Migraine

Just occasionally, I suffer from migraines. I had my first one when I was 22, and thought I was going blind. I’d always thought a migraine was just a headache – no-one had ever mentioned those weird light patterns that obscure your vision. A few weeks ago I had one and it struck me that I’d never seem one depicted. I did a bit of searching and found a few pictures and animations but none of them really looked the way I saw them, so I thought I’d give it a try. I think this is pretty successful. If you’re not familiar with the experience (you’ve never lived!), with me it begins with a flickering sliver of distortion just below the centre of vision, which blossoms over half an hour or so into the c-shaped pattern shown here. After that it expands and moves outwards until it disappears off the edge of the field of vision. At that point I get a headache which last for an hour or so. It’s not too ghastly, it’s just inconvenient more than anything else as you can’t read or drive or do much else that requires clear vision while it’s going on. Fortunately I only get these once every year or two, and if I have the right medication handy I can avoid the whole thing as soon as I see it coming on. To get the accurate effect, look at the vanishing point in the image. (As the aura appears in your peripheral vision, you can never look directly at it.)

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