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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Blood pressure or migraine?

 danni1979 - Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:30 am

I am not sure if i have put this in the right place?

I am starting to get very worried
For about the past 9 years i have been having headaches with an "Aura",I had always presumed they were migraines but my sister who has terrible migraines says migraines are throbbing,not sharp..?

Usually mine start when i get a blank spot in my vision,then it goes all zig zag and half circle and gradually expands and goes out of my vision,this generally happens over about 20 mins,then i start to get a a headache,its NEVER throbbing,mainly its on my eyebrow but i also have them sometimes down the side of my face,the pain is always a sharp constant pain or a dull ache,sometimes i will feel sick.

I have had my eyes checked and i do have a slight astigmatism but don't think that would affect this but unsure?

I am now 6 and a half months pregnant and over the past 2 weeks i have had 5 Visual auras,lasting 40 mins,then a very slight headache after which goes away on its own,i have seen the midwife and doc about it and they seem very confused as each time i have had my blood pressure took and its 134/70,but within 30 mins of the aura going its back down to 100/60 which is usual bp for me..

The midwife and doc arent sure if i am actually getting migraines or if its a "spike " in my bloodpressure causing the aura ,headache symptoms as although 134/70 isnt incredibly high its high for me..

Yesterday i had it again and went to the hospital as advised and had my bp checked every 5 mins and it was

135/70 just after i arrived,at that point the visual aura had gone..then every 5mins after ..

I am starting to get a bit worried about all this now and would appreciate some advice

what i am describing is a migraine,or another type of headache and aura or if its a spike in my blood pressure??

Thanks so much
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:53 pm

User avatar Hi there -

There's little doubt what you describe is classic optical migraine followed by headache, pretty much by the book. While some people describe their migraine headaches as throbbing there's really a whole variety of descriptions and perceptions of the pain, and no rule as to how it "has" to feel. A dull ache is also a common descriptor, as well as "exploding head," although the latter is often a variant of regular migraine. At any rate, it is not at all unusual for one's BP to rise at the onset of aura and definitely not ususual for it to increase significantly during the headache. Your BP elevation at those times hardly qualifies as a "spike" though, as it is withing the normal range of daily variation, and once the aura has passed and the BP normalizes it is very nice and low-normal.

Being well along in a pregnancy is one time when these things are often aggravated, so it's not really surprising you're having migraines now, and let's just hope they remain relatively mild (especially compared with your sister's). Sometimes they actually transmute into just optical migraine, which is annoying but not nearly as painful as a full-blown headache of migraine origin.

I hope this is helpful. Again, no doubt in my mind you're having classic optical migraine with mild headache (a plus, really). If the headaches become worse the pain management will of course be somewhat problematic because of pregnancy, but there are ways of mitigating it if necessary.

Good luck to you and please follow up with us here as needed.
 danni1979 - Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:09 am

Thank you so so much for the reply,i was starting to get a little concerned,I have never heard of optical migraine? but you have explained it all really clearly for me thankyou :)

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