Ocular Migraines with Aura's — The Bump
June 2016 Moms

Ocular Migraines with Aura's

Hey Ladies,

I had a few questions- sorry to be using you all to see if anyone is in the same boat but I haven't really found anyone else going through the same thing. And you've all given some pretty amazing advice along each others journeys!

Some of you may have remembered my scare at 20weeks. Baby girl had bilateral choroid plexus cysts etc. Everything was ruled out and the cysts thankfully eventually disolved. Well, since they had sent me to a perinatologist from the beginning with that issue..I've continued to see them throughout the rest of this pregnancy this far. One very odd symptom that has progressed lately is my ocular migraines with aura's. The specialists thinks it's a warning sign of Pre-E....although so far, BP is perfect and my 24 hour urine has also come back fine. All office visit urine tests also have been fine. 

Basically what happens is 30 minutes before I get a horrible migraine....I can't see right. My vision becomes blurry and I really can't do any reading or driving because of it. Then 30 or so minutes later I get a horrible migraine, two tylenol seem to help but definitely don't take it away and I end up going to bed (they all seem to happen later in the evening) with a bad headache.

I guess my few questions are these; Anyone else experiencing these specific ocular migraines with or without auras? If you did/do....did it end up being related to Pre-E? Also, the doc has recommended I get weekly NSTs and US's. This is worrisome to me. I want to make sure baby is ok....but I also don't want to do unnecessary US's on her, as many have talked about the very real possibility of us just not knowing the long term effects of them. I'm grateful that they are being proactive, don't get me wrong. And yesterday....seeing my little girl in 3D at the office...was just about the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my life (I'll link a pic- just in case anyone cares lol), but I also just want to be sure that it isn't getting to be "too much"?

Any suggestions, past experiences etc.....all welcomed and appreciated. <3
DH - 24; Me: 26
Married 3/7/15
Expecting Baby #1: 06/06/2016
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arethamorce

Re: Ocular Migraines with Aura's

  • I had two of them a few weeks ago - I don't know that the ensuing headaches were migraine material, but my peripheral vision went completely blurry - like I was underwater. It started with a floating blurry spot and the spot kept getting bigger and bigger until my peripheral vision was completely blurred. Lasted about 30 mins and then I got a dull-ish headache not too long after.

    I hope it's not a sign of pre-e - like you, my BP has been basically 120/70 or under this entire time, so there's no indication that's what it would be.

    I haven't gotten one in a few weeks, but I'll check in with you if I do!

    FX it's just another annoying, yet harmless, part of pregnancy.

    RNMegan0711arethamorce
  • I do get migraines with some similar symptoms as well as the rare (but bizarre) symptom of hallucinating specific smells.  I got them occasionally in my first pregnancy and I've had a couple in this pregnancy but I've had them since I was a teenager and they didn't just begin abruptly.  Mine are strongly linked to hormonal fluctuations however, so perhaps that's also a possibility in the hormonal stew of third trimester?  If you're open to small amounts of caffeine in pregnancy, I find pounding an espresso shot helps or, when I'm pregnant, I'll drink a coke zero.  It doesn't cure it, but it lessens the severity.  I then follow that up with a big glass of water.  Migraines are funny though, they are VERY person specific and my triggers and things that help may do nothing for you or even make it worse. 
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  • CourtJack said:

    I had two of them a few weeks ago - I don't know that the ensuing headaches were migraine material, but my peripheral vision went completely blurry - like I was underwater. It started with a floating blurry spot and the spot kept getting bigger and bigger until my peripheral vision was completely blurred. Lasted about 30 mins and then I got a dull-ish headache not too long after.

    I hope it's not a sign of pre-e - like you, my BP has been basically 120/70 or under this entire time, so there's no indication that's what it would be.

    I haven't gotten one in a few weeks, but I'll check in with you if I do!

    FX it's just another annoying, yet harmless, part of pregnancy.

    Exactly! I get these probably 2 times a week now. Horrible! I'm thinking maybe they are just making a huge deal of it because I mentioned it to the specialist? Not sure. To be honest though, I had them in the first trimester (surprisingly they completely went away in the magical second tri lol) and they actually CT'd my head....at like 7 weeks. Yeah, no kidding. I'm still a bit upset that I let myself go through with a CT instead of an MRI. I'm not only paying 2k for that scan....it didn't show anything. The specialist now wants me to see a neurologist and I'm either seeing him or the regular OB every single week for my normal visits on top of NST's and US's.  

    Have you brought yours up to your doc? If so, were they concerned? Say anything? Thank's for replying...I'm hoping it's just a less common pregnancy symptom and my BP will stay normal and this baby can come when she wants. I'm 33w5d...they keep scaring me saying I'll probably go early. What exactly do they base this on?? Like I've said, BP has been perfect. Ugh
    DH - 24; Me: 26
    Married 3/7/15
    Expecting Baby #1: 06/06/2016
    BabyFruit Ticker
    image

  • alitria said:
    I do get migraines with some similar symptoms as well as the rare (but bizarre) symptom of hallucinating specific smells.  I got them occasionally in my first pregnancy and I've had a couple in this pregnancy but I've had them since I was a teenager and they didn't just begin abruptly.  Mine are strongly linked to hormonal fluctuations however, so perhaps that's also a possibility in the hormonal stew of third trimester?  If you're open to small amounts of caffeine in pregnancy, I find pounding an espresso shot helps or, when I'm pregnant, I'll drink a coke zero.  It doesn't cure it, but it lessens the severity.  I then follow that up with a big glass of water.  Migraines are funny though, they are VERY person specific and my triggers and things that help may do nothing for you or even make it worse. 
    You're completely right. Migraines are most definitely person specific. I've suffered from migraines my entire adult life (started in highschool) and runs in my family. (All of which the specialist knows about). But I've never had aura's before..until pregnancy. I definitely have my caffeine every single day honestly. I don't go over the recommended 200mg a day while pregnant but I have it...mostly because I'm prone to migraines and....I like caffeine. Lol. But this last one happened last night..I had had my caffeine. I was standing at practice singing and all of a sudden I could barely see. Couldn't read the words on the screen and couldn't drive home. I'm truly worried that my doctor will attempt to take the baby early because he thinks it's a sign of pre-e. I'm overweight....which they don't like either. So I feel like they are (for lack of a better word) wanting it to be pre-e just because of all my personal symptoms, weight gain, swelling etc. I truly think this is what my body does...I get migraines. And it would stand to reason that I would get them worse and differently while pregnant. Thanks a bunch for responding. 
    DH - 24; Me: 26
    Married 3/7/15
    Expecting Baby #1: 06/06/2016
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  • I had them last pregnancy and this pregnancy. I get the blurred vision, one of my arms will go numb, and part of my face. They are really scary. I had them a lot with my first. Even had once where I couldn't form a sentence. I had great BP the whole pregnancy. Never had any issues with Pre-e. My OB said it was probably to do with hormones out of whack. I had a few this time but not near as many as the last. I've never had them before or after pregnancy. I hope they get better for you. They are scary and annoying. 

    Married 6/18/2009

    TTC since 10/2010-BFP 12/23/2011

    Baby 2.0 BFP 10/16/2015

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  • CourtJack said:

    I had two of them a few weeks ago - I don't know that the ensuing headaches were migraine material, but my peripheral vision went completely blurry - like I was underwater. It started with a floating blurry spot and the spot kept getting bigger and bigger until my peripheral vision was completely blurred. Lasted about 30 mins and then I got a dull-ish headache not too long after.

    I hope it's not a sign of pre-e - like you, my BP has been basically 120/70 or under this entire time, so there's no indication that's what it would be.

    I haven't gotten one in a few weeks, but I'll check in with you if I do!

    FX it's just another annoying, yet harmless, part of pregnancy.

    Exactly! I get these probably 2 times a week now. Horrible! I'm thinking maybe they are just making a huge deal of it because I mentioned it to the specialist? Not sure. To be honest though, I had them in the first trimester (surprisingly they completely went away in the magical second tri lol) and they actually CT'd my head....at like 7 weeks. Yeah, no kidding. I'm still a bit upset that I let myself go through with a CT instead of an MRI. I'm not only paying 2k for that scan....it didn't show anything. The specialist now wants me to see a neurologist and I'm either seeing him or the regular OB every single week for my normal visits on top of NST's and US's.  

    Have you brought yours up to your doc? If so, were they concerned? Say anything? Thank's for replying...I'm hoping it's just a less common pregnancy symptom and my BP will stay normal and this baby can come when she wants. I'm 33w5d...they keep scaring me saying I'll probably go early. What exactly do they base this on?? Like I've said, BP has been perfect. Ugh
    I didn't bring it up with my doc - it didn't even occur to me - whoopsies. I might if it happens again, though. I'm not sure why they'd say you'll probably go early? That's an odd assumption to make? Do you have any other complications aside from the additional monitoring from your 20 week scare?
  • mimi_8607 said:
    I had them last pregnancy and this pregnancy. I get the blurred vision, one of my arms will go numb, and part of my face. They are really scary. I had them a lot with my first. Even had once where I couldn't form a sentence. I had great BP the whole pregnancy. Never had any issues with Pre-e. My OB said it was probably to do with hormones out of whack. I had a few this time but not near as many as the last. I've never had them before or after pregnancy. I hope they get better for you. They are scary and annoying. 
    Oh wow! I've never (fx. crossed) had them that bad. No numbness in the arms/face or dysphagia. I can totally imagine how scary that could be!! I'm scared enough when I lose the ability to really see right. Hoping this is exactly it...just a hormone imbalance.
    DH - 24; Me: 26
    Married 3/7/15
    Expecting Baby #1: 06/06/2016
    BabyFruit Ticker
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  • CourtJack said:
    CourtJack said:

    I had two of them a few weeks ago - I don't know that the ensuing headaches were migraine material, but my peripheral vision went completely blurry - like I was underwater. It started with a floating blurry spot and the spot kept getting bigger and bigger until my peripheral vision was completely blurred. Lasted about 30 mins and then I got a dull-ish headache not too long after.

    I hope it's not a sign of pre-e - like you, my BP has been basically 120/70 or under this entire time, so there's no indication that's what it would be.

    I haven't gotten one in a few weeks, but I'll check in with you if I do!

    FX it's just another annoying, yet harmless, part of pregnancy.

    Exactly! I get these probably 2 times a week now. Horrible! I'm thinking maybe they are just making a huge deal of it because I mentioned it to the specialist? Not sure. To be honest though, I had them in the first trimester (surprisingly they completely went away in the magical second tri lol) and they actually CT'd my head....at like 7 weeks. Yeah, no kidding. I'm still a bit upset that I let myself go through with a CT instead of an MRI. I'm not only paying 2k for that scan....it didn't show anything. The specialist now wants me to see a neurologist and I'm either seeing him or the regular OB every single week for my normal visits on top of NST's and US's.  

    Have you brought yours up to your doc? If so, were they concerned? Say anything? Thank's for replying...I'm hoping it's just a less common pregnancy symptom and my BP will stay normal and this baby can come when she wants. I'm 33w5d...they keep scaring me saying I'll probably go early. What exactly do they base this on?? Like I've said, BP has been perfect. Ugh
    I didn't bring it up with my doc - it didn't even occur to me - whoopsies. I might if it happens again, though. I'm not sure why they'd say you'll probably go early? That's an odd assumption to make? Do you have any other complications aside from the additional monitoring from your 20 week scare?
    I'm pretty significantly over weight (I've gained 50 with this pregnancy- and I was about 50 overweight when I got pregnant). I'm 5.11 but I'm definitely plus sized. So they hate that. I get lectured every single visit..to the point I dread the visits. I also have been swelling since 7 months pregnant (which I didn't find too odd......considering I'm a nurse and work 13 hour shifts on my feet). And then these vision changes/migraines. So all together is why they keep saying it's going to end up being pre-e. I mean both the specialist and the regular ob have practically made bets on it. They tell me every time. But....every urine/24 hour urine and bp have so far been perfect.
    DH - 24; Me: 26
    Married 3/7/15
    Expecting Baby #1: 06/06/2016
    BabyFruit Ticker
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  • I've had one during my pregnancy, and many pre-pregnancy (mine are always stress related). They are crazy! I usually have to just lay down and wait to be able to see again! As others have said-- check with your doctor, but it's probably one of those normal pregnancy side effects.
    RNMegan0711
  • I would be so pissed if my doctor brought up my weight at every appointment. I don't think that Pre- e or the migraines have any thing to do with weight. My husbands cousins wife(haha thats a mouth full) just had a caesarean due to pre-e and she was no where near over weight and vegan. So pretty healthy. I think pre-e comes on cause of how our bodies handle pregnancy. I weighed 220 when I gave birth to DS. And I'm 5'2". And this time I'm at 211 right now. Still no issues with BP. Migraines I think are hormones. My OB is amazing. By far the best one in the practice. She doesn't comment on my weight. She's not one to jump on the there is something wrong bandwagon. I'm so glad cause it would cost me a whole lot of unneeded cost in unnecessary testing. I'm looking at a $400 bill from an unnecessary ultrasound because i saw one of her partners and she had me measuring 4 weeks ahead. One time! My OB wasn't happy cause she said that she usually would establish a pattern before sending me for an ultrasound.

    Married 6/18/2009

    TTC since 10/2010-BFP 12/23/2011

    Baby 2.0 BFP 10/16/2015

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    RNMegan0711alitria
  • alitria said:
    @RNMegan0711 that whole attitude would p*ss me right off.  I'm also quite overweight and I understand it can be a risk factor for a number of things.  I also understand women who aren't overweight can develop those conditions.  My dr. discusses my weight and has given me guidelines for ideal weight gain in women who begin pregnancy overweight but she doesn't comment on it at every visit, she doesn't assume I have a condition I'm not showing symptoms of because of my weight and she doesn't jump to conclusions.  I actually called and asked her about swelling last month because I noticed all of a sudden I was swollen at the end of the day.  She was like "uh, you spend time on your feet at work and you're pregnant, sounds normal but if you have the following symptoms call me and we can discuss it further or set up an appointment."  I've been very overweight and a nearly normal weight and now back to somewhere in the middle and I can honestly say when I was at my highest weight I had legitimate medical problems that were missed because they blamed everything on my weight.  Have I had issues related to weight? Yup. Have I had medical issues that had nothing to do with my weight that were poorly treated or dismissed because of my weight? Also, yup.  Funny thing, I've had migraines at my highest and lowest weights because I had hormones at every weight.  Funny how that works.  I had doctors I wasn't happy with during my first pregnancy and when I got pregnant this time, I shopped around and found an AMAZING doctor.  I understand we don't always get to choose our providers but I hope you can find someone who will be a better choice for you if you choose to get pregnant again because it has made such a huge difference for me. 
    I couldn't agree with you more! It's gotten bad... To the point I nearly cry before going in every time and definitely after every apt. She belittles me. Not only that, I'm a freaking nurse. I know that I'm overweight! What the hell would you like me to do about it right now!? She keeps saying how she's worried I won't get the weight off and then "we will be dealing with your weight with a second pregnancy and possibly worse". It's very discouraging and heartbreaking because I know that I'm determined to be healthy for my child. My eating habits haven't changed. I've just gained. And I can't wait for her be here... Healthy. So that I can focus on getting myself back to where I feel decent about myself too. I truly believe they are going way overboard (despite every test being negative etc) because of my weight. I won't let them take her early out of non-necessity. Thanks for lifting my spirits!
    DH - 24; Me: 26
    Married 3/7/15
    Expecting Baby #1: 06/06/2016
    BabyFruit Ticker
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  • @RNMegan0711 ; Don't you love it when people announce you're overweight?  Like, "no kidding, do you also think that's why the size 6 pants I bought won't fit?"  I have never been more acutely aware of every aspect of my body and my size than I was at my highest weight. 

    But here is what I know, and what you probably know as a nurse, it is NEVER ok for a medical provider to belittle or demean a patient.  EVER.  I work in a counseling role for a school district and I deal with all sorts of people who make bad choices; they abuse their kids, they bring horrible people into their homes, the subject their children to trauma, they have substance abuse problems they won't acknowledge.... I could go on.  But the point is, even when I'm mentally at my worst and mentally snarking to myself, my job is to be professional, to treat people respectfully and to focus on solutions rather than blame.  Most of the time, when people have a problem, piling on shame or blame only makes things worse and destroys any chance of creating a relationship where positive change can occur.  Does my doctor think I need to lose weight? Of course she does; but she knows I work at it, she knows I'm aware, and she knows that when I'm 7 months pregnant and already feel like I am large enough to be visible from space it's probably not the best time for that conversation.  That hasn't prevented her from addressing it if she thought it was relevant to the topic at hand but she includes it in a list of possible factors and doesn't just basically say "hey, everything that's wrong in your life is because you're fat. And fyi, it's going to ruin everything in your future too."  F that noise.  I'm sorry you're being subjected to this treatment and it just goes to show a medical degree (or any other degree) doesn't come with any guarantees of empathy, compassion or basically not being a bad human being.  If you have to stick with her, do what you have to do to get through this pregnancy, but remember that just because she's trying to sell you a load of bs, doesn't mean you're obligated to buy it. 
    MynaBirdalmostpriceless
  • I just wanted to say this thread is really reassuring because I experienced these symptoms a few days ago and it was so scary! My left eye went very blurry on the very perifery and my vision as a whole was off for about a half hour.  I got a dull headache a little while later, not sure if it counts as a migraine either.  I thought it was because I hadn't eaten, but it is reassuring that this is an actual thing.  My BP and urine have also been perfect every appointment, though, so I'm not sure it's related to Pre-E.  
  • @alitria You can tell that you're a true advocate for your patients/clients.

    My husband and I debated switching doctors but I'm worried if I burn the bridge with her now- should could still very well be on call and end up delivering the baby anyway. We see a practice with five doctors and we had to make our rounds through all of them because we don't know who will deliver if it's on a weekend they aren't on call or nights etc. I think the best thing for me to do is to politely and respectfully let her know how she's making me feel the next apt I have with her. I'm going to try to not become emotional (super hard for me lately). My self esteem is at an all time low as it is. 

    Thank's for being so encouraging <3 
    DH - 24; Me: 26
    Married 3/7/15
    Expecting Baby #1: 06/06/2016
    BabyFruit Ticker
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    alitria
  • I have had migraines since I was a teen and my midwife told me that if they get bad and are accompanied with any swelling or BP issue it could be pre-e.  As long as you are keeping an eye on your BP and urine at the doctor's, I wouldn't be too concerned. They told me that sometimes the hormone shifts can cause migraines for certain people especially if we are prone to them.
    RNMegan0711
  • During my last pregnancy, i had complicated migraines with auras, finger/arm numbness, and even vomitting. I had perfect blood pressure my entire pregnancy. Never developed high bp. My doc wasnt really worried since i had them before i was pregnant and in general migraines can be a normal pregnancy symptom (unfortunately). 

    This pregnancy i am getting them again. More often, i think because im expecting twins so double the hormones. Im almost 32 weeks and no blood pressure issues so far.

    Good luck with everything and thank you for posting this. Its really reassuring to know other people are dealing and managing these symptoms too. :) 

    RNMegan0711
  • During my last pregnancy, i had complicated migraines with auras, finger/arm numbness, and even vomitting. I had perfect blood pressure my entire pregnancy. Never developed high bp. My doc wasnt really worried since i had them before i was pregnant and in general migraines can be a normal pregnancy symptom (unfortunately). 

    This pregnancy i am getting them again. More often, i think because im expecting twins so double the hormones. Im almost 32 weeks and no blood pressure issues so far.

    Good luck with everything and thank you for posting this. Its really reassuring to know other people are dealing and managing these symptoms too. :) 

    That's really great to hear that it didn't turn into pre-E with you! Hoping they are just being overly cautious. I think it truly matters if you suffered from migraines prior to pregnancy too. I'm glad to hear others (although not happy for others pain) have been through the same odd symptoms. 
    DH - 24; Me: 26
    Married 3/7/15
    Expecting Baby #1: 06/06/2016
    BabyFruit Ticker
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  • I am a migraine sufferer prior to the pregnancy and had experienced my first ocular at 15 weeks. Both my obgyn and my eye dr. Told.me there was nothing to worry about and they should go away after having my little girl. 

    My obgyn said her only concern would be if I was to get them numerous times a day everyday. 


    Fortunately it's once in a blue moon unfortunately the actually migraine after the ocular is the worst.



    RNMegan0711
  • I've only had a handful of migraine this pregnancy which surprised me because being tired, lack of caffeine and stress are all triggers for me.


    Just wanted to say that I'm sorry you're having them- I know how much it sucks wen you can only take Tylenol. Hopefully everything continues to come back negative and you can finish out a healthy, full term pregnancy :)
    Me (31) & DH (32)
    Married 9/27/2014
    DD Born 6/23/16
    Baby #2 Due 3/7/20
    RNMegan0711
  • I've only had a handful of migraine this pregnancy which surprised me because being tired, lack of caffeine and stress are all triggers for me.


    Just wanted to say that I'm sorry you're having them- I know how much it sucks wen you can only take Tylenol. Hopefully everything continues to come back negative and you can finish out a healthy, full term pregnancy :)
    Thank you! It's been pretty bad. And scary for that matter. I'm used to migraines... I've dealt with them for years. But not these visual disturbances/auras that come before them. Hoping they have nothing to do with pre-E and the doc is wrong and everything will continue to go smoothly (as expected for the home stretch lol). Thanks for the sweet words. :)
    DH - 24; Me: 26
    Married 3/7/15
    Expecting Baby #1: 06/06/2016
    BabyFruit Ticker
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    laurenm2123
  • I started getting them about 3 years ago pre pregnancy obviously, mentioned it to my OB when I first saw here, and she said that as long as my BP doesn't increase during my migraines she isn't worried about it, but if I get an ocular migraine that also raises my BP then I need to call her and come in for monitoring.  She said they're probably not related (migraines and high BP) since I've had the migraines beforehand.  She said it still could turn into Pre-E which is why when I get them I have to monitor my BP, but said that there's nothing to worry about yet since so far my BP has stayed normal during my migraines.  
    RNMegan0711
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