Ocular migraine/Scintillating scotoma - ever have one?

I’ve had them occasionally for years and had no idea what they were until I acquired a neurologist as a client. She immediately diagnosed it as an ocular migraine. I call it the “best kind of migraine”. My mom used to get regular migraines, and they were incapacitating - she’d have to lie in a dark room for an hour until they passed.

I don’t generally mind mine, and as I don’t drive they are never a danger. I’ll usually get one while I’m working on the computer. I’ve never figured out what triggers one, although I did have one triggered a month ago.

I was shooting a concert. I was in the middle of the balcony of the venue with my big camera with the 20x lens, my medium camera with the 12x lens, another 10x camera, the wide shot camera and a monitor to show my a quad-split of 4 other cameras. So there were a bunch of monitors that I’m looking at, in the dark.

This women sees me shooting, decides this is the perfect shooting spot and sets up camp five feet from me. This would be fine if she had the faintest idea who to shoot, and had read the fucking manual for her camera. We’re 40 feet from the stage and she proceeds to shoot one picture every 10 seconds…

…with the flash on!

I tried to talk to her, and she got obnoxious. She would not move, and spent the entire 90 minute show doing the same thing in the same place.

There’s a flash going off five feet from me. I wound up having an ocular migraine, and was no longer able to see out of the center of my vision, so I’m trying to aim my cameras with the my peripheral vision.

I think I should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for not throwing her off the balcony.

When I first started having them in my early 20s they caused a bad headache, enough that I went to the ER one time, but over the years hurt much less. My scalp is sore afterwards, though (don’t know what’s up with that) and I’m sensitive to light and sound. I have three different kinds. The most frequent is the black squiggly lines, like heat waves rising off hot asphalt. Another is where my vision is gone on only on the right-hand side, in both eyes. The last one I’ve only had once; white fireworks going off on a white background. That’s the one that sent me to a neurologists who prescribed some pills to take when I saw the aura, and they pretty much stopped them. But that was years ago, I eventually stopped taking them and now can’t remember the name of the drug. :frowning: Sorry.
When I had a stroke I woke up with what I thought was the right-side blindness one but it wasn’t, and now I have what’s called right-field defect. (Even more fun when you throw in some squiggly migraines.) I don’t know why the stroke effect mimics the migraine.

I get little bursts of colored light relatively often. The first time it happened, I freaked out and went to some kind of super intense UC Berkeley retina lab, and they diagnosed it as occular migraines. I barely believed them, since it wasn’t really an event, but a few months after I learned that my mother had the same symptoms. Strange.

Anyway, I’ve only had a real event-type migrain once. I was teaching a class and noticed a ring in my vision that looked kind of like a cracked CD. This expanded, and I realized I couldn’t read my lesson plan. Then I completely lost vision in one eye for a few minutes. I never got a headache, but I did feel wiped out by the end of it. Somehow I knew exactly what it was and didn’t freak out.

I’ve suffered the phenomenon in the OP a number of times in the past decade or so. The first time it happened I thought I was having an acid-flash. Seriously, I was playing a game with my kids and my eye-sight went all squirrelly, like in the OP, and I swallowed panic to keep playing the game, but I must have looked a fright – I was sweating and panting, wondering if it would ever go away.

It happened a few more times in the subsequent years, at which point I discounted the acid-flash theory in favor the brain-tumor theory. But of course, I never did anything about that. Luckily (knock wood) I don’t have a brain tumor and I finally got around to mentioning this to my dad one day, and he said … “oh yeah, ocular migraine, I get them too.”

Went through the whole retina workup by a kindly ophthamologist, only to learn I was having ocular migraine. These switched to regular migraines within the year, with an ocular component. Migraines went away years later, for the reason listed by another woman.

Yep, I’ll get a few ocular migraines every year. Hard to know what triggers them, since I typically work long or late hours at a computer.

They’re usually blind spots that start out small with a bright orangey or purplish scintillating edge. Over the course of 30 mins to an hour, it’ll grow but fade until it’s just gone.

Though one in particular, if not so disconcerting, was amazingly beautiful. It came on me after working 36 hrs straight, and was a 3D pattern of growing crystalline or harringbone shapes, as a magenta pattern unfolded, a likewise orange one would over take that. Rinse and repeat until I fell asleep watching the show.

No, what you are getting from rubbing are pressure phosphenes caused by mechanical stimulation of the optic nerve. What the OP and panache45 are describing have their source in the brain.

Ther is a nice, non-technical, scientific article about migraine auras here.

I’ve had two of them and they scared the bejeebers out of me. I thought for sure I was having a retinal tear, which I am at risk for because of being extremely nearsighted. But I went for medical attention both times and was told they were likely ocular migraines. I’ve had headaches before but never been diagnosed with migraines. I am in my 40s and having these ocular manifestations for the first time. I got no headache after either one.

I’ve had the fortification spectrum. It’s like a long zigzag shape with multiple colors in it. It expands and eventually moves out of view. It does block my vision where it is. The first time I had it, I was in a store and remember thinking why does this notepad I’m looking at seem so shiny? Then I realized it was my eyes and started freaking out.

Yes, when I’m very tired and under some sort of prolonged pressure. Only ocular, though, I don’t get the headache after (so far, knock wood).

I experienced one once. It freaked me out enough that I called my optometrist at home on a Saturday. He said if it didn’t go away within an hour to call him back, but it did, much in the way panache45 and Skypist described. It was C-shaped, and it got bigger and bigger until it exited my field of vision. No headache.

ETA: I love the term “scintillating scotoma.”

Definitely band name material. Or, at the very least, a title for a punk tune.

I can’t read or drive when I have them. Fortunately they don’t happen very often.

I had one this morning. They aren’t completely painless, but nowhere as debilitating as the full-blown migraines I got in my teens. Fairly brief now too, maybe 20-30 minutes. I know what they are and that they aren’t harmful, but it’s still hard not to feel like something bad is happening to my brain when my vision is suddenly obscured by a shimmering dragon’s tail that nobody else can see.

(pssst… I can see him too… His name is Kyle)

So my, “holy shit, I think I’m having an acid-flash,” is not completely lost on my ocularly disadvantaged compatriots.