Hi, I began experiencing the most excruiciating pains in my head and eyes which lasted for about 2 months. My GP was called out who insisted the pain was just migraine, he give me tablets which didn't work. I later went to the hospital A&E and was referred for an appointment with a neurologist (think that's what they're called but not sure) She also was convinced it was migraine but sent me for a scan anyway, which found an aneurysm (a carotid annie I think) behind my left eye. Since then and one time before the scan I have experienced seeing strange coloured lights like fairy lights or christmas lights that move about in my vision, it's quite scary, and seems to be brought on when I get stressed. I'm scared it's a symptom of the annie, would be interested to hear if anyone else has this symptom and if anyone knows what it means? I have refused surgery for the annie, the Men who gave me the diagnosis seemed somewhat flippant and didn't give me much information except to say basically I'm damned if I do have the surgery and damned if I don't. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place : $ also I'm terrified to have surgery.
I’m sorry that you’ve had such an unpleasant experience so far. I urge you to get another opinion and find a doctor that you can trust.
My only experience with colored lights appears to have been related to a medicine change. We discontinued the medicine and the lights have not reappeared.
Deciding about aneurysm surgery/ treatment is highly personal and there risks associated with each option.
May God guide you to the treatment team and decision that is right for you.
Hi Carol, Thanks so much. I've been thinking about getting a second opinion as medics I've seen don't seem to know exactly what's causing the lights or head pains, they seem to think the annie is not connected to them. I was put on pregabablin tablets for the head pain, I think they have maybe helped with the head pains, but not the lights. I didn't think of that, that the medication could be causing it, so maybe it is that and you could be right there. I'm being weened off them now, so be great if the lights stop happening. Thanks again and god bless.
I’ve learned over the years to check the meds. I hope this is your cause, too.
If you would describe your experience with the lights as somewhat of a prism or a kaleidescope then I would raise the concern level up a couple of notches. I mention this because my wife described the above immediately following her aneurysm rupture.
Hi, Thanks so much Ed, I've been getting this symptom on occasion for a while, at first they were more like you describe. On one occasion I could see what looked like Christmas tree lights from the corner of my eye in red and green, but the lights I see now have changed to what I can only describe as a tight zigzag type of line made up of moving colours, they don't accompany a migraine, but they seem to be brought on by when I'm feeling stressed. I hope your wife is recovering well from the rupture, these things cause so much worry. Thanks again.
You will find over and over in the postings on this site that members report strange and frightening symptoms that are more likely to occur when we are stressed. So, a key learning, relearning and relearning is that we need our rest and, that we need to avoid “overdoing” it.
I wish you all the best.
Hi Carole, The symptoms sure are frightening and your right with things like the aneurysms you have to avoid stress as much as possible, as high blood pressure I'm sure wouldn't help either. I'm trying to learn to relax more lately, doing guided meditations and visualisations, deep breathing, light excercise, trying to eat more healthy stuff and crystal healing all seem to be keeping me from panicking too much. I've got a scan soon so they can check if it's any bigger, and I'm even terrified of the scanning machine : $ I know it's silly but I'm just such a coward sometimes lol. : )
You hadn't mentioned the size of the annie but just based casually on the comments you have made, may be you should have your Neurologist schedule a consult with a Neurosurgeon for the following reason: The carotid arteries are right and left sides of the skull and it is at some point located very close to either the right or left optic nerves. Given that your Doctors have already identified a aneurysm behind the left eye and it is on the carotid artery, it appears likely that the aneurysm could be pressing against one of the left eye optic nerves. This is not to say it is ripe or ready to rupture but it could be getting larger and could also be causing what is called a silent migraine as it presses against one or more of the left optic nerves. This could go a long way to explaining the zig zag lines you are experiencing. In any case, I suggest you consider the Neurosurgical consult to be on the safe side.
Hi Ed, Thank you so much. The left carotid ophthalmic aneurysm is 15mm diameter. What you say makes a lot of sense. I'm having a scan soon at the end of July and after that I'll be seeing the neurosurgeon consultant so I'll make sure I mention these symptoms. Thanks again.
Hi Vanessa...how awful for you...makes me sad about the medical profession...
I think you should do some research and definitely get a second opinion...
Keep us posted and I will keep you in my prayers ~ Colleen
Hi, Thanks Colleen, I'm definitley going to look into getting a second opinion, so I'll let you know how I get on. I've noticed with the light's thing, that they tend to happen when I'm feeling stressed so on the bright side it's give me the incentive to do stuff like meditation and chanting which definitly seem to be helping. : )
I don't want to play doctor, I can only go by my own experience...and I also don't want to alarm you but when I was in the hospital having an angiogram, when it came time for the doctor to inject the dye, he told me to hold my breath because they were going to take pics, I was holding my breath and I was fading like I was going to pass out, I saw a lightening storm with my eyes, blinking lights and bolts. I cried out to the doctor that something was wrong, he came running over to me and did the stroke test with my arms and legs and feet, when your not even supposed to move...that's how concerned he was. I later found out that because of possible vasculitis or the aneurysm, shooting the dye mixed with blood in the arteries and vessels, there was a lack of blood flow, which obviously corrected itself by him stopping the injection of dye...I know your not having dye injected by could your symptoms be from the lack of blood flow and lack of oxygen? Just a thought to think about...I had a basilar tip aneurysm located very close to my 3 and 4 cranial nerves behind my left eye that was just recently clipped. I would advise you to seek answers from your doctor or get a second opinion. Good luck and prayers sent your way.
If your 15mm diagnosis is not a misprint for 1.5mm or 5mm, you might want to rethink the surgery sooner rather then latter. The Doctor's I know use 5mm as the decision time for surgery. Please trust me, you'll fair much better treating a unruptured aneurysm versus a ruptured vessel. If you can get things moved up before the end of July at least I'll sleep much better at night :) Good luck and God Bless!
Hi Sue, Thanks so much. It could well be something related to migraine, My aneurysm was only recently diagnosed but as for migraine I have been a sufferer of them since I was about 8 years old and I know how debilitating just migraine alone can be. It's good to hear your son's medication is working well and even better if he hasn't got an aneurysm. Although I'm a migraine sufferer anyway the lights are a new thing to me and I don't know for certain if they are connected to migraines alone or have something to do with my aneurysm. Thanks. : )
Hi Ed, I got the neurosurgeons report off my GP and it definitly said 15mm but maybe it could be a miss print, they didn't seem overly concerned about operating asap or anything at the time and said I could think it over, this was about last January when they told me I had one and they then advised me to have a scan to monitor it's size in August, But the hospital phoned me recently wanting to put this scan appointment forward to July. I'm just so terrified of surgery and hospitals to get in done though and with them saying the opp itself is just as risky it's a difficult decision. Only reason I was diagnosed in the first place was because I was having such terrible head pains and one of my pupils went smaller than the other, the eye on the left side where the thing is and I had a scan, but the pain is gone now and my pupil back to normal. I just don't trust the medical proffession I suppose, and would just rather bury my head in the sand, and hope it just goes away, but I do believe things can heal themselves with just being healthy, could be nieve of me but then I could die of anything. I'm convinced it's already ruptured but has sorted itself out hence the pupil thing and the pain, but they seemed a bit cluless when I mentioned this hence one of the reasons I don't trust them. I'm going to the scan though soon as I might as well go to that and then I'll have a talk to them again about the situation. hope everything's okay with you. Thanks again.
HI Sheree, Sorry to hear you had such a horrible experience it sounds quite frightening. They haven't even mentioned anything about angiograms to me so far and I've never had one. I've decided to see my GP about a second opinion, as I didn't like the attitude of the surgeon consultants I seen, they were quite blase and didn't give me hardly any information, just kept giving me percentages and lifetime risks, of such a percent in a robotic tone, Maybe I would have considered surgery if they had a better manner, but I just didn't like the idea of them cutting me open. I was only diagnosed because I was having terrible pains in my head and my left pupil went smaller than the other (the left eye where the annie is) At the time I was going through severe stress, and smoking a lot of cannabis and cigaretts, which I've stopped now. In a way it's like a silver lining getting this diagnosis, as it's made me take a look at my lifestyle and change it for the better, and I know I'm prone to get much too wound up with stress so I'm keeping my stress levels down with meditation and relaxation techniques which seems to be helping, I also stopped hanging around with certain people who were having a negative effect on my life, one of which was my boyfriend who was just hard work, I feel better already : ) Hope your well and everything okay, and your recovering well. : )
Vanessa, this is NOT going to go away unless it is treated somehow, either by coiling or clipping...it's not something that will just disappear, sorry to say. I just want to say I had a very small aneurysm, only @4mm and they were very concerned about a full blown rupture because I was already symptomatic, meaning I had neck aches, vertigo, balance issues and my pupils were a different size. My left pupil was bigger than the right one.
What they found out by my MRI and angio gram was it was located on a very small vessel, off the basilar artery, behind my left eye, causing pressure on the 3rd cranial nerve, meaning I could never had gone to 15mm without it rupturing, as it was I was having the symptoms because it was leaking, pending a rupture. Please know that you could be treading on water and you need to be helped and if those doctors can't do it you need to find one that can. I had to go different avenues to get diagnosed. The medical field is $ motivated, and then there are real doctors...find the real ones.
Hi Sheree, I might have to go down the private health route as the NHS is a bit unreliable, as I need to feel like i'm going to be okay to have the opp before I consider it I think, First I'm going to see if my doc can refer me to someone else for a second opinion. Just so scared of surgery though. Thanks.
It is normal to be fearful about “brain surgery”. Let me suggest that you call your doctor and confirm the size of the Annie and ask them if the change in your test date reflects a change in urgency or is because of an opening on the schedule. Both answers may help to relieve some of the anxiety that you are experiencing as well as that of other BAF members. I’d like to think that your doctors are competent enough that they would consider a 15mm annie an emergency.
I am probably the BAF member who is the longest survivor of a ruptured Annie and also the member who has been living with knowledge of having unruptured Annie’s the longest. I am very concerned for you but I don’t want to put you in panic mode. There is a big difference in choices if your Annie is 1.5mm vs 15 mm. Please also consider other possible causes of the lights such meds that you’ve been taking and please do get a second opinion as soon as possible. It is imperative that you find a doctor or doctors who you can talk to and trust.
It is good to read that you are making changes in your lifestyle. This bodes well for your future but it may not be enough to change the current situation. I encourage you to take another step and pray for guidance. Reach out to a clergy person to help you, if need be. May the grace of God be with you.