Scintillating Scotoma

The images below are a crude attempt to show you what the scintillating scotoma progression is like for me. The dots would actually be more like small shimmering or flashing straight lines of light. The effect is usually over after 30 minutes as it simply dissipates. While I do feel more fatigued by the end of the episode, I don't get a migraine headache.

scotoma image #1
Normal view (no scotoma)
scotoma image #2
scotoma at 5-10 minutes of onset
scotoma image #3
scotoma at 15-20 minutes of onset

Here is a case vignette (pdf) of a migraine with scintillating scotoma from the American Association for the Study of Headache.  More about migraines at

MRI scan results

Symptom: Scintillating Scotoma (blind spot)
Onset: 1996 at the age of 39.
Frequency: Up till Feb. '98 it was once every 6 months, then once a month for about 1 year, now back to every 6 months.
Duration: About 30 minutes
MRI scan results: Negative ("Essentially normal cranial MRI")
Diagnosis: Migraine symptoms without the migraine headache.

 MRI image #1  MRI image #2  MRI image #3  MRI image #4


Home: giblip
Last update: February 25, 2005