Epilepsy Foundation

Has anyone had any experiences with occipital lobe epilepsy? What extended research or information is there about this? I am glad i found this website because it has helped define the type of seizures i have. More specifically the simple partials that trigger fuzziness in the periphial vision of my left eye. Sometimes I see double, but this too passes after a few moments. I've had this since age 10 and, like many of you, probably have tried different meds to find the right combination that works.

The following is an excerpt from an EF rep in my area:

Visual seizures, like auditory or somatosensory seizures, or not as common as some partial seizures, but are a real identifiable type of seizure. Usually they are classified as occipital lobe epilepsy, as they originate in the occipital lobe (back of the head) part of the brain that controls vision. These seizures are usually simple partial seizures that may or may not secondarily generalize. Which is to say, they may stay in that area of the brain and only cause a few localized symptoms (visual symptoms), or they may go on to generalize throughout the whole brain, causing a generalized tonic/clonic (or grand mal) seizure. Complex partial seizures may also occur in the occipital area of the brain and spread to other parts of the brain. There are varying types of visual symptoms that accompany these seizures, so that your peripheral vision problems may be associated with your seizures, but another person may experience flashing light, hallucinations, or distortions of things with their seizures. Identifying where in the brain the seizures are originating, and whether or not they go on to generalized, through EEG testing, will give the neurologist information as to which anti-seizure medication ought to be the most effective.

When the seasons change from cold to hot, I tend to have more trouble with complex partial vision where i would space off for a few minutes. The EF in my area has been very resourceful in helping me, but i wanted to bring this to the ecommunity as well and see what others have to share. Thanks.


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My experience with visual seizures, I am able still see outlines of where I am at. I learned along time ago about mind control, I learned how to use my mind while having a seizure. It has helped me with dealing with the fear of going through the seizure, as well as helping with feeling less confused afterwards.
I've tried, more than once, to draw the images I see, or to make them with a computer.
Nothing really turns out like them.
The problem is, I know I can't see them, but I see them. I know that doesn't really make sense.
I "see" them beyond my right peripheral, in an area where I can't see. You know, the back of your head doesn't look dark to you, it just doesn't exist. That would be really hard to explain to someone who is blind, right?
Now, try explaining something you see in that area where you can't see.
The best I can come is a "kind of" description, something they kind of look like. But, really, they don't. So, trying to create a physical picture of something that has no physical model doesn't work out well, I think.
It's like... maybe like I only see them with my mind.
I mean, I guess that's literally true. *chuckle*
I don't think English has the words to explain what I'm trying to explain.
Anyway, I will come up with the best picture I can, except I'd also have to animate it. I'll see what I can do.

Also, to respond to Kari:
I have always been able to think while having an SP, no matter if it's lights, visual distortions, changes in my perception of my size, or music. It doesn't affect my thinking, though at times it's distracting, like having those things in my environment externally would be. I can even react well on a physical level.
None of that stops the way I feel when they stop. It's not really confusion. It's just another of those things that's hard to describe. The best word I have for that feeling is "surreal." It's like how you feel after you've been reading a book for hours, or when you first walk out of a movie theater after a particularly entrancing movie. I can think; I'm just not sure the world around me is really the same world I'm used to, except it seems the same, except it feels different in a way I can't really describe. It's like ... er... suspecting I'm dreaming even though the dream is exactly like my real life. I have those a lot, and in them, I feel this same way. Post-ictally, I always feel that way. I can still make rational decisions in the same amount of time. Given an IQ test while that's going on, I still score as high. Testing my reflexes and physical reaction times actually shows they are slightly higher then. It's just that somewhere in my brain, I suspect none of it is really happening - even though I know it is.
Trying to describe in words what I "see" is hard (like Isky says). The EF affiliates in my area provided me with a picture of the brain from this website:


I took along that picture to mt last eye exam and my eye doctor explained to me the vision path from the eyes to the back of the brain. Part of the path goes through the right side of the brain. In that respect, part of my brain on the right side doesn't work because of a small stroke I had a birth. It also resulted in some slight cp on my left side affecting my fingers and toes. (That's a story for another time). As for right now, you can see for yourself from this webpage the path vision takes in the brain.

There is another webpage that we can explore as well:


It's a 3-d look at thr bain. Not sure how useful it will be, but it's worth a look.

Funny, swirly fuzzy colors come & go in the periphial vision in my left eye. I also know there is an existing visual deficit there from numerous routine eye exams. They come & go, but it's the frequency of how many (especially wen the seasons change) that can wear me down as i try to "fight them off." Strobe lights...I try to stay away from too. i even have to take brief breaks away from computer usage to rest my eyes.
If anyone can explain this to me then, that'll be great. I use to have seizure's but recently, started to have it where....if things started to spin, then I new that it would be time for me to sleep. Then one day, I was watching t.v. and began to experince my vision going blurry. The pain wasn't funny. I could only see out of my right eye because, my vision began to get blurry. then the room felt like it was spinning 160 or 130. So, I tried laying down and it tiny bit helped. But when I turned to look at the t.v., I saw four parts of the same program, blurred into the middle. I just turned off the t.v. and closed my eyes and fell back to sleep because, I felt like crap. This was all new to me that I've never experinced ever. I told my nuerologist but, I don't think he was really hearing me. So, I already know that I have to get another one.
Its really interesting to read everyone's stories. I've hallucinated pretty much all of my life, my doctors have been aware of this and although I've had complex partial seizures no one ever suggested to me I might be having these visual seizures. It makes me wonder if I'm just hallucinating or if I'm actually having seizures. My seizures have been under control for years but I'm still hallucinating.

The depth perception thing sounds really weird, but I guess I've kind of experienced the opposite. Its hard to explain, but sometimes I can see just fine but I have difficulty feeling where things should be because it just feels off if that makes sense. Its probably migraine related though.

My boyfriend had some visual disturbances as a child, so I was wondering if anyone has ever had a similar experience. He described it as everything suddenly turning a solid color like looking through a tinted lens.
I had been informed that Visual Seizures are very similar to Audio Seizures which
falls into the classification of Gelastic Seizures / Epilepsy.

I experience these, and they are annoying as *bleep*. They had never left me, had
been with me since as little as I can remember and still with me, while they only
pop up sporadically ... these little buggers seem to be anti-epileptic drug resistant!

::: Grrrrrrrrrrrr ::::

As for the EEG - they ALWAYS appear from the Occipital Lobe region, no if's, ands,
or buts about it - that's how they know where it hails from. While for a brief moment,
the lingering after effect is a nightmare.

I've made quite a few postings scattered abroad on the EFA board - bit as with Ry's
post (Isky) - we are somewhat similar in some ways, but differing, but even she
would agree with me; they are annoying!

However, I must imply this - they are NOT Migraines or Classic Migraines and have
absolutely nothing to do with Migraines at all.
Here's another thread (OLDER) that is in this Research Junkies, take a read at it:
Your link got cut short, dear. :(
I think I found it, though. Here

Southie ~ Sharon said:
Here's another thread (OLDER) that is in this Research Junkies, take a read at it:
I just rediscovered this thread about visual issues. Does anyone else actually see images of people?
This is a great thread. Does anyone feel like they have left their body and gone somewhere else during a seizure? Or is that something completely different? I will often "go" somewhere else like I am a fly on the wall and see the activity around me, such as people talking. This place is different from where I am physically.

Also, I am glad to see others talk about lack of depth perception. I find I have a hard time with that as well.
Glad you like this thread. Not often does a lot of people consider vision issues with their epilepsy. The seasons are changing again soon from Summer to Autumn, so I have to be extra careful during that time. For some reason when the temperature chabges dramatically, my vision goes wacko. I see fuzziness in my left eye and my stomach gets a little upset. Yuck! I dread that coming again soon. Oh well. I lived with it this long!

Wendi Moore-Buysse said:
This is a great thread. Does anyone feel like they have left their body and gone somewhere else during a seizure? Or is that something completely different? I will often "go" somewhere else like I am a fly on the wall and see the activity around me, such as people talking. This place is different from where I am physically.

Also, I am glad to see others talk about lack of depth perception. I find I have a hard time with that as well.

Hi Louise & all of you,

  After reading all of your different expierences with side affects either with an anti-seizure medicine or some seizure we all had at some point, they all sounded very much similiar to eachother. It actually gave me a sense of relief knowing I didnt just go crazy and make this up in my mind and do something to myself while I was drinking or something when I was a teen. I lost vision in my right eye over a course of two months. I have hallucinated also before during a seizure while being sick after the seizure had occured. But doctors never did find out why I went blind. I am still blind to this day in my right eye. There is no blood flowing to the eyeball anymore. I do know shortly before I started going blind I had a gran-mal seizure that turned the family I was with didnt know how to handle. So honestly I dont know how long it lasted or anything about it. Next thing I knew, the family I was staying with for the summer and I were at the campsite camping. I really think that seizure had something to do with my blindness in my right eye........
Louise said:

The temporal lobe is also responsible for some types of hallucinations, visual and auditory, as well as "spacing off." This is my understanding, from what the epileptologists have told us, with my daughter. Some meds may cause hallucinations as well. I have wondered over and over if my daughter's occipital lobe is involved because of her visual disturbances (blurriness, double vision, hallucinations and some blocked areas of vision) but they only see seizures in her right temporal lobe area. Good luck to you!


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