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Suggest treatment for loss of vision and vomiting

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Posted on Mon, 15 May 2017
Question: I am 35 and have been getting migraines since I was 18. They used to start with zig zag bright flashing lights in my vision and a loss of peripheral vision, then in half an hour pain and vomiting. As I got older the aura got stronger and longer and I developed slurred speech and confusion, but minimal pain. I found that exercise and caffeine were triggers. At age 25 I got my usual aura and went home from work, but then it felt really hard to breathe almost like my lungs were numb, and my heart was beating very fast (180 bpm). I called 911 and was in the ER where I lost all ability to speak and was so confused I could not pull my pants down for a urine sample. The nurse thought I took illegal drugs and abused me (punched me) so I have panic disorder and ocd from post traumatic stress still to this day. But I never found out what kind of migraine I had in the ER or if it was a seizure. I started exercising two weeks ago with a personal trainer after several years of no exercise do to an anal fistula and today she worked me out very hard. I haven't had a migraine in 2 years but I got one a little over 4 hours after my workout. I got the zig zag flashing lights, loss of peripheal vision, confusion, slurred speech, and couldn't even spell common words. How can I prevent this from happening when I exercise or happening again at all? I'm scared it's more than a migraine and I really want to be able to exercise again and can't have this interrupt my work. I was well hydrated prior and during the workout.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ornela Ademovi (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Most probably more than a migraine.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

I understand your concern and I am sorry you have been going through so much.
From what you say and also considering you also suffer from high blood pressure, I suspect your headache is not just a migraine even though the aura, the triggers and intensity make it look like a migraine. The migraine can sometimes also be a symptom of another disorder. It is very possible that in your case, the migraine may be part of a seizure disorder.
However, in order to have a better idea, it is best to start with a test measuring and evaluating your brain's electrical activity, that is an EEG. Based on the results of this test and a thorough neurological exam, the doctor will be able to give you a more informed answer.
I am positive that there is no reason why you shouldn't do light physical activity on a daily basis, without putting a strain on your body and with the proper hydration.

I hope this helps. You are welcome to ask for further clarifications.
Wishing you all the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
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Follow up: Dr. Ornela Ademovi (1 hour later)
What makes you think it's seizures?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ornela Ademovi (36 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Sometimes seizures can have a very similar aura as that of migraine

Detailed Answer:
My reasoning for this assumption is as follows.

1. Seizures may be triggered by the same things as migraines, such as stress fatigue, monthly periods etc.
2. Seizures may present with a very similar aura as migraines.
3. You mention a state of confusion
4. There is also a condition called Migralepsy, in which a migraine is followed by an epileptic seizure within an hour or so.
5. The brain activity pattern seen on an EEG test during a seizure may be very similar to that observed during a migraine.

I hope this helps.
Feel free to ask for further details.
All the best.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Follow up: Dr. Ornela Ademovi (16 minutes later)
Aren't seizures short lasting? Migraines run in my family. I'm scared
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ornela Ademovi (3 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
they can be part of the migraine package

Detailed Answer:
Yes, seizures are usually short electric discharges in the brain, but they can present as part and package of a migraine, meaning they can be preceded by a migraine and followed by it too.
A visit to a neurologist, an EEG and possibly a CT scan or MRI of the brain will be able to give you a definitive answer.

Wishing you all the best
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ornela Ademovi (33 minutes later)
I've had them for 18 years and all doctors say migraine but never any tests. The aura lasts an hour to 2 hours then headache and nausea set in. They seem to be caused by hard exercise and too much caffiene. Seizures do this too?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ornela Ademovi (18 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
seizures can also have an aura very similar to migraine headaches

Detailed Answer:
Yes, seizures can also present with an aura very similar to migraine headaches and can be brought on by the same triggers as migraine, especially strenuous physical activity and fatigue.

I strongly recommend you get an EEG done and see a neurologist.

Wishing you good health and all the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Follow up: Dr. Ornela Ademovi (8 minutes later)
I can't handle this.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ornela Ademovi (51 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
It is something that can be managed

Detailed Answer:
I understand it is a difficult situation to live with. However, the right diagnosis will lead to the proper treatment and with the right treatment will positively affect your quality of life.
I wish you all the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ornela Ademovi (3 hours later)
It seems to happen if i exercise hard. Why would that be? Also closer to my period
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ornela Ademovi (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Strenuous exercise and menstruation are also known triggers

Detailed Answer:
It is a known fact that strenuous physical activity and fatigue can trigger an epileptic episode. The mechanism for this is not yet clear, but it is thought that "overheating" may be the culprit.

Premenstrual syndrome can also be a trigger for seizure and there are different theories on why this is the case. It may be either an increase in body temperature or hormonal changes that can affect the firing of the brain cells.

I hope this answers your question.
All the best


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Follow up: Dr. Ornela Ademovi (5 minutes later)
Is there any way i can still continue exercise?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ornela Ademovi (10 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Light exercise should be fine

Detailed Answer:
Yes, you can exercise regularly without overdoing it and always making sure you are well hydrated.
If you feel you start breaking sweat slow down, as sweating is the body's reaction to overheating.

All the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Answered by
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Dr. Ornela Ademovi

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 738 Questions

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Suggest treatment for loss of vision and vomiting

Brief Answer: Most probably more than a migraine. Detailed Answer: Hello, I understand your concern and I am sorry you have been going through so much. From what you say and also considering you also suffer from high blood pressure, I suspect your headache is not just a migraine even though the aura, the triggers and intensity make it look like a migraine. The migraine can sometimes also be a symptom of another disorder. It is very possible that in your case, the migraine may be part of a seizure disorder. However, in order to have a better idea, it is best to start with a test measuring and evaluating your brain's electrical activity, that is an EEG. Based on the results of this test and a thorough neurological exam, the doctor will be able to give you a more informed answer. I am positive that there is no reason why you shouldn't do light physical activity on a daily basis, without putting a strain on your body and with the proper hydration. I hope this helps. You are welcome to ask for further clarifications. Wishing you all the best.