Aura migraine and Visual Stroke

I had a stroke 2 months ago in the right occipital lobe, simultaneously with an aura migraine . No visible signs of stroke. It began like a normal aura but then I briefly couldn't see the top half of anything I looked at. That went and I was left with visual disturbance in the top left quadrant of my vision - I assumed it was just a weird migraine. A couple of days later I contacted  the GP as vision still a problem and I was too tired to do anything. The GP told me to contact the optician for an eye checkup, and said the leap in my blood pressure had nothing to do with my problem. 4 days after the stroke I was sent to the hospital for tests resulting in stroke diagnosis caused by a clot, and sent home with a prescription. I live alone.  
 Like everyone else, fatigue is a huge limiting issue. The skin on the right side of my face and under my eyes feels tight and numb at times.  I have headaches when I overdo things. I see what looks a bit like a soccer ball, which has  a grey and white  hexagon design in the upper left hand corner of my vision. I feel stable walking about when I am within 4 walls, but as soon as I am outdoors to walk the short distance to my daughters house, I feel strange, unattached to anything around me. I was driven to a shop to see how that went, and my head felt assaulted by all the shapes and colours around me. 2 days of odd aches in my head and sitting/resting to get over that. I think the brain tries to find new paths for communication with the eyes, and becomes able to cope with a known place... but anything new is a challenge and having more things in peripheral view (ie  being outside, not inside) makes it even more challenging. 

I'd like to know more about aura migraines post stroke as have now had 3 auras, slightly different from usual. I see that people who have aura migraines are more than twice as likely to have an ischemic stroke than non migrainers. I find sun/bright light bothers my eyes and wear sunglasses a lot of the time and obviously screens on devices don't help!

I know it's early days for me.... but reading other peoples experiences helps.

I can understand your concern with your condition. I have had a similiar effect in my eyes but nothing like as severe as yours, it is just a half moon of coloured squares and is transparent so it does not affect my vision at all. It generally reduces and clears after an hour. 

My fatigue is like yours and a major handicap. After six years I have learned how to handle it but it is still a limiting factor on everything I undertake. The other problems you mention come under the heading of unexplained abnormalities left by a stroke and the important thing is to find how to control and live with them. Since my stroke I've not had a headache. This is remarkable since I was plagued with them before, so it can be said that there are silver linings!


Many thanks for your reply and for mentioning unexplained abnormalities- rather typical of my life as a whole! Fatigue does seem to be an extraordinarily long factor for many and I can see that recovery will require management and patience, a bit daunting at the minute but I shall work on the patience thing and keep my expectations in check.  I hope having a sense of humour will keep me going as it has in past challenges. Nice to know you gained a positive of no headaches. ?

Dear Poozle

Sorry to hear you suffered a stroke. I had a right middle cerebral artery stroke in January 2020 when I was 75 years old. I don't know what symptoms I suffered since it happened in the night during sleep.  In the morning, I tried to get up and fell on the floor. My husband recognised the stroke signs and called for an ambulance. Because we didn't know the time of the stroke, I couldn't have the clot-busting drug and so have been left with left-sided weakness and am quite disabled. Cognitively, however, I came through pretty much unscathed, so I'm grateful for that - no language or memory problems (well, no worse than before the stroke). I left hospital after eight weeks, unable to walk and eventually had some community physiotherapy once lockdown had eased. They managed t get me walking with a quad stick and a splint on my left leg, since I suffer dropped foot. I was discharged from community physiotherapy last October when they said I'd plateaued. However, I'm now receiving some excellent private neurophysiotherapy and although I think it's going to take some time, I'm hopeful that I will make more improvements.

As far as migraines are concerned, I'm no expert but have suffered them with aura all my life since puberty. For me the headaches were always preceded with visual disturbances, usually blind areas, eg if I looked at someone's face or an object, say like a clock, half the face would be missing, not unlike the effect of looking at the sun, which affects vision in a similar way. I also usually then see zigzag lines which slowly travel across my vision before disappearing to one side. All the visual symptoms last about half an hour, followed by the headache and sometimes in years past but not for a long time,vomiting. Since the stroke, I've had a few migraines but, oddly, have only had the aura, without the subsequent headache. I've consulted Professor Google on this and it's known as a silent migraine.

I also read about the connection between migraine with aura and stroke risk and asked the consultant in hospital about it but he dismissed it, so I've tried not to worry about it since (I've always found the visual disturbances associated with my migraines quite scary).

Hope you keep well and make good progress with your recovery.

With best wishes,

Anne S xxx