The following photographs have been modified to demonstrate some of the visual disturbances I experience during migraines.
Please note that these might create trigger problems for some people !
Scroll down with caution.
Both original photographs and the resulting conversion effects are my own. (The images are described for those with impaired vision.) For other posts describing migraines, read “Passing Out And Going Through” and “Horrid day for a migraine. Could have been worse.” Other posts discussing problems and approaches related to migraines can be found here.
Firstly, a prodromal picture; “prodromal” refers to the symptoms that appear before the full migraine hits. Although I do not always have the classical migraine “aura”, I sometimes have visual disturbances shortly before the worst hits. This is the OMG-take meds-crash point. Sometimes I wake up at this point, and it can take half an hour to roll over and gather enough brain-body coördination to take the medicine, which means that the migraine is steadily getting worse and that the relief is getting further and further distant in time.
This is a street scene in London, with a tiling effect — each of the small tiles is flipped both horizontally and vertically, resulting in an image that is more-or-less discernible overall, but with a loss of functional detail (it’s in perfect focus, but not easily interpreted). There is a queasy sense of dizziness from the tonal staggering.
You can perceive what’s what if you only focus on a small section of the scenery, but trying to navigate such a landscape is treacherous, and you would end up stumbling around, staring at a small section of pavement near your feet. Which is in fact how lurch my way back to my bedroom …
And then there’s the full-blown migraine. I’m highly sensitive to light and sound, and my everything hurts, not just my head. I’m fortunate that I don’t usually suffer vomiting, just nausea.
The second image is illustrative of the photophobia (extreme light sensitivity) and pain resulting from migraine. It was created by taking a fireworks display, doing several color transformations, and then adding halo ripples.
To get the full effect, you would probably need to have this fill your entire visual field and have it brightly back-lit, but then you would end up with a headache. Just be glad that the average headache is nowhere near as intense as a migraine, nor as intractable as the chronic daily headache!