I wanted to write down an absolutely bizarre neurological experience I had today: an ocular migraine. This is a pretty weird thing to go through if it's never happened to you before.

About 10:30 this morning I was sitting in a meeting with 5 other people in a small conference room. I noticed that for some reason I was having difficulty concentrating on people - when I looked directly at someone, my vision got all blurry in the center. At the same time the room was very bright. Weirdest of all there seemed to be a flashing jagged horizontal line in my vision just above my line of sight.

Of course this was incredibly disorienting. I didn't feel any pain, it was just impossible to focus on anything. Trying to read my computer screen was out of the question.

I excused myself and went to the bathroom so I could look in the mirror. I could navigate around the office easily enough, I just couldn't really focus on anything in particular. If I tried to look right at something the flashing jagged line would get brighter and more distracting, although it never interfered directly with my vision - it remained in the periphery. However whenever I looked directly at something there was kind of a inability to see right in the center of my vision (although it felt like something should be there).

In the bathroom I observed that my pupils seemed to be normally reactive to light, and they were not overly dilated. I also experimented with closing one or the other eye, and saw that the flashing line occurred in both eyes and was not affected by closing my eyes. When I closed my eyes I could still 'see' the flashing in my peripheral vision.

After all that, I wandered back to my desk and sat down, completely at a loss. Perfect time for twitter, right? Well not quite, since I couldn't really use the computer. I sat in my desk for about fifteen minutes and the symptoms suddenly disappeared. Then I got on twitter. After I posed my symptoms, a friend responded that I probably had an 'ocular migraine'. That confused me because I thought migraines always included severe pain, although my friend assured me that ocular migraines don't cause pain. I then found a page on ocular migraines which matched my friend's response. In particular the description of the flashing jagged line was spot-on.

So that's that. Hopefully I'm not going to keel over from a brain tumor. However the descriptions I found of ocular migraines didn't really worry me too much, there doesn't seem to be a link between this odd occurrence and any more serious neurological problem. I'm curious if I will ever experience one of these things again.


Our Founder
ToolboxClick to hide/show
RecentChanges Click to hide/show