Wait…I Can’t See

About 10 years ago I had a really scary experience. One that I had never experienced or heard about.

I was just going about my life when all of a sudden, I started seeing flashing lights in both of my eyes. The best way that I can describe it would be that it’s almost like looking into a kaleidoscope or seeing sparkly broken glass in your visual field.

Through the Motions

I remember not knowing what to do. What is this? Should I go to the ER? What caused my vision to change so abruptly?

I remember feeling terrified as my vision became more and more obscured. With each passing minute, I felt that I was losing more and more of my “sight.”

I decided to ride through the motions of it all because I had never experienced this before. The visual disturbances lasted about 30 minutes and following that was a headache.

Dr. Google

Once I regained my sight, I remember going straight to Dr. Google to look up my symptoms. I wanted to see what this experience could be and if it was a true medical emergency.

It didn’t take long before I was staring at a term called “ocular migraine.” I read through the description and symptoms and BAM! It matched; this is what I was experiencing.

A Visit with the Doctor

I made an appointment with an ophthalmologist. I remember her doing many different eye exams and tests. She also dilated my eyes to get a better view of my eye health and see if anything else could be causing this issue.

Thankfully, the eye doctor told me that it was in fact an ocular migraine and thankfully my eye health was good. This new diagnosis was a relief to me. See, Dr. Google can be right sometimes!

My Experience

I get ocular migraines typically every three to four months. They come on suddenly without much warning and have appeared in the least convenient places.

I’ve gotten them while driving and I had to pull over, while shopping in the stores, and at work several times where I have to go to a dark room and close my eyes.

These are my biggest ocular migraine triggers:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue/Lack of sleep
  • Alcohol
  • Too much screen time
  • Hormones
  • Not resting my eyes enough

This is what I do to stop an ocular migraine attack:

  • Using a cold cloth on my eyes
  • Essential oil roll-on that goes on my temples
  • Laying in a dark room
  • Deep breathing, trying to relax my mind
  • Closing my eyes

It Could Be Worse

Thankfully, at least for me, ocular migraines are more of an annoyance than they are painful. The visual disturbances are very difficult to deal with because it gets to the point where I can’t read any words and parts of the room or people’s faces are blurred out by bright sparkling lights in my field of vision.

The headache that follows the visual disturbances is usually mild for me and one that I don’t typically need to treat with any medication. This is unlike a true migraine; I have heard those are incredibly painful.

One scary thing that I learned recently is that having ocular migraines puts me at a much higher risk for a stroke because they are caused by a lack of blood flow and/or collapse of the blood vessels in the eye. The fact that this is happening in my eyes, makes it possible for it to happen in my brain.

Lately, They Have Increased

For the last few months, I’ve been getting ocular migraines way more often than usual, and I can pinpoint why. Unfortunately, all of my triggers are present in my life at the moment.

I have been losing a lot of sleep, I’ve been more stressed than usual, I hardly ever drink, but I did for Christmas and New Year’s, and I’ve been reading and writing a lot more!


Have you or someone you know ever experienced an ocular migraine?


What Do You See?

Even though we are all human beings, we see things differently. Each of us has a very different perspective. Our minds have been shaped differently due to genetics and life experiences. Even someone’s personality can play a role in what they take in from their surroundings.

You could put several people in a room and have them examine a picture or video and you would get many different views on what the image or video was about. We all come from many different walks of life and when presented with something we will tend to see it based on our past experiences.

Examine This Picture

Picture #1. What is your first reaction when seeing this photo? There may be a few ways that you are perceiving this image:

  • A man who has just gotten some terrible news
  • Someone who is hearing the most beautiful voice sing his favorite song
  • A gentleman who is watching a movie in awe
  • A person who has just told a secret that he was not supposed to tell
  • Someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one

As you can see there is a mix of both positive and negative perceptions. Several people can look at the picture above and give you a completely different answer.

Picture #2. Now, let’s examine this image. Instantly a few perceptions may come to mind:

  • A woman who is upset, but is trying to hide it
  • A lady who is enjoying the sights of nature
  • Someone who is waiting impatiently outside for her loved one
  • A lady who is lost in deep thinking
  • Someone who is content and has found a moment to relax

Isn’t It Interesting?

There are many ways to interpret what we see in this world and depending on who you ask, you will most likely get a wide variety of answers.

Another interesting thing worth noting is that sometimes our mood can affect what we see. If we are feeling down or pessimistic, we might be drawn to more negative realizations. When we are feeling happy, our conclusions may be more from a positive standpoint.


Everyone having different viewpoints is another reason why communication is so very important. We can all go through an event in life, and we will describe it differently. We have all had unique experiences that have shaped the way that we see the world.

Without proper communication, we may start to assume that we know about someone or something when in actuality it is far from what we perceive it to be. Looks are very deceiving and therefore we need to rely on communicating so that we can understand what the other is experiencing.

Mini Experiment

Just for fun, examine Picture #1 and Picture #2. What conclusions can you draw from each? Maybe some of you have thought of the perceptions that I mentioned and perhaps you have a very different approach to the meaning behind these pictures!