Headaches & Flashing Lights: Any Recommendations?

Hi everyone!

My name is Dawn, and I had cerebral pipeline surgery in April 2015. I have a few questions that I hope this community may help me answer.

I still have headaches, see flashes of light, and suffer from short term memory problems. Has anyone experienced this, and if so what did you do?

(I hope this is in the correct location)


You did really good Dawn! Headaches are a common issue for all of us, unfortunately. Let your NeuroSurgeon know or if you’re already working with a Neurologist let them know. Many members are on all kinds of different medications. Some have tried other alternative means. I did an SPG block that was and continues to be successful IMHO, as long as I don’t overdo it. The headaches are my body’s way of telling me I’m overdoing before my tremor and loss of words comes to play. Without the headaches, I just get a bad tremor in my right hand, stutter really bad, my new accent gets so heavy no one can understand me and I can’t find the words either speaking or writing. I may decide to allow my body to give me the warning and not try to control but listen to the headaches. It’s something I really need to think about. I really didn’t like the constant pain…

Little flashing lights could be migraines or other stuff, members here will answer. Get to your Opthamologist and let them take a look. I think I had to wait either six months or one year…

Congrats on your progress!
I’ve had similar issues. I don’t have an explanation other than this may be your new normal. I talked to my dr and even went to a Neuro-opthamologist. I was told it was part of my migraine. I would suggest telling your dr and maybe keeping track of the frequency and activity you were doing when you experience the lights. Maybe you can track a pattern?

Hi Dawn; these things are pretty common, especially since this is so recent. I found that doing Lumosity online daily helped with some of my memory issues etc. It takes time, but you can see the improvement in your scores which is encouraging. Good luck and it does get better!!

Dawn, my rupture and coiling were four and a half years ago, and I also had a shunt inserted. For quite a while afterwards I suffered daily headaches, "shimmery" vision and roaring in my ears, besides the short-term memory problems - I often had to ask my husband, "Have I had my pills?", "Where was it we went this morning?", "What did we have for dinner tonight?". All this very slowly backed off and resolved. I hope it will be the same for you! Your surgery is so recent, you are doing absolutely fantastically.

I had mine in December 2014 and still have headaches everyday :frowning:

Good luck,

I agree with signing up for lumosity! I spent 6 weeks in an outpatient neuro-rehab after my aneurysm rupture and coiling in april 2013. While there were many different therapies during that 6 weeks, one of my therapists used some of the games on lumosity to help me improve cognitive function. Suduko was another game that I was introduced to and that can be downloaded free for an ipad or smart phone. Be patient with yourself but work to try to improve your issues too. If it is available in your area and you can afford it, I highly recommend an outpatient rehab specifically designed for neurological problems! Six months after rehab, I returned to college to obtain my bachelor’s degree and have maintained a 4.0 gpa. I credit my wonderful therapy for helping me to succeed!

Hello DD, I had my Pipeline done three years ago. I had migraines since I was thirteen. I still have them now. I get my "warnings" about one day in advance. When I do get a headache I take Excedrin Migrain for it. With 15 minutes, I feel the pain start to let up, 35-40 minutes it is nearly gone.

I hope this helps. Best wishes to you. Let us know if this works for you, if you should decide to try it.

Hi Dawn,

What you are experiencing is normal. I had regular headaches for almost a year after my PED. They weren't terrible but frequent and annoying (I still get them very rarely when I get really tired but nothing like before). I also had all kinds of flashing lights and weird vision issues for probably 2 years after the surgery. I saw an ophthalmologist and a neurologist. The neurologist thought it was probably spasms of the optic artery (benign but annoying) or optic migraines. Good news is 3 years post surgery and I hardly ever have either issue. Just hang in there!

Keep up the good work Dawn. It does get better. I had a coiling November 3, 2014 and suffered through your symptoms for months. When I complained to my doctor that I couldn’t even read because I would forget what I had just read he told me “You have to push through it.” So I did and I believe it was the best advice I could have gotten. I left notes for myself so I would remember what I had done like taking medicine, conversations with my children, etc. I rested when the headaches came. I kept reading. Eight months later and my memory has improved considerably, the headaches come only when I overdo. I am very grateful. It does get better.

I had my PED and coiling in 2012, and had the flashing lights, sometimes in various colors, for about a year. Also had optic migraines which I still have occasionally. Best wishes to you, and know the first year seems to be the most difficult in adjusting.

Yes I had headaches and memory loss after invasive brain surgery for aneursym. This was 4years ago and still have memory problems and doc had me on prescription for anxiety and depression. I was clipped.

I had a rupture/stroke, and surgery in 1992 and I still see flashes of light sometimes. And I get migraines when i push my body too hard. Susan is right in saying that the first year is definitely the most difficult. Hang in there, not all issues may permanently go away but they do lessen with time!

I had my Pipeline last November. I still get the flashes, which I describe as an electric outline on people and objects, from time to time, but my headaches have mostly stopped. It takes time, so be patient and listen to your body! Best of luck.

Are you all referring to the PED when you say pipeline? Did you have a rupture or unrupture? Dawn did you get coils with PED? My neuro told me headaches will last a few months. I hope you feel better soon!!

Thank you to everyone the information is helpful.

Yes I had five Annie’s worked on after a rupture in 2012, n I can’t drive at night the oncoming lights bring on a migraine. I still have short term memory loss. Just try to relax more get more sleep n thank The Lord you are better off then most that I bet u saw on the Nuro ward

Hi Dawn, I will say that I still have issues with bright lights and flashing lights also. I have headaches often and seems mine are aggravated with stress. ..of any amount. I personally try to segregate myself to a quiet, dark area of my home and recline and put a towel over my eyes and try to relax and calm myself mentally and physically.

My short term memory is fried as well. I have days I do very well, then there are others where I feel as though I have lost it altogether. I just keep trying my best. It is frustrating but expected with what the brain has been through. Be patient. No one expects perfection.

I had my sub arachnoid hemorrhage in December of 2007 and still have many residual issues. It has been a long tough road but I wake up and keep plugging every day fortunate to be alive. I am still out of work, still healing and still trying for SSDI but I still have hope it will all work out.

I hope this helps a little. My vision was damaged from a very high dose of steroids during my brain surgery and coiling which is now giving me many issues with poor vision to deal with. Every day seems to be an adventure. Don't be discouraged, you will have good and bad days but they will teach you what does and does not help with the headaches.

Please be patient and you will do better as time progresses. Baby steps and avoid bright lights and stress.

Best of luck,



I to have headaches & have tried all sorts of medications with little or no success then I found out about oxygen therapy & it as worked really well for me. Has for the memory loss I found that the Ninntendo game Brain age helped, it was very frustrating in the beginning but it did help however I still have gaps in my memory & have lots of calendars & post it notes everywhere to remind me of what to do when.

I have had one annie clipped in 2007, 1 coiled in 2012 & 2 others being monitored, at the moment to small to repair.

Good luck I hope you find something that eases the pain & that you adjust to the new you.

You should see an optometrist for the flashing lights. I experienced sparks of flashes mostly at night in a dark room but only in one eye. Mine turned out to be vitreous detachment. After about 3 months they stopped. Also at the same time I was seeing a blurry, spider type floater. Its a floater which I still have.

After 2 years I accidently hit my OTHER eye with an object hard enough to have the silvery sparks start up again. Again, they stopped, and again I now have 2 floaters.

Sometimes flashes of lights , kind of like fireworks, turn out to be optic migraines. Just have a doctor look at it to be safe.