|image from myaspiebrain|
This visual aura was first described in the 19th century by a Dr. Hubert Airy who had migraine headaches. The visual sparks and flashes are in a zig-zag pattern and they can precede a migraine headache or occur without any pain. The scotoma affects both eyes and closing one or the other does not make it go away. Sometimes the term "ocular migraine" or "retinal migraine" are used to describe this phenomenon but these involve only one eye, not both. The terms are often used interchangeably but they are not the same.
My scintillating scotoma lasted about 15 minutes and it took me awhile to figure out what it was. I went outside and gazed into the distance and it persisted. I closed one eye and then the other and it was still there. I never got a headache or any other symptoms. Then it just went away.
The next time a patient with classic migraine with aura comes in, I will have a better understanding of the prodrome before the headache. I hope I don't have to experience the entire headache. I could do without that.