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Am I losing my vision? At 22?
December 22, 2009 2:00 PM   Subscribe

Am I going blind? All of a sudden I have a large blindspot at about 4 o clock in my field of vision. I also have a terrible headache, both of which developed today.

The blind spot is large enough that I can't see my hand as I type, and my head hurts when I try to focus on that spot in my peripheral vision. This also means that if I look at someone's face focusing on their right eye their mouth tends to disappear. I remember this happening a few times before, but I shrugged it off. This time it's very hard for me to read anything on the computer. I didn't stare at anything bright other than the computer screen (simple reason?) and I don't know what the problem is. It seems to be getting a little better, but my head is still killing me. I don't have any vision problems other than needing to wear glasses to help with astigmatism. Could it just be eye strain? It's freakin' me out a little.
posted by wild like kudzu to Health & Fitness (40 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
THESE ARE ALL GREAT REASONS TO GO TO THE DOCTOR
posted by Think_Long at 2:01 PM on December 22, 2009 [34 favorites]


Go to the doctor or emergency room. Not to freak you out, but you really have to get looked at ASAP.
posted by fifilaru at 2:01 PM on December 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


No, it's probably not just eye strain.
posted by amtho at 2:03 PM on December 22, 2009


Call a taxi, get up, go. Now.
posted by Madamina at 2:03 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Please visit an emergency room ASAP.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:03 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Skip the doctor, proceed directly to the ER. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200 from the ATM.
posted by unixrat at 2:03 PM on December 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Sounds a lot like a migraine.
posted by Ery at 2:04 PM on December 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yes, migraine. That exact thing happens to me and it is scary as hell the first time.
posted by something something at 2:05 PM on December 22, 2009


Do you have health insurance? No? Go to the ER anyway.
posted by fixedgear at 2:05 PM on December 22, 2009


Could well be a migraine headache with an accompanying ocular migraine (I get ocular migraines from some cold medications), but be on the safe side and see a doctor ASAP.
posted by stennieville at 2:08 PM on December 22, 2009


It sounds like a migraine. But if you've never had one before, get it looked at now, do not pass Go.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 2:09 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


nthing go.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:11 PM on December 22, 2009


Are you also having flashing lights or zig zag patterns in your field of vision? Google "migraine aura" to see if that fits what's happening to you.
posted by something something at 2:12 PM on December 22, 2009


Probably a migraine. Possibly something significantly more serious. I would suggest a walk-in clinic over an ER if one is available in your neighborhood.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:13 PM on December 22, 2009


Another vote for migraine with aura. I'd had experience with migraines long before I experienced my first aura at 17. It was scary as hell, and I don't know why you're here instead of out the door.

Problem is, it might not be a migraine. So go find out what it is. NOWNOWNOW.
posted by sunshinesky at 2:15 PM on December 22, 2009


This is probably nothing, and thank god you didn't waste your time going to the ER. I am sure someone will pop in here any minute now to give you the exact information you need.

Hint: I'm a doctor and I am being sarcastic because your decision to use your precious weekly AskMe question on something like this was not wise. Migraine is possible but then again so is stroke, retinal hemmorhage, hypertensive emergency, CMV retinitis, etc. etc.

DO NOT FUCK AROUND WITH THIS.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:16 PM on December 22, 2009 [23 favorites]


Nthing, ocular migraine, but do your due diligence because it's a) your eyesight and b) your brain, so you don't dick around with them even when it's probably okay.

If it were me, I'd probably start by calling my doctor and doing what s/he says. Let your doctor decide your next steps. (And if it were me, I'd find it easier to do that comforted by people telling me there was a good chance it was going to be okay and it's not the freakiest thing that's ever happened to anyone, ever. )

My first ocular migraine freaked me out to no end.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:23 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Probably migraine with visual aura, but take everyone's advice here and go right to the emergency room. NOW!

Hexatron's wife
posted by hexatron at 2:23 PM on December 22, 2009


Textbook migraine.
posted by mullingitover at 2:29 PM on December 22, 2009


I hope you didn't bother reading this far down. And I hope it's just a migraine.
posted by chairface at 2:30 PM on December 22, 2009


Migraine, but go see a doctor for good drugs.

(In the meantime, down some supercaffeinated hot tea and a couple of excedrin, and call me in the morning)
posted by olinerd at 2:31 PM on December 22, 2009


Your ER will check for shit like "detached retina", yeah bad evil shit, just go now.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:45 PM on December 22, 2009


STOP LISTENING TO PRETEND DOCTORS ON THE INTERNET AS THEY TRY AND DIAGNOSE YOU.

Get to the ER now.
posted by nestor_makhno at 2:49 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


In general, folks? It's possible that this is the poster's first migraine.

It's also possible that this is something really really bad, like a detached retina or some kind of TIA.

So the poster needs to go to the ER to rule out the latter. Those of us who are subject to migraines know what migraines feel like, but people who have never had a migraine before should be wary of symptoms like this unless anything more serious is ruled out.

I get really, really pissed off at my fellow migraineurs when this happens on AskMe. Sudden changes of vision when in people who have no history of migraine is a matter for the ER, not the migraine support group.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:49 PM on December 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


>: DO NOT FUCK AROUND WITH THIS.

Listen to the doctor. Go to the doctor. Do not come back here until after you have gone to the doctor.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:55 PM on December 22, 2009


nthing migraine. But go to the doc. Be prepared, you may need a spinal tap. Just took a friend to the ER for the same sort of thing...
posted by BlackStrapMolasses at 3:09 PM on December 22, 2009


Just to add to the crowd because they're right, and you might listen if we reach critical mass in our acclamation.
a) Go see a doctor ASAP.
b) It's probably a migraine, but...
c) Go see a doctor ASAP.
posted by ErWenn at 3:41 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Please go to the doctor. While this may be a migraine, it could be a retinal detachment. I had one. I got to the doctor in time. I am not blind. If it is a retinal detatchment, and I hope it's not, it's so important to get treated before the retina detatches completely near the optic nerve. One of my elderly neighbors didn't get treated in time, and he's got partial blindness in one eye because of it.

Again, hoping for the best, but get it checked out ASAP to remove that risk...

Oh, and do you see neon colored flashes when you close that eye? That's an indicator of retinal issues. IAAND.
posted by lucydriving at 4:07 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


When one close relative of mine started seeing funny, she was having a Multiple Sclerosis attack.

When another of my close relatives started seeing funny, he had a blood clot in or near his eye. I think the clot could conceivably have traveled to the brain or anywhere, causing death or other major trouble.

SEE A DOCTOR!
posted by krilli at 4:19 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


GO TO THE DOCTOR!
posted by limeonaire at 4:33 PM on December 22, 2009


Even if it's "only" a migraine, you may be happy to be at the ER. If you end up in bad pain, or vomiting, they can keep you hydrated and give you the good pain drugs by IV. I have taken my partner to the ER for migraine a time or two. So, that's one more good reason to head to the ER, where they can check you for more serious things and make you comfortable if a migraine gets bad.
posted by not that girl at 4:46 PM on December 22, 2009


We worry so please let us know if you went to the doctor and the outcome.
posted by govtdrone at 6:10 PM on December 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


Typically, I would tell you to rub some dirt on it and get back in the game, but seeing as this is your eye and head, I think the Doctor option makes so much more sense.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:29 PM on December 22, 2009


Yes! Seconded, govtdrone.
posted by krilli at 6:32 PM on December 22, 2009


Thirding govtdrone. Please update when you can.
posted by cooker girl at 6:58 PM on December 22, 2009


N'thing migraine. First time it happened to me I was in a business meeting, all of a sudden I couldn't read the document in front of me. I could see the paragraph above fine, and the paragraph below fine, but not the one I was looking at. Total hole in my vision, just looked like blank paper. About 15 minutes later I got the most cracking headache, sensitivity to light, sound, the works. Freaked me right out. I have also gotten on other occasions the zigzag things, the ghost trails behind stuff, oh and the visual flashback to whatever was in my vision 2 seconds ago whenever I blink. Found out after talking to my doc that those liquid ibuprofen pills work awesome. I just pop them whenever I start to get weird stuff in my vision, and I don't get the whole pain part. I now carry them in a metal case in my pocket at all times.
Hope you are feeling better, and I hope it was just a migraine.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 7:15 PM on December 22, 2009


Please, please, please go to the doctor. And check in later, let us know you're okay!
posted by sarcasticah at 8:14 AM on December 23, 2009


why do people post things like this

Honestly? Because generally speaking, most of us don't go to the emergency room. I didn't, when it happened to me. Most of the people saying go the emergency room are being disingenuous -- if we all ran to the emergency room every time shit like this happened, our crap health care system would totally crap collapse. Most of these people did not, themselves, go to the emergency room.

And frankly, I didn't. The weird thing about AskMe responses is they mirror the rest of the worst case scenario-itizing Google will give you.

Odds are, at 22, kid's got a migraine. Nobody said anything about not seeing a doctor, or not following up on medical attention. Everybody pretty much said, hey, you should see a doctor. See a doctor. No one really said anything else. But odds are pretty good, he's not all fucked up, and the breathy OMGEMERGENCYROOMNOW stuff is hysterical. Whether or not to go to AN EMERGENCY ROOM is up to the OP and his doctor, who knows his medical history, but suggesting everybody that had a migraine should go to the emergency room is just as bad, frankly, as suggesting that no one should.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:32 PM on December 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


suggesting everybody that had a migraine should go to the emergency room is just as bad, frankly, as suggesting that no one should.

Believe me, I know all about people over-accessing emergency services for things that aren't truly emergencies. But I think you are way off base here, Llama.

No one is suggesting that everyone with a migraine should go to the emergency room. What everyone is saying is a person with new, abrupt onset of vision loss, without a medical history of such, IN EVERY CASE should be evaluated *immediately.* I don't think any doctor would argue otherwise, I don't think any insurance company would argue otherwise.

Odds are, at 22, kid's got a migraine.

Probably and I hope you're right. But one's vision is a hell of a bet on these odds.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:38 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well hey, I just got some emails that I hadn't checked in a while. I'm doing fine, I called my doctor and she told me to give it a few hours. It went away, thankfully, and I've felt fine since. I've got some stronger headache meds and I'm going to hope it doesn't come back. Thanks for your concern!
posted by wild like kudzu at 2:48 PM on January 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


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