Yesterday, I had an extremely strange experience. I was waiting for some pizza to finish cooking in the oven. I sat down to hang out in my hammock (because, yes, I have a hammock in my living room) to wait and catch up on some Facebook.
But then I started to notice this little dot in the center of my vision. If you’ve ever looked through a kaleidoscope, it kind of looked like that. It was tiny at first, and I assumed that I had just sat down too hard. But then it started to grow.
By the time it was big enough to obstruct my ability to read, I started to get a little freaked out. I called my parents so that they could freak out with me.
At this point, the little dot was no longer little or a dot. It had grown into sort of a half circle of weird kaleidoscope-ness growing toward the left edge of my vision. I could read again, since the center of my vision had cleared. But I kept my eyes closed, because I was fairly certain that if I opened them for very long, I was going to get a massive headache.
My parents were a lot more worried about it than I was (we have weird brain problems in my family history, so I understand). I was a little freaked, because this is something that I’ve never experienced before. However, I had a friend a month or two ago that had the exact same thing happen to him.
My parents convinced me to call a friend to get them to take me to the hospital. I called one who was out of town. Just as I was trying to find another one, it went away. It was almost more disconcerting that it was just gone after freaking me out for half an hour. But, hey, I didn’t have to go to the hospital, so I was thrilled.
After the visual weirdness went away, I looked up ocular migraines, since I could read again and I was pretty sure that was what my problem was. I found this explanation online, which fit my symptoms perfectly:
Ocular migraines are painless, temporary visual disturbances that can affect one or both eyes. Though they can be frightening, ocular migraines typically are harmless and self-resolve without medication within 20 to 30 minutes.
I had a little bit of a headache afterward, but I went to bed early, and I feel fine now. All in all, it was really disturbing, but utterly harmless.
I wanted to write this because, I know that I would have been a lot more freaked out about what was happening to me if I hadn’t had a friend write about it before. So if you experience one of these painless disturbances, don’t immediately panic. It might just be an ocular migraine.*
*That said, if you have this kind of weirdness last for longer than half an hour, and you have a bad headache, you might still want to get looked at. Just to be safe. Trust me, I’ve had enough brain injuries to know that brain problems are no joke.