If you experience a dark spot in your field of vision either followed by a migraine or not, you might be suffering from scintillating scotoma, casually called a visual migraine. The term scotoma stands for the loss of vision in a part of your field of vision. A scintillating scotoma stroke usually causes flickering light appearing in the peripheral of your field of vision. The spot might grow in size or change to shimmering zigzag patterns or arcs of light. It starts with a spot that flickers in your field of vision and prevents vision in this spot. After that, it would expand to cover a big part in the field of vision. Objects can be seen well by not looking directly at them as they will not in the center of vision.
How can Scintillating Scotoma Affect your Life?
It is difficult to read and dangerous to drive when you suffer from scintillating scotoma stroke. This is because some objects will not be seen or become fused with the background. It is also usually associated with aura migraines due to visual disturbances.
There are some risk factors that make you more prone to suffer from this condition. The scintillating scotoma and migraines are related as they have some common risk factors. These will include tyramine-rich foods including processed meats and aged cheese and hormonal disturbances due to low estrogen levels in menopause or during menstruation.
Other risk factors are also considered migraine triggers, like the high consumption of alcohol and food additives. It is also important to know that some medical conditions would trigger the case like multiple sclerosis and its associated autoimmune diseases. Although a lot of doctors suggest that this condition can be avoidable by following a healthy lifestyle(1).
This condition develops in 5 to 20 minutes and lasts for less than 60 minutes. Patients are usually left with no or few symptoms like fatigue and dizziness. There is no known cure for scintillating scotoma treatment; however, the treatment usually targets the causes of the condition. The doctor will test your visual field to detect problems and test your ability to view objects properly on the sides as well as the center of your field of vision.
How Does the Scintillating Scotoma Stroke Happen?
Sadly migraines with a history of aura can increase the risk of strokes resulting from this condition. With hemorrhagic strokes, the blood vessels usually rupture. In patients with scintillating scotoma triggers, there will be a block that will affect the blood the brain blood supply.
However, the percentage of young individuals without risk factors who suffer migraines and develop strokes is really low so doubling it takes us to less than 20 in every 100,000 people per year.
Moreover, early detection of the problem can surely help patients who are already at high risk. To avoid the side effects, you can go for regular eye scanning whenever any problem occurs to cure it in early stages. Also, regular vitamin c intake can improve your vision and the health of the blood vessels.
Frontal headaches in teenagers is a problem for a youth and if you children are complaining about scintillating scotoma stroke, please have them checked out by a professional.
Learn more about other similar types of headaches