View Full Version : auras and zigzags...associated with headaches/migr

2004-Dec-16, 10:26 AM
i was just browsing the ScienceDaily website and read an article about how sometimes people get visual problems called auras and zigzags...and they can be associated with headaches and migraines.

i wrote a comment to the editor about the article..then got knocked offline...and when i got back on ..the article was gone.

anyway..i saved a text copy ...which follows.

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"Auras are neurologic symptoms that can occur before and during a migraine headache and sometimes occur in the absence of a headache.
People may see spots of light, have their vision turn gray or observe zigzag lines.
This usually starts in a small area of one's vision and then expands to encompass
the entire visual field. It is thought that auras maybe due to the affect of the
brain chemical serotonin on blood vessels. Although aura is a well-known feature
of migraine, it is thought that only 20 percent of all people with migraine suffer them."
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and my reply/comment

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"hi...i just wanted to comment on the article about auras and vision problems...which are said to be sometimes associated with some headaches/migraines.

i don't suffer from migraines but i do have an explanation for the spots and zigzag lines which can lead to headaches/visual distress.

what happens is a section of the eye becomes overstimulated...(and if you keep your eye open it maintains the level of overstimulation...so you need to shut your eyes to allow it to fade).

the effect is similar to the after-image created from flashes on cameras...it takes a while for the image to fade...and it might change colours too.

here's an example to describe the situation and how to correct it:

you notice that your vision is getting a bit blurry in one eye...maybe an arc segment on the outside becomes blurred and it won't go away.

if you close both your eyes and hold your hands over them to reduce your vision to as close to black as possible...you will see some bright (white) spots.

concentrate on them..and try to expand them...slowly they will dissipate (you might see waves moving across your vision or concentric circles expanding or contracting).
do this until all the bright spots are completely gone and everything looks fairly black.

you might see triangles instead of spots (when you concentrate and try to expand the spots)...these will be a strip or arc.
keep trying to expand them....they might change colour as they fade.

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these visual problems can be annoying and last for quite a while...leading to headaches...but it only takes about 5 minutes to remove them from your vision.

i've used this technique 3 times since i discovered it..and it works everytime."
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anyway...i'm just posting this because i doubt i'll get any response from the editor...and the technique i propose works.
maybe it doesn't apply to people who have longstanding symptons...but it does work for me on the rare occasion i need it.

2004-Dec-16, 05:15 PM
I've had migraines since I was a teenager (I used to get them once every few weeks), but now I get them a few times a year. I sometimes get the auras associated with them, which tells me that I need to take medicine and go lie down in a dark place. My mom gets the full blown auras, which can sometimes be so severe that she actually has a hard time seeing. She needs to pull over to the side of the road when she's driving. But, they don't turn into migraines for her.

2004-Dec-16, 05:57 PM
I also get the auras, which precede the migraine by about 35min. My foveal field of vision suddenly looks like it's being seen through eight feet of fast-moving water. If I immediately eat high-carb or high-sugar foods, the migraine doesn't happen, and the aura subsides within 15min. This suggests to me a link with the blood chemistry (intimately close to the brain chemistry) of hypoglycemia. I haven't searched the literature on this; it just works for me, as I never get hungry, and often forget to eat. Hope this helps. Best regards-- Steve

2004-Dec-16, 07:07 PM
My mum got migraines - bad ones - and she found that laying down, quietly, in a dark room was the best for her.

I get migraines, but not those associated with visual impairment. Maybe they should be just called VBH ("Very Bad Headaches") - but I have found, over the years, that certain food and drinks brings on a VBH real quick ... softdrinks (not coca cola) and grog containing preservatives (particularly the #200 series), and sweets.

So these days we eat lots of salads, grain, cheese and nuts - and minimise meat content with substitutes - soya etc. Oh yes - we have soya milk on our cornflakes and muisli but real milk on our once-a-day cuppa tea. Otherwise we drink Camomile Tea or water.

As an aside, I must mention that I suffered a bad bout of irregular heart-beats last year - frightened the hell out of me because the wife and I are very fit. Went to GP doctor, Cardiac Specialist, nothing wrong physically - told I had "Nervous Heart"; had to take pills.

Thinking about it, it suddenly dawned on me I was drinking over ten cups of tea per day so cut it out (cold turkey), suffered massive withdrawal headaches (thank God there was no gun in the house!), so relented to ONE cup of tea in the morning - no more headaches, the heart became regular again and I tell this story to whoever will listen - because there are a lot of people out there who drink too much tea, coffee, coca cola and grog, which all effect the rhythm of the heart. This story may help them.

Thought you might like to know. :)

PS Damienpaul gets VBHs, but it is caused by carrying around the weight of his big black beard. :P

2004-Dec-17, 12:27 AM
Chook...you're right about the coffee...ever since i started drinking nescafe expresso (two teaspoons per cup...and a lot of cups a day)...i've been getting heart palpitations and the blood pressure seems to have increased (veins throb a bit).
it got so bad that i couldn't sleep on my left side...as my heart would go through a series of "kathumps"....still does a bit...because i haven't given up on the coffee overdosing yet.
(instead...i've been trying to reduce my sodium intake...and getting more potassium in...like from potatos and bananas...but i know it's really the coffee doing it).
for a over a year i've had the uneasy feeling that when going to bed..i'm not going to wake up the next day....but i always do..lol.

hoy..don't touch any diet soda drinks...they have aspartame in them....the coke company is in deep doodoo over this at the moment apparently.


about the long term problems of migraines.

like i said..i don't think the technique i posted is a total answer for those with longterm symptoms....i'm not even sure what a migraine is....maybe i get them too..but i feel i'm just getting "normal headaches" at a normal level of incidence...ie: once in a blue moon.

once in a while through my life i've found that conditions of blurred vision have occured and have proceeded to headaches...and the method i've talked about seems to be the answer.
i think it's caused by light entering the peripheral vision...when you spend too long looking in one direction and don't notice a hot spot of light that's the culprit.

i first thought about this when i got my computer back in 98....i figured i'd be staring in one direction a lot...so i better watch out for bright spots burning my peripheral vision.

so i put masking tape on the bright leds on the monitor and case.....and moved any reflecting objects away.

i have noticed that food and drink plays a role for some headaches...if you haven't eaten enough..or are too dehydrated..you can get headaches...(also depression).

maybe some people are more sensitve than others..and the food/fuel plays a role.


thanks for your replies guys.

2004-Dec-22, 09:45 AM
that article has re-appeared at the science-daily site

People with migraines sometimes have a aura (http://sciencedaily.healthology.com/diduknow.asp?n=nptdiduknow_default&f=headache&c=dyk_aurasheadache&spg=DYKT)

...still no reply from the editor.