where lights are really bright does help reduce that migraine, I use to walk into the stores and feel immediately like I was walking sideways drunk or on a boat, and by the time I left the store one side of face and head would be numb, and the wavy zig zag lines would be with me followed then by the migraine hours later.. Before I started eating differently certain foods and ingredients would have the same effect.. Now I watch everywhere I go and everything I eat and smell (perfumes and cologne on people set them off) and I lesson the effects of my migraines now, I still do get them trust me but they aren't like when I'm near any of my triggers... Since you don't get your monthly cycles anymore like me just write all your symptoms down daily so you have that to look back on the following month to help ease your mind., that is of course after you have all your MRI and cat scans and all other testing done, good luck and hope your feeling better soon..

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    • Posted

      Thanks Gypsy, sorry to hear that you have suffered so badly. I have had slight twinges in the eyes in the past, but these recent sharp pains are quite something. I had another one this morning, but that was not as bad as the one yesterday. I have always suffered with headaches - some mild, some unbearable and also feeling (and being) sick. I also wondered whether it was food related, but it doesn't always turn out to be that. Strangely, the actual headaches have eased off and the flashing auras have become worse! I've been logging these auras in a diary since they started to get more frequent, which is about two years now, sometimes one or two a week, sometimes none, and sometimes four or five a week - very random. Anyway, had a call this morning that my CT scan has been rearranged for this Friday, so hopefully that will give some indication of what is happening.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    Im three years post menopause and in the beginning i started to get light sensitivity and blurry vision and then about two years ago I started to get migraine auras, no migraine, perhaps sometimes an over eye pain . I have never suffered these auras before ( they are zig zags, sometimes a c shape, sometimes starts will blind spot which goes on to zig zags. I had these episodes for a while and then they stopped, only to start up again last year. I kept a diary and i was having them monthly, sometimes as many as six, sometimes just one. Light would sometimes trigger them, caffeine or wine but then another time, these triggers wouldn't set them off. My dad said that he has had them for twenty odd years (on and off) which i never knew and he's 82,now. I believe they can be hereditary. My 26 year old daughter had her first one the other day. My husband has had one in the past but no more, i was abit concerned at the frequency of mine but when reading on the menopause forum, they seem pretty common. I have had a mri and all seems well. I will say, i suffer with dry eyes and watery eyes and now have eye drops, since using the drops the auras have ceased, a coincidence, i dont know!

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    • Posted

      Hi pinkcatfairy, you describe so well I too have it the same, never before meno or Peri, I suffer bad with the dry eyes and mouth and do not think its a coincidence think yes it all goes together , so just wondering which drops you use for your eyes, I hope to try and stop my or lessen migraines...?? Thanks 😉

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    • Posted

      Hi pinkcatfairy, I didn't get the sensitivity (as far as I can recall), but mine are just the aura without the headache (mostly - I did have a few followed by a headache). They are exactly the same - the zig zags that pass across the eye over about 15-20 minutes, starting with a blind spot. I am also keeping a diary, and they do seem to occur if I have been in bright light, but not always (I live in Cyprus so it's sunny a lot of the time) or if I rub my eyes. As you say, the triggers do not always produce the aura, so very baffling. Could be dry eyes - I had to stop wearing contact lenses as the dust here made them unbearable by about lunchtime. I will try some drops on a more regular basis. The main worry now, though, is the new flashing lines in my left eye, totally different from the auras, and I had a sharp stabbing pain in that eye this morning. Can't wait to get the CT scan.

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    • Posted

      I think i have had what you describe as a flash in the corner before too. Getting the scan is a good idea to put your mind at rest, thats why i requested the mri. Migraine seems to have many different symptoms. Having mainly the aura made me question if it was migraine, especially as i had never suffered ever from migraines. I live in England, so theres no worry of bright sun at this time of year! I have never been to Cyprus but it sounds lovely. Hope all goes well with scan!

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    • Posted

      Thank you pinkcatfairy - yes, I was very worried when I had the first aura flash 12 years ago, but I have suffered from headaches/migraines for years before that. The CT scan has now been booked for this Friday, so we shall see what's going on - hopefully all will be OK. Cyprus is nice, but we have made the decision to move back to the UK next spring - the heat and humidity in summer is draining, and there are many other things driving us to move back, this health saga being one of them, as hubby is also suffering since moving here 4 years ago. Can't wait to be back now!

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    • Posted

      Oh so you have been suffering for a while, yes having the scan gives peace of mind, i requested one after the doctor was going to pass me off with beta blockers. I have had alot of symptoms in memopause and the health anxiety is awful isnt it? When i had the auras last time i kept wondering why i was having them and the first one i had was the worse one as i felt sick with it and it really affected my eyes. Yes i can imagine the heat and humidity being really draining. I remember our holidayin spain i was having auras daily, probably a mixture of sun and wine! Please let me knw how you get on with the scan, im sure all is well. I have been chatting on here before with a lady from Scotland who was having these auras too and like us, made her anxious x

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    • Posted

      I am sure it is the bright light here making this worse, but I will be glad to get the scan for some answers (hopefully!). I did not really drink a lot, but I am virtually teetotal now, after the auras and the palpitations I've also been getting for the past year, on and off! Will update on the scan. x

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