If you are a migraine sufferer, then you may experience more than the throbbing, nauseating headache that comes as part of the package. You may also suffer from Scintillating Scotoma.
Scintillating Scotoma is a visual symptom of having a migraine and some people suffer from this alone, without an accompanying headache or nausea.
The visual effect of Scintillating Scotoma is quite tricky to show in an image, but I tried my best with the featured picture at the top of this article to try to show you how it looks through the eyes of someone suffering from this condition. The graphic image below may seem even more familiar to someone who suffers from this symptom:
The Visual ‘Aura’ Effect Causing A Jagged, Fuzzy Effect In The Eyesight Accompanying a Migraine:
These visual (also referred to as acephalgic) migraines have many variations, so the image above may not even be a close example of what you see. Sometimes, the visual effect may begin as a spot of light around the center of vision and then develops into a flashing more full arc.
10 Common Triggers To Help Avoid Scintillating Scotoma and Migraine Attacks:
- Loud, noisy areas or areas with bright lights
- Cigarette smoke
- Artificial sweeteners
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG, which is a flavor enhancer)
- Red wine
- Dairy Products
- Processed Meats
Percentage of respondents in the U.S. who took select steps to avoid migraine triggers as of 2017, by type of migraine:
Find more statistics at Statista
Are Migraines and Scintillating Scotoma a Modern-Day Condition Due to Modern Diets?
Historical records would say not!
The first record of migraines being described in medical papers was by Dr. John Fothergill in the year 1778. Dr. Fothergill described the Scintillating Scotoma effect as follows:
“objects swiftly changing their apparent position, surrounded by luminous angles, like those of a fortification.”
While most sufferers might believe that the effect takes place in their eyes, the actual source of the effect is, in fact, the back of the brain in an area called the occipital cortex. The eyes have no part to play in this effect, and this can be quickly noticed as the effect is still present when the sufferer closes their eyes.
Scintillating Scotoma can be the first sign of a ‘Classic Migraine,’ or it can come and go without the common headache ever developing. The average time that a migraine lasts is ninety minutes, and during this time the sufferer should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery involving moving parts for obvious safety reasons.
Treatment for Scintillating Scotoma and Migraine
Many migraine sufferers may already be aware of the various foods and drinks that can trigger their suffering. Some less apparent causes are not caused by diet or drink intake at all, however. For women, pregnancy can increase the frequency of migraines and so too can birth control pills.
Some people might suffer from migraines and may not have noticed that their headaches tend to occur at the same time each month. Other people may not have seen that a particularly stressful day at work was the cause of a migraine attack, or even merely being in a bad mood.
One form of treatment, therefore, is to keep a diary of migraine attacks. In the journal, note the date, the time and what events and feelings occurred during that day. Also, note the foods and drinks you had that day. After only a few migraines you may refer to your diary and see a pattern forming. If a pattern does emerge, then you can formulate a form of treatment for yourself that eliminates the most probable causes.