Migraines + Auras + Visual Disturbances

Posted by saito720 @saito720, Apr 8 10:45pm

Hi! I just have some worries that I'd like to explain here as to see if anyone may have some insight on what's going on with me.

A little background:

I'm 22, male, a bit overweight, and unhealthy at the moment. I've recently gotten vaccinated (Moderna) and quit vaping (nicotine) about a week ago (so now I don't abuse any substances, I only have coffee now.) I am making small steps towards becoming healthier at the moment, but it's quite hard for obvious reasons, it's outside of my comfort zone. I am not on any medications currently, but I have been in the past (SSRIs and SNRIs | for OCD). The only mental health issues that I know I have (confidentially/professional diagnosed) are OCD (early teens) and ADHD (very young).

Now with that basic info out of the way, let me describe the current predicament I've found myself in.

I'll preface this by saying I've had the issue I'm currently experiencing in the past, but it was way worse then. I use to get horrendous migraines as a young kid that would involve intense physical pain (only the first couple were painful) and auras that would make my surroundings appear almost cartoonish, sharpened, dilated, ect. With these visual disturbances aura I also experienced numerous other physical symptoms such as nausea (it felt like it was localized in my head) and very strong deja vu. I also vividly remember that during all of this I would experience unexplainable (or at least very strange) sensations/emotions, an example would be I could look at some numbers and depending on what the number and font was I would feel emotions towards that number, such as associating 5 with an authoritative figure and 2 with a weak one. Needless to say, it's beyond even my comprehension as to why I was experiencing such odd things. These "migraine attacks" would start out subtle, and then grow in intensity until a sudden (surge?) of neurological activity would make me experience all the previous symptoms leading up to it but to a crippling degree where my senses were bombarded with visuals, also including the previously stated nausea and deja vu, but to the extreme. The "surge" would last about 10 – 15 seconds and stop, granting me some peace until I went to bed the same day where I would always experience a second "attack" when trying to fall asleep. I had these "migraine attacks" for years, but I don't know if migraine is an accurate term as only the first couple were painful, after those the majority of them were just other debilitating physical symptoms and visual disturbances. But after a couple years they toned down and I was seemingly only left with a permanent (very subtle) aura in the center of my vision that never went away. I actually don't mind the permanent aura in the center of my vision as it's so subtle my brain learned to ignore it completely, so it never was a burden or an annoyance to me.

But now onto present day, nearly a decade after I was regularly having those "attacks" I am now having those symptoms creep back up on me and I'm at a complete loss as to what could be causing it. The symptoms (visual disturbances, and possible other subtle symptoms) have seemingly came back slowly during the last 3 – 2 weeks. Now I do acknowledge I have OCD (and anxiety in general), so it has crossed my mind if I'm just making myself hyper focused on these symptoms I may have always had, making me think they're starting to come back worse, but it's extremely difficult to say. I am leaning towards the idea that the symptoms are present and a bit worse than they previously were, but they're not horrible/intense. When I move my vision around I notice very similar (if not identical) visual disturbances such as blotches of dark color flashing in and out near things of contrast. It's very hard to explain what I see, but it's essentially visual disturbances (distortions/artifacts?) that usually present themselves when my vision is moving to something else, and the blotches of color/distortion seem to appear on the borders of contrasting colors/objects. If my vision is kept still, I don't notice much besides the subtle aura I've always had in the center of my vision, but when I start looking around I notice blotches popping in and out around contrasting features. I don't recall having these "blotches/distortions" a month ago, but I may have just not noticed them at the time.

I guess my main questions are as follows:

1. What do you think I'm actually experiencing, the diagnoses per say?

2. Is this of concern enough to go get it checked with my doctor?

3. Is it possible these symptoms can be eliminated/improved with becoming healthier and getting in shape?

The last two things I'll add that I just thought of are that I did just recently buy a new monitor, so I have tossed the idea around that something with the display itself could be causing an issue with my neurological activity (i.e. similar to photosensitive epilepsy). I've viewed various striped patterns in the past and those have caused me to feel extremely uneasy and see flashes of objects/imagery within the stripes, so I thought this might have some correlation, but there's a good chance I'm wrong I suppose. I'm skeptical if I do actually have anything relating to epilepsy as doctors have tested me in the past for it, but they say they didn't find anything significant. I also do think if it was somehow related to the monitor it would have gotten better in the absence of it, however spending 2 days away from it didn't seem to improve the current symptoms much, if at all.

The second thing I wanted to add is that I actually have a pineal cyst in my brain. I got some brain imagery done in the past when I was having the "attacks" and the doctors discovered I have a cyst located on my pineal gland, but they never prompted for anything to be done about it due to them concluding it was too small to have been causing anything.

I hope I explained things well enough. If you read through all of it just know I am incredibly grateful and would be more than happy to hear your take on what's happening with me.

Thank you!

Hello @saito720 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. What you have explained for your symptoms are certainly well-detailed and also cumbersome. Congratulations on taking steps to achieve better health for yourself! That is wonderful and commendable.

I am not a medical provider but think I would start by asking you to consider which of the symptoms are most trouble-some and/or concerning as a starting point to determine which direction you may want to start with seeking answers.

Members who have mentioned experiences with auras include @bonnieh218 and @lynette1975 who may have some thoughts they can share.

As for migraines, members such as @sandytoes14 and @sunshine21 have commented on their experiences and may be able to provide support.

Of all your symptoms, which is the most concerning and disruptive?

REPLY
@amandajro

Hello @saito720 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. What you have explained for your symptoms are certainly well-detailed and also cumbersome. Congratulations on taking steps to achieve better health for yourself! That is wonderful and commendable.

I am not a medical provider but think I would start by asking you to consider which of the symptoms are most trouble-some and/or concerning as a starting point to determine which direction you may want to start with seeking answers.

Members who have mentioned experiences with auras include @bonnieh218 and @lynette1975 who may have some thoughts they can share.

As for migraines, members such as @sandytoes14 and @sunshine21 have commented on their experiences and may be able to provide support.

Of all your symptoms, which is the most concerning and disruptive?

Jump to this post

I'd say the most disruptive and concerning symptom is the apparent auras. As I explained above; I had them very bad in my childhood, they improved so much that they weren't noticeable/intrusive for around a decade, and as of recent it seems that they've returned to a degree.

Thanks for the response.

REPLY

@saito720
Are you still having headaches ?
Jake

REPLY

@saito720 – I'm joining the conversation – one of my daughters suffers from frequent/daily migraines and at times with different auras. I also had migraines when I was young like you. Your auras and other symptoms sound overwhelming. Pineal cysts seem to be a frequent incidental finding, that usually just have to be observed for changes.
Nowadays, migraines are diagnosed in children more frequently. Even though you had tests and were diagnosed some years ago, I think you should see a Neurologist for a new evaluation since you are an adult now.
We don't have the expertise to give a medical opinion on what you are going through, but many of us have gone through similar episodes that you are experiencing now.
The number one advice is to get a current evaluation. Our bodies – and brains- change as we develop into adulthood.
Also, there are so many ways to treat migraines nowadays.
Please get back to us when you have made contact with a Neurologist!

REPLY
@jakedduck1

@saito720
Are you still having headaches ?
Jake

Jump to this post

I am not. I'm simply experiencing auras which are commonly associated with headaches and migraines, except in my case I don't have either, just the aura.

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@astaingegerdm

@saito720 – I'm joining the conversation – one of my daughters suffers from frequent/daily migraines and at times with different auras. I also had migraines when I was young like you. Your auras and other symptoms sound overwhelming. Pineal cysts seem to be a frequent incidental finding, that usually just have to be observed for changes.
Nowadays, migraines are diagnosed in children more frequently. Even though you had tests and were diagnosed some years ago, I think you should see a Neurologist for a new evaluation since you are an adult now.
We don't have the expertise to give a medical opinion on what you are going through, but many of us have gone through similar episodes that you are experiencing now.
The number one advice is to get a current evaluation. Our bodies – and brains- change as we develop into adulthood.
Also, there are so many ways to treat migraines nowadays.
Please get back to us when you have made contact with a Neurologist!

Jump to this post

Thank you very much for your reply, I do plan on seeing a neurologist here soon.

I'll make sure to update when possible.

REPLY
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