I have these bizarre "spells", for lack of a better word, and I'm wondering if anyone has experienced something similar or has any thoughts, as I am completed befuddled!
The first ones occurred when I was little- 9 or 10. Basically, I notice my vision gets a little fuzzy (I have one very bad eye, and one that is perfect, so normally have no correction) it feels as though my eyes are no longer working well together, so I notice that I have imperfect vision. I then get "pins and needles", usually starting in my right hand, and working up my arm. I have some mild nausea, but only have thrown up once. It seemed that what used to trigger it was exhaustion- this happened a couple times at camp, and a couple times immediately after I got home....my mom assumed it was just lack of sleep, and that made sense to me. My solution was always to curl up and sleep it off--sometimes going to bed at 4 pm and not waking until 8 the next morning! Probably this happened 5 times between 8-12.
Then, when I was 13, it happened again, this time I was backpacking. It was our 3rd and last day, so again, I figured it was fatigue. I didn't have the option to sleep, so I (very groggily) dragged myself down the trail, eventually, symptoms passed and all I had was a raging headache. Made it home and all was fine.
Fast forward 12 years.....I thought I'd outgrown this, but I guess not!
I was out shopping with some friends, and the symptoms came back- same thing, fuzzy vision, tingling in my right hand, which spread up my arm, neck, and across the side of my face. In about an 60-90 minutes, I felt fine again, aside from a hellish headache. I have been getting a LOT of sleep lately, although have been under pretty intense stress. I don't think it is blood sugar related- I'd eaten a lot, and healthily that morning. I shouldn't have been dehydrated, at least, not terribly.
I can't for the life of me figure out what happened, and I'm not thrilled that this is still happening- I really thought it was something I'd outgrown!
Thoughts? I feel like I don't even have enough information to go to a doctor and say "here's what happens and when"!
I'm a 25 year old female, healthy not carrying more than 10 extra pounds, physically active, eat pretty well....nothing health related that I can think of!
See a doctor--yeah, it is probably not a stroke if it's recurring, but they could be seizures, could be a slow-growth tumor, could VERY much be visual-aura migraines. I get auras (lights/wavy lines), tingling, nausea, it may or may not end with a headache depending on when I catch it. Sometimes it's hormonal, sometimes it's blood-sugar triggered.
I've had the visual migraines, with my eyes not working together, but if I lay down and close my eyes for half an hour, it goes away. No headache at all, and no tingling or pins and needles. I've been to the neuro-opthamologist for it, and they couldn't find anything else wrong. You should go to the doctor as well - it may be regular migraines, with a visual aura accompanying it.
Does anyone in your family have problems with recurrent headaches? Migraines can definitely run in families (though sometimes people don't call them migraines). My sister's pre migraine symptoms are very similar to what you describe (blurry vision, pins&needles and nausea). Her migraines started in the late teens. My other sister gets migraines too. My mother has never been formally diagnosed, but she gets a bad headache she has to sleep off maybe once a month.
I thought I'd escaped the family curse, but I started having problems in my mid-late 20s. Mine are somewhat milder in that sometimes I get the visual symptoms/nausea with the headache, sometimes just the headache. The visual stuff is just as you said, like my two eyes are not working together. At the time I was at a very stressful point in grad school, with constant conflict with my advisor and generally poor sleep. Coincidence? I think not. My frequency of headaches decreased DRAMATICALLY once I finished my thesis.
Definitely go to a neurologist. As others have said, it could be many other things, and neurologists are trained to ask you the right questions so that they can make a diagnosis.
The good news if it is migraines, there are tons of medicines out there that can stop the migraine if you take as soon as you start to feel bad. My sisters and I have all found meds that work for us (not necessarily the same meds). I find that getting enough sleep, not being stressed, eating regularly etc are all important preventatives measures, but let's face it, sometimes life happens. And sometimes the migraine just happens for no good reason. In those situations, it's nice to know that you don't have to just wait it out for 12+ hours.
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I have migraines that sound an awful lot like that, I lose feeling entirely only on the left half of my body, lose vision in my left eye or on the left side of both eyes, and have trouble connecting the brain and speech. Once I feel those symptoms, if I go to bed in a dark room within 30 mins I will sleep 6-8 hours and wake up tired but fine. If I can't get to bad that quick.... HEAD SPLITTING headache and vomiting, I'm out of commission for days. I've had scans and all sorts of diagnostics-- it appears to be an aural migraine.
They say 90% or so of migraines are hormonal, and that's something your doctor might be able to tinker and help you manage. The remaining ones are unexpected or related to neck/back injuries. What you've described sounds so almost exactly like what I experience, I urge you to print this thread out, bring it to your PCP, and explore migraines as a possibility.
Imitrex works for me but I refuse to take it because when I do I will sleep for 2 days straight and then be groggy for another 2 days. Even the worst migraine only knocks me out for 2 days for the migraine itself. For me, the key is getting into a dark room ASAP when I start seeing the symptoms. It has to be nearly immediately. If I can get to bed right away, I'm okay. You cannot "fight" a migraine, I learned that lesson the hard way. My smyptoms get bad enough that people aroung me thought I had a stroke. I HAVE to get to bed ASAP no matter what.
I have both kinds of migraines, classical and chronic...your syptoms sound similar to a classical migraine...however other medical conditions can mimic this so you need to see a doctor to rule out other, more serious stuff. Migraines can be managed in various ways nowdays but first you MUST rule out other stuff. Good luck.
Have it checked out. It could be migraines - but it could also be something more serious. I have visual migraines and the first symptom I often notice is a strange feeling that my left arm no longer belongs to me Followed by a shimmering in my central vision which grows into a massive blind spot with shimmery edges, then slowly slides off to the right until it is gone. Lasts about a half-hour total and leaves me feeling really fatigued, although there's often no outright headache involved. They were scary when they first happened, but once I found out what they were (and that other women on my Dad's side of the family have them too) I can deal with them because I know they will generally not last too long.
I have visual migraines with the scintillating scotoma about once every two to three months. I get that weird visual disconnet where people's face stop making visual sense then a tiny spot of zig zagging light that slowly grows over the course of an hour or so. Once it's full size it looks like a psychedelic paisley shaped zig zag with rainbow changing colors. It feels like part of my brain is all pins and needles. Took me a few years when I was younger to figure out what it was. I don't have any pain at all luckily just have to sit and let it pass, sometimes with or without a little nausea. I'd check with a physician for sure just to rule out anything but that could be what it is.
First things that popped in my head were partial seizures or migraines. I have both and for me, they are pretty easily controlled! Head to the doc and try your best to explain it.
When I first started going to the dr for mine, all I could tell them was that I "saw weirdly colored shapes" when I closed my eyes and then later that I would have moments where I "wasnt there."
I was sent to an eye doctor, then some other doctor. They made me draw the shapes I was seeing. They didnt figure it out until I had a grand mal seizure, but that was probably because I was only like 8 and couldnt describe what I was feeling!
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Wow, guys! Thanks for all the thoughts. Migraines definitely would makes sense to me, as I do get fairly frequent horrible headaches with neck pain and nausea, but they are usually easily managed if I go in for a massage (My mom has also had some similar issues, although I think they were started by a car accident. But maybe she was prone to them anyway!)
I thought about a tumor, but that strikes me as not plausible given how long I’ve been without an episode…but not impossible certainly!
Pinched nerves would make sense with my neck pain, but I would think that there would have been pain with this last episode, and I wouldn’t think that time would have fixed it???
I’m relieved to hear the “two eyes not working together” thing—thought I was crazy!
I guess I have to find a doctor and set up an appt. <sigh>
I appreciate the suggestions and just hearing that these are not uncommon symptoms- like I said, I was a bit reluctant to go in just because it was all so WEIRD to me!
I thought I was nuts or going blind or something the first time I had the light auras (exactly what furlong47 and darkmoonlady describe.) Being a hypochondriac I thought of the worst possible things first and was actually kind of relieved to know what they are--mine last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, usually. It's a weird, weird feeling.