Many visual symptoms - Was this really a stroke?

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  • Full Question:

    I am 89 years young!! I saw a bright red spot on my hand. About the size of a quarter! In about 2 hours I was having peripheral vision. Zig-zag lines and flickering dots as usual except this time all in bright florescent colors!! Other eye migraines were always black and about 1 hr long. This thing lasted 4 days! Objects were star shaped, round, triangular. Bright car lights blinking in my eyes towards the end. Most aggravating no pain. I had never had colors before this. Not ill, stayed in my apt all 4 days, mostly sleeping or eating. When normal, I went to our doctor. Doctor here at Anns Choice Elderly Community where I live sent me to our ophthalmologist who diagnosed me with small stroke. Presently put on Warfarin and get finger prick wkly until I'm stable.

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    Was this really a stroke?? Jean.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Jean;


    We really can't say if this was a stroke or not. Only a doctor who can examine you in person and review your medical records can do that. HOWEVER, we can share some information with you that you can discuss with your own doctor.


    What you describe could have been a stroke, BUT it could also have been an acephalgic Migraine with aura - in other words, a Migraine with aura that occurred without the headache. You can find more information about this in:

    Rather than consulting the ophthalmologist about this again, it would be better to see your primary physician or a neurologist. If it was a Migraine rather than a stroke, you might not need to be taking Warfarin, but only your own physician can advise you.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated February 29, 2012.

Published On: February 29, 2012