Just had another fun light show (scotoma) this morning and got to wondering what kind of migraine auras other people have.
I don’t normally get a headache after mine, so I feel pretty lucky. I’ve experienced visual/auditory/olfactory disturbances as migraine aura. In addition to the vision loss and light show from the scintillating scotoma, I’ve also had auditory hallucinations, mostly electronic sounds (cell phone continuing to ring after I’ve turned it off, computer beeping IM notification when there’s no IM there, etc.) but I think the weirdest is that I will smell wasabi when I know there is no wasabi anywhere nearby.
I get an aura in the left of my field of vision that just looks like it looks when you close your eye and press against your eyeball. It gets bigger until it fills my field of vision, then fades away.
The thing that’s weirdest, and which freaked me out the most the first time it happened, is that a few minutes after the aura goes away, my left hand goes numb, starting with the outer edge of my hand and my little finger. Sorta feels like when it goes to sleep–but, strangely, no pins-and-needles when the sensation comes back.
I’ve been fairly lucky, too. I’ve only had one headache.
I get the auras and the headaches, though sometimes one without the other. My auras look like multicolored, sparkling confetti all around my periferal vision. Other times, I just see a streak of light shooting in my periferal vision, but when I turn, there’s nothing there. Weird.
I get a very thin horizontal line of shifting rainbow colors across my vision moving very very fast left and right (back and forth). Oddly, this is exactly what my mom gets, only hers are black and white.
My headaches aren’t bad, but I get three days of disorientation and nausea.
I get split vision along with the weird jagged green lights. It’s difficult to describe, but if I look at printed matter, the words fracture and jump around. I usually get a following headache, but not of the migraine intensity.
You’re so lucky to get the auras without the pain. My migraines are pure evil pain, with no light show; my mother, on the other hand, experienced auras but never any pain. She described it as a small diamond with changing facets and colorful refractions. The diamond would grow until it completely covered her field of vision. Then after a few minutes it would be gone.
I get the pain and nausea migraines without any light shows, and then I get the light shows without the pain and nausea. The light shows take two forms: A sparkling spot in my vision field that lasts about half an hour, or the one I think of as the golden bees, which lasts about a minute. The spot in my vision is always traumatic, as it prevents me from reading or being able to see anyone’s entire face, whereas the golden bees seem kind of friendly.
You are lucky. I usually just get the full-on funfest of migraine pain with no aura, but when I do get an aura, it’s a weird flickering in the corner of my eye. I can’t see it head-on - if I turn to see it, it stays on the very edge of my field of vision. It’s this odd sparkly, flickering thing at the very outer edge of my eye, even when I close my eyes. It’s insanely annoying.
I also get an olfactory one of burnt meat, like charred meat on a grill.
Heh, yeah. This is actually what I thought it was the first time I had one last year, but eventually realized there was more going on. I did a photoshop mock-up of what I saw the first time I had a visual disturbance. It was pretty scary, but now that I know what it is I can enjoy it.
Feel jealous of all of you that don’t get the ‘please let me die now’ pain. My migraines seem to be ‘regular’ now - first I get a slight numb sensation on my tongue, then my fingers go tingly and numb, my tongue goes really numb and I get an aura that looks like grey fuzz in front of my eyes and I can only see out of the sides. Then the splitting headache starts, I feel incredibly, horrifically sick and feel hot and cold at EXACTLY the same time which is horrible in itself. If I’m lucky it only lasts a couple of hours, if not it lasts about 12 hours and I’m exhausted for a couple of days after.
I have an aura that consists of glowing bright light that surrounds my entire central visual field, but the center is not affected. The light is silvery and transparent, so I can see through it.
More interesting is that my body seems to elongate a bit, and I literally feel that I am walking about 12 inches above the ground. I also become very sensitive to sound, so that normal conversation sounds like a roaring waterfall.
Fortunately, I only get this about once a decade, with several episodes within a week or so. Then I’m off the hook for another ten years.
I’ve gotten that numb tongue feeling a couple of times. It’s really weird, as in scary-weird.
And yes, when I get the full-blown “kill-me-now” pain migraine, I feel hot and cold at the same time. I’m sweating, but have chills and goosebumps. That’s just awful, isn’t it?
Try ending up in the ER and explaining those symptoms - numb tongue, tingly fingers, excrutiating pain, vomiting, blind spot in your eye… you get every doc there thinking stroke or tumor. They’ll put you at the head of the line for an MRI as you say, “No, it’s a migraine. I just need some vicodan.”
Wow! That looks awesome. Mine weren’t nearly as cool; I’d have to close my eyes, and they were more of a swirling colors thing. At first they molded themselves into distinct, recognizable patterns like in the peak of a second plateau DXM trip, but then they got less distinct and weaker as time went on and now I don’t get them at all.
When I get the blind spot and I look at someone’s face, they look like some kind of demonic avatar. And after it goes away I become emotionally overwrought and incapable of making decisions, for about an hour afterwards.
I have experienced auras, but no headache, for twenty years, up until last year in Australia, when I had repeated aura after aura for several hours, followed by debilitating pain, the like of which I’ve never experienced before.
Wowee – that’s so like the visual disturbance I get that it actually made me nauseated. Bleah.
I also used to get numbness in one hand and part of my face, and have, on occasion, experienced mild aphasia during the aura phase.
I’ve only rarely experienced the aura without the subsequent headache, but my headaches have been getting less severe as I get older. They used to last for 6-8 hours, be staggeringly, trip-to-the-ER, painful, and wouldn’t go away until I vomited. Nowadays, I usually find the aura to be more debilitating than the headache.
That’s pretty good - it’s similar to what I get, but it’s not across my field of vision, but rather on the very edge. If it sparkled and flickered, then, yep, it’s like mine.
I also can’t read to save my life while I have a migraine. The words jump around as if animated.
On one of my ER trips, they wanted me to sign a release for the MRI (of course, read it and sign it), and I asked if my husband could sign it for me and they said no, it had to be me. I looked at it, in the throes of a Killer Migraine, saw a jumble of words and letters, and just scrawled something across the bottom of the paper. I think it was close to my signature.
Who knows what it said - I may have been signing away my first-born or confessing to various crimes.