A lesson in optometry

Have you ever had an ocular migraine?

I have, twice. Once was maybe about a year ago. The second time was about an hour ago.

I had just had dinner and I was sitting down with a book I’d just borrowed from a friend today … and if you must know, yes, I’m reading that stupid “Fifty Shades” trilogy. I’m sorry if you’re a fan, but those books are inane drivel! They are basically tarted-up Harlequin romances: young, naive, beautiful, virginal girl meets older, experienced, handsome, rich man. Hijinks ensue. They fall in love. (Ho hum.) Oh yeah – there’s a whole lot of minutely-detailed graphic sex scenes, many that are fairly off-the-wall kinky. (Again, ho hum. Not that I’m disinterested in sex or that I’m a huge prude or anything, but I skip through those parts.) Plus, the books are not exactly well-written either, in my opinion. I don’t know who is worse, this author or the guy who wrote “The Da Vinci Code”! Really, there must be at least one other adjective to describe how the guy looks than “hot” and at least one other verb to describe how he smiles than “smirk” – check a thesaurus, lady! And why am I even reading this trash anyway?

Anyway, mini-book review over. Back to my ocular migraine …

I found that I couldn’t focus on the words on the pages of the book, but only with my left eye. My right eye seemed fine. I thought perhaps my left contact lens had a blurry spot on it (which has actually happened a couple of times), so I kept tilting my head and squinting that eye to see if that made my vision any better. It didn’t. Then I realized that it wasn’t just a blur I was seeing with my left eye, it was actually a sort-of zig-zaggy line, down the left side and across the bottom of my field of vision. A-HA! I thought. This is another ocular migraine!

But wait! I should also be seeing a blue light in the corner of my eye, I realized. At least, that’s what I saw last time this happened, along with the sort-of zig-zaggy line. I looked up from the book, and yep, there was the blue light, a little more muted that I remembered it being, but blue it was.

So. Nothing to do but wait it out, maybe half an hour at the most, then all would be well again.

My vision cleared in only ten minutes, then I went back to my reading.

Weird, huh? Also weird is the fact that this type of migraine involves absolutely no pain, so if you’re going to get one, this would be the one to get, I suppose. They’re actually quite harmless and they always self-resolve in half an hour or less. My optometrist has told me that no particular cause has yet been determined for ocular migraines, but that they are often found in people who also suffer from migraine headaches (which I don’t get a lot, but I have had a handful in my lifetime). Sometimes an ocular migraine leads right into a migraine headache, but fortunately, that has not been my experience.

And I guess the moral of this story could be don’t read crappy books, because they could temporarily impair your vision.


10 responses to “A lesson in optometry

  1. I tried to read that book but stopped after about 40 pages, I found it so bad that I had no patience for it. It is just plain old drivel.

    I used to get regular migraines but I think they were related to a pollen allergy. I haven’t been bothered by them since I stopped going to the California mountains and since I live in the Netherlands now, that is easy to do.

    • Once you figure out your triggers for migraines, you can certainly try to avoid whatever they are, as you’ve been able to do. I don’t know what mine are, either for the regular kind or the ocular kind, so I guess I’m kind of at their mercy for now! I’ll just try to not read any more stupid books like that one.

  2. I read those. Mommy porn. They screw like bunnies, she whines because she wants to know more about him, they screw like bunnies, she whines, they screw, she whines, he says something, they screw, she whines – ad nauseum.

    I get ocular migraines, but they don’t go away, they always morph into the nausea and headache kind. And are always triggered by a flash of strong light. I hate when that happens.

    • Oh, her whining drove me nuts too! I wanted to slap her upside the head all the time and yell, “Grow the F up or get back to pre-school!” Mommy porn – I like that.

      Most ocular migraines do turn into the hurty kind, according to my research. Poor you! Here’s hoping, for once, that I don’t join the crowd!

  3. I’ve gotten them off and on since puberty. Funny thing is, they used to start from the outside, and all the shimmering would eventually crowd into the middle until I couldn’t see, and then go away. Now, they start in the middle and work their way out. Some sort of post-menopausal reminder that life is heading in a different direction now, I guess.

    • I haven’t yet got to the point where I can’t see out of that eye when I’ve got an ocular migraine. It’s more like a distortion in what I do see (allowing, of course, for the fact that I actually don’t have superior vision anyway), but I could still see, for example, a sword-yielding ninja about to attack me. I probably couldn’t DO anything about it, but I’d certainly see it – and my impending doom.

  4. I always get ocular or auric migraines — he said with a smirk. No, really, that’s the only kind I get. Got my first when I was in university and it scared the shit out of me. Thought I had a brain tumor. Anyway, I still get fairly regular visitations. Quite harmless, really, and it wasn’t because you were reading a dirty book. Isn’t it sad when smut becomes boring and we tend to judge it on literary merit or lack thereof rather than its success in arousal. Must be an age thing. Most things are, Sigh.

    • So this is another thing that you and I have in common?! We should have been keeping track – there’s gotta be like a thousand similarities between you and I at this point.

  5. Wow, that is weird. I’ve never had anything like that.

    I haven’t read the 50 shades books and I don’t plan to. My sister tells me they’re actually quite good and she read them for the “hearts and flowers tory, not the porn” but I find it difficult to believe her. Plus, those books started life as Twilight fan fiction… and I haven’t even read Twilight!!

    • I think that’s another HUGE strike against the books, the Twilight fan fic thing. More utter crap, that Twilight stuff. But I did kind-of want to read Fifty Shades to see what all the hoopla was about, and also because my friend insisted that I’d giggle a lot as I read it. She was right!