Get E-Book on COVID-19

Q. My periodic headache is accompanied by visual disturbance nowadays. What is the reason?

Answered by
Dr. Aida Quka
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 11, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have had periodic headaches that I thought were tension headaches throughout my adult life. Sometimes they are every day for two weeks and sometimes I go a few weeks with nothing. I always seem to have some type of tension in my upper back, shoulders and neck which I felt was the cause of my headaches.

About four and a half years ago, I had my first ocular migraine, it seemed like the shadows of a ceiling fan blinking and it disrupted my vision. I did not have pain, which I thought was odd.

One or two years ago, I had my second ocular migraine, it was different like flashbulbs in my eyes and then zig-zags that spread across my field of vision. Again no pain.

Two days ago, I had my third episode followed by a headache (but I have had what I thought was a tension headache for almost two weeks so maybe they were unrelated?). The visual disturbance was more similar to the one I had a couple of years ago, flashbulbs and zig zags, except it was only the right field of vision.

I have been doing some research and found that women in my age group with migraine and aura have a higher stroke risk, which is scaring me. I am a 40-year-old woman, no smoking, no oral contraceptives, borderline high cholesterol since my 20s, with normal to low blood pressure.

I am honestly looking to ease my mind at this point if there is any good news, but I also need to know the truth about my risk. If my aura symptoms are infrequent, even if these headaches I am having are migraine instead of tension, am I still at high risk?

Dr. Aida Quka

Neurology
#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I passed carefully through your question and would explain that you are not at an increased risk of stroke, considering the frequency of your migraines with aura. The tension headache, which is more frequent is not a risk factor for stroke. So, considering the fact that you have no other risk factors, there is no reason to panic.

Nevertheless, I would recommend performing a brain MRI, in order to examine your brain and calm your mind. You should know that frequent migraine headaches lead to some small white spots visible in the MRI.

If these spots increase in number after a couple of years (in the follow up MRI), I would recommend starting daily baby Aspirin (80 mg daily). Anyway, considering the COVID-19 pandemic and your young age, it can wait until performing a brain MRI.

I hope this helps.


Was this answer helpful?

 | 

Thank you doctor,

Would you say visual aura with no pain at all is also associated with increased stroke risk? That was my first two experiences. Also, if the headaches are usually without aura, is that associated with increased stroke risk, or is any aura ever the risk? Is the frequency of either of the above associated with increased stroke risk?

Dr. Aida Quka

Neurology
#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Based on the scientific literature, there is no correlation between visual area and increased risk for stroke. Only in women with more than 12 aura per month, or those who take oral contraceptives, there is an increased risk for stroke. So, frequency of the aura is the most important issue to consider when judging about the risk for stroke.

To conclude, there is no reason to panic in your case. You are not at any increased risk for stroke. If the tension headache is frequent, I would recommend taking low doses of Amitriptyline (10 mg at bedtime) for three months, in order to help reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and thus improve your quality of life.

I hope this helps.


Was this answer helpful?

 | 

Related Questions:
Kindly explain whether MRI brain and CSF studies show any relation to NPH.
How Do I Know If I Have Glaucoma?
My sister has a headache that does not subside with pain medications. Please help.
 

This is a sponsored Ad. icliniq or icliniq doctors do not endorse the content in the Ad.

Consult by PhoneConsult by Phone Video ChatVideo Chat
Also Read Answers From:

Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers


I feel a tight band like pressure on my head while wearing specs. When can I get rid of this feeling?

Query: Hello doctor, I feel a tight band like pressure around my head while wearing specs. I try not to flinch my head muscles while feeling the head pressure fearing it will escalate the pressure feeling. I started wearing specs from the age of 16, and now I am 19. I do not want to wear contact lenses an...  Read Full »

HGH - The Human Growth Regulator

Article Overview: This article discusses in detail the functions of the Human Growth Hormone Read Article


Dr. Vidhi Hareshbhai Talati
General Medicine Physician

HGH means Human Growth Hormone. It is also known as somatotropin or somatropin. It is made up of protein chains known as peptides. People mainly think of using this hormone for extra growth and try to become youthful, but is not realistic. Researches show that it is not useful for becoming youthful ...  Read Article

Can you please interpret MRI brain taken for balancing problem?

Query: Hello doctor, I suddenly felt out of balance and threat of falling. Occurred frequently. Took MR brain with angio. In observation, the report said the following. Chronic lacunar infarct with gliosis in left corona radiata. Discreet diffusion non restricted subcortical FLAIR hyperintensities noted- ...  Read Full »

Also Read


Crohn's Disease
Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the digestive tract, which results in symptoms like severe diarrhea, stomach pain...  Read more»
I was diagnosed with Celiac disease a year back. Can you suggest any medicine?
Having celiac fromnlast 10 year dignosis recently ayear ago since then i am gluten free still cant absorb food feeling w...  Read more»
My head is shivering from 20 days, and it feels like head trauma. What is the cause?
Hello sir, My head is shivering like anything , feeling like trauma is head. And its start anytime in a day and when s...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Neurologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: All health Q&As published on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.