Here’s to blood in the eye…

A few years ago I started getting migraines. I didn’t know they were migraines at the time because they weren’t painful, they just knocked me for a loop – dizziness, nausea, in need of sleep, lights too bright, ears ringing, the usual suspects.

The first one I ever had scared the bejesus out of me, hitting me so hard while I was out mowing the lawn that I almost fell to my knees. It even knocked loose vitreous from my left eye and to this day I have little black gnat-like floaters buzzing around in there and annoying the hell out of me.

At first I thought, uh oh, another blood clot, because it hit me just like the blood clot in my leg hit me way back when, signaling the dreaded leukemia. But where the blood clot was long-lasting, this whatever it was was short-lived — except for the gnats floating in my eye, that is, since they’re still there to this day — so I shook it off for the most part, only going to the eye doctor to find out what was up with the gnats.

Incidentally, I was also out mowing the lawn when the blood clot hit. Makes a good case for me not to mow lawns, eh.

Turns out those gnats are age-related and rather common in those of us of related to aging. I guess the older one gets the less solid the black vitreous stuff in the back of the eye gets and the easier it is for some to break loose and turn into a lifetime of blasted gnats in the eyes.

Fortunately I’ve gotten so used to them I hardly notice them anymore, except for times like now when I’m thinking about them so if there are any typos in this post you know what to blame.

Anyway, I didn’t have another one of those episodes of whatever it was for almost a year when they began hitting me with some frequency, none ever as strong as the first one. My family has a history of TIAs (Transient Ischemic Attacks) so I just chalked up whatever these episodes were to them and scheduled an appointment with the neurologist.

But days before the appointment, I had another episode, this one nearly as strong as the first, and this time it came with a freaky bloody eye (a la the unsightly photo at the top of this longwinded post — apologies for that unsightliness but all in the name of science), or what the pros call subconjunctival hemorrhaging.

Thinking I was having a stroke of some sort, the wife rushed me to the emergency room. But at the ER the CT scan of the brain was normal, well, as normal as the brain for someone like yours truly can be anyway. So we went home and waited for the neurology appointment.

By the time of the appointment I had had several more episodes with the bloody eye thing. But happily I learned from the doc that I wasn’t having strokes or TIAs but migraines instead and was told to lay off the caffeine.

This diagnosis confused me because I had always thought migraines were excruciatingly painful, as they always had been for members of my family. Guess I was wrong though, as I’ve subsequently learned that painless migraines seem to be quite common.

I forget the technical name for them. Migraine aura without pain, or ocular migraines, or a combination of both… can’t remember and too lazy to look it up.

Anyway, as for the bloody eye the neurologist said it was not related to the migraine and that I needed to see the ophthalmologist about it, which I promptly did and who promptly told me she had no idea what was causing it or why it seemed to be timed with the migraines.

That was a couple years ago now and despite the neurologist’s diagnosis I’m still having the bloody bloody eye thing just about every time I have a migraine… and it’s now progressed to where sometimes both eyes will bloody up.


Anyway, long story short…

I was just wondering if anyone else is having these bloody eye things with their migraines.


7 thoughts on “Here’s to blood in the eye…”

  1. Yikes! Sorry about the bloody eye migraines. I had one ocular migraine, where from inside my head, I was seeing blinding sunlight! It wasn’t really the sun. Thereafter, the black gnat floaters appear. Lately very annoying. I feel ya.

  2. Never experience the bloody eyeball, but the floaters and getting knocked to my knees, Yes. My first was 32 years ago. I also thought I was having a stroke. So did my OBGYN which is why I had an emergency c-section before the neurologist could weigh in. My migraines seemed to be linked to hormones. They hurt like hell until I hit menopause. Now I get all the fun symptoms, like the aura, nausea and feeling spaced out and tired.


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