aura photophobia Visual snow

Peristent migraine #auras (PMA) and #photosensitivity

Persistent migraine auras and photosensitivity do not actually work well together. I’m not sure I have talked about the two issues combined but there is a bit of irony here.

Some persistent migraine auras do there own thing and there is nothing you can do about them. Some seem to be triggered by extreme light. Like a migraine is. Almost seems like you are triggering a silent migraine by the intensity of the aura phenomena and maybe that is the case… hard to say really. All I know is that some aura phenomena statistically occurs when I go outside into a bright day, a lot.

Now photosensitivity for me is not entirely migraine related. It is severe with migraines but it is really quite intense all the time. Maybe that is because of fibromyalgia. Either way I am a sunglasses whenever I go outside sort of person. And I have an affinity for hats as well, since the combo means I can choose different sorts of sunglasses that can be worn indoors as well. But light of all sorts is painful, especially with a migraine. So you restrict it a lot. Especially in your home. Close the blinds. Get dark black out curtains. Use filters on your computer screens, or the Flux program or both. Use lamps in certain areas, indirectly, with nice lampshades… and dim bulbs.

Even a little light in the house when you have the Halo aura Explodes into the blur and fuzziness around it. With starbursts reaching out. Totally obscuring the area around the light, so light, in fact, obscures your vision with that unpleasant and annoying aura.

But there is one visual problem I get associated with my migraines called Visual Snow that bring out the irony of also having photosensitivity. Visual snow can occur with migraines, also not with migraines. It is not an aura but many neurologists will refer to it as a persistent migraine aura for lack of a better term. It causes the appearance of this constant static in the vision… rapidly moving particles in the vision. This is more noticeable on darker fields and dimmer environments, but it distorts the entire visual field to some extent. Unfortunately the dimmer or darker the room the more distortion there is. So the more comfortable you are light wise, the less visual acuity you have visual snow wise.

So I find it ironic that to reduce pain I like a dim environment. In order to use the computer or read it is literally necessary. But I have to tolerate a reduction in visual acuity at the same time. A weird compromise I must say. Because with visual snow you cannot put on glasses and make things clear. You just have to accept there is no clarity. That there is this wall of moving, an ephemeral field of particles dancing over everything. I lose details in there. Color. I cannot read the names on the spines of books three feet from me, even though my vision is quite good… and I wear glasses right now (with prescriptions so weak I don’t even need to wear them but am told maybe they will help with eye fatigue). So i should be able to. Indeed in daylight I can if I do not also get the warping distortion, the shimmering distortion, the heat wave distortion… all that limits my capacity for fine details. So in dim light, and worse in dark, it is all the pixelized vision.

But a compromise. If I had more direct, bright light. Made the screen brighter. The room brighter. Then yes there would be more clarity, the visual snow would be less intense. But then I would not be able to be on the computer long at all. Other aura distortions would also come into play and make it difficult to see well while I Was on the computer.

When I need clarity though for fine detail… I need light. Light means pain really. I have noticed when attempting to do images on the computer at night… I have some real troubles. I cannot see the details well, or tell color well… it is tricky to know how it Really looks and I wonder if I should save such things for ‘daylight’ or as much daylight as I permit around here.

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