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Can New Glasses Cause Ocular Migraines

What Is An Aura

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Aura is a sensation that occurs before the migraine. It can also occur before other brain conditions too, like seizures. In a migraine, the most common auras are visual flashing lights, zig zag patterns, blurred vision or patches of shimmering light. Often described as psychedelic in appearance. Other auras can be olfactory , auditory or physical like the feeling of a breeze, numbness, weakness or difficulty speaking.

Headaches From Having The Wrong Prescription

Headaches are the most telling sign of a wrong prescription. Have you ever worn someone elses glasses and suddenly felt dizzy with your head throbbing? You likely dont have the same prescription as your friend.

However, when you get a new prescription, the headaches wont come on as quickly as wearing someone elses prescription. When your prescription is wrong, its probably off by the slightest amount. But, this amount is enough to give you headaches.

What you want to look for is frequent headaches a few days after youve started wearing the new prescription. If you notice the headaches happen when youre wearing your glasses or contact lenses, but suddenly disappear when you take them off, then you may need a different prescription.

The wrong prescription can cause your eyes to strain as they try to adapt to the lens theyre seeing through. When this happens, youll get frequent headaches while wearing the prescription.

However, if youre prone to headaches, you can test your eyes by wearing your glasses at different times of the day. If youre prone to those midday headaches after hours at work on a computer, dont wear your glasses at this time. Wear them during a time you know you normally dont get headaches. If headaches show up at that time, you may need to head back to the eye doctors office for another evaluation.

What Are Polarized Lenses

Vision is the perception of light being reflected off an objects surface. Sometimes, the light scatters in various directions before it enters the eye, such as when light bounces off an uneven surface like a persons face or a rock.

Other times, the light is more concentrated and enters the eye in a more direct way, as when light bounces off a smooth surface such as snow or water. The result, especially when looking at those smoother surfaces can be excessive glare and eye strain.

Polarized lenses work to reduce that.

Polarized lenses are coated with a special chemical to filter-out some of the excess light. The filter does so by only allowing in vertical light, and since glare usually enters the eye horizontally, polarized lenses block out some of the light entering directly into the eyes.

Understand, however, polarized lenses dont protect your eyes from damage. Sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection do.

Polarized lenses do not necessarily offer full UV protection, but most do, so youll want to double check. The product description should state the lenses include UV400 protection .

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What Causes Ocular Migraines

Theyre thought to originate in a similar way as migraine headaches, by irregular electrical activity in the brain. Genetics play a role in who experiences migraines, and theyre also more common in women. Potential triggers include certain MSG-containing foods, harsh light, stress and changes in weather.

Although the root cause is the same, it is not known why some people experience migraine pain after visual disturbances and others dont or why the same person might experience both on different occasions.

It is quite common that as women get older, they might have fewer headaches and less pain but more of these auras, Dr. Estemalik says.

How Long Does It Take For Your Eyes To Adjust To A New Prescription

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For most people, itll take a few days to get completely used to a new prescription, but this can vary depending on whether youre brand new to glasses or how much your prescription has changed for existing glasses-wearers.

The good news is that its something that everyone goes through, so there are several tried and tested tips that can help you get adjusted:

  • Put your glasses on when you start your day a sudden change later in the day can feel more disorientating. It also helps to start forming habits
  • Take off your glasses if your eyes are ever itchy, red or sore pop them back on when the symptoms have passed
  • If you wear bifocals or varifocals, try turning your head rather than just your eyes
  • Even if it feels weird, try and persevere with wearing your glasses. The longer you wear them, the quicker your eye muscles can adjust.

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Whats An Ocular Migraine

The term ocular migraine can be confusing. It generally means a headache thats accompanied by changes in vision which may include blind spots, changes in light perception, wiggly lines and flashing lights. As many as 20 percent of migraine sufferers may experience these aura symptoms.

It is generally accepted that there are two types of ocular migraines:

  • Migraine with Aura. This type of migraine impairs vision, with symptoms like flashes of light, blind spots, seeing stars or patterns and other visual issues that go away after a short period. Migraine aura can occur with headache or without, and is typically short in duration. Migraine with Aura occurs in 25-30 percent of people with migraine, and less than 20% of individuals with migraine visual aura have the aura phase with every migraine attack.
  • Retinal Migraine refers to visual symptoms that occur in only one eye before or during the headache phase of a migraine. Retinal Migraine symptoms tend to be more intrusive than aura symptoms, and can include decreased vision, flashing lights and even temporary blindness. It can be difficult for people to distinguish between Migraine with Aura and Retinal Migraine, so its important to consult a doctor if you think you may be experiencing Retinal Migraine symptoms.
  • You Can Get Out Of Glasses

    As I said, your visual system is resilient. No matter how nearsighted you are, you can improve your vision and ditch those glasses for good.

    See my article The Problem With Glasses. You have plenty of reasons to get out of your glasses. Theyre annoying, uncomfortable, restrict what you can do, and whats more, they make your vision more blurry without them, and you depend on them more and more for everyday tasks.

    Although your eyes can adapt to glasses, it doesnt mean they like it. Eyestrain is extremely common among people who are nearsighted. Glasses discourage some aspects of normal vision, like peripheral vision awareness and free movement of the eyes, that are necessary for the visual system to fully and efficiently process the visual world around you. When your visual system isnt able to do that, your vision will suffer. Your eyes wont focus right. Youll develop other problems.

    So think about going back to your old glasses. Were they so bad? Going back to them may help stop your vision from getting worse. The next step is learning to see without them too.


    • 20 ft, 10 ft, and Near Vision Charts
    • Letters Calibrated to Correct Printed Size

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    Eye Conditions That Trigger Blurry Vision And Migraines

    Homeeye careEye Conditions That Trigger Blurry Vision and Migraines

      An American Migraine Study conducted in 1999 says that in the U.S., 38 million people are living with migraines, out of which 44% people suffer from migraines due to vision changes and blurred vision.

      Its normal for our vision to deteriorate as we age. However, not many people realize that their eyesight may have gone from bad to worse with age.

      When we have trouble seeing, we may either squint or hold things too far or too close to them. While doing so, we may weaken our eye muscles and nerves without the slightest inkling that we may be having a bad eyesight.

      The result can be blurry vision and migraine. Read on to understand what cause migraines that are vision related.

      Your Glasses Are Outdated

      Stress Test: Why We Might Get a Headache From New Glasses.

      Just as features like UV protection and glare reduction were once a pipe dream, new technologies are constantly being developed to make your glasses better. If your glasses are old, there may be new innovations that can enhance your vision and make the experience of wearing glasses even better. For example, Eyezen lenses help reduce digital eye strain and help protect your eyes from Harmful Blue Light.

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      Warning Signs Of A Wrong Eyeglass Prescription

      For many people with refractive errors, wearing prescription eyeglasses is the way they achieve clarity of vision. Whether youre being fitted for your first pair or your ninth pair of eyeglasses, the promise of sharp vision is always exciting.

      Many people opt for the quick fix of eyeglasses when it comes to improving vision. After all, immediate results are what you get with eyeglasses.

      Or so you think cue thunder and lightning.

      We put a lot of faith into our ophthalmologist and opticians, but the truth is theyre only human. When taking our eye measurements to find the correct prescription, they could very well make mistakes.

      Human error is nothing to be ashamed of weve all made our share of mistakes, Im sure. However, that doesnt mean we cant be on the lookout for these mistakes. The next time you go for either an eyeglass or a contact lens fitting, note every day afterwards how well your eyes see and how they feel. And, in the meantime, remember that doing eye exercises and undergoing vision therapy can help your eyes get stronger and see better in the long run.

      Even after a careful fitting appointment, its totally possible that you have the wrong prescription. Here are some signs to look out for when you get a new prescription.

      Ocular Migraines And Aura

      There are two types of migraines that are referred to as ocular migraines. Some people refer to migraines with auras as ocular migraines.

      Some people experience an aura approximately 10 to 30 minutes before a migraine sets in. Aura symptoms can include:

      • numbness or tingling in the hands or face
      • feeling mentally foggy or fuzzy
      • disrupted sense of touch, taste, or smell
      • seeing blind spots, shimmering spots, flashing lights, or zig-zag lines

      Not all people with migraines will experience auras.

      Ocular migraines may also refer to eye-related migraines that come with visual disturbances that may or may not come with a headache pain. These are known as ophthalmic migraines. Ocular migraines can include some or all of the aura symptoms listed above. Ocular migraines are typically the result of migraine activity in the visual cortex of the brain.

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      Driving With Polarized Lenses

      In the article, Polarized sunglasses: Best for reducing glare, author Erinn Morgan writes about the benefits of driving while wearing polarized lenses, they reduce glare-causing reflections from flat surfaces, such as the hoods of vehicles and light-colored pavement.

      There are others who believe wearing polarized lenses while driving should be avoided, especially while driving in low-light conditions. Ophthalmologist Andrew Iwach, discussed his skepticism surrounding so-called night-vision glasses in the article Night Driving Glasses May Hurt, Not Help on the American Academy of Ophthalmologys website.

      Night-vision glasses are covered with a yellow tint, but Iwach reminds, polarized lensesare designed to limit the amount of light getting to the eye. As a result, night vision glasses could actually make it harder to see at night, not easier.

      Iwach writes, When driving at night, the eyes need to adapt to darker natural conditions along with varied, fast-changing light, nearby and far away. At night, polarized lenses hinder the ability to make those fast and varied adaptive changes.

      If youre still unsure whether or not polarized lenses are right for you, schedule an appointment with your eyecare specialist to discuss your options.

      When Should You Call Your Eye Doctor

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      Unless you are experiencing migraines or debilitating dizziness, most experts agree you should allow for a two-week adjustment period before calling your eye doctor. Once you do reach out to your provider, your eye doctor will want to double-check your prescription and ensure the lenses you currently have are appropriate for you.

      Remember to wear your new glasses as much as possible to accelerate the adjustment period.

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      How Is An Ocular Migraine Diagnosed

      Ocular migraine is diagnosed with a patient history, physical examination, and other tests such as:

      • Eye screening test
      • Patient sits in a chair in a room with the lights out
      • A doctor looks through the lenses of the ophthalmoscope to examine the eyes
      • Patient may be asked to look in various directions during the examination
    • Indirect examination
    • Patient lies down or is seated in a reclined position
    • A doctor can see structures at the back of the eye in a little more detail with this method
    • The lens of the ophthalmoscope is held directly in front of the eye
    • Patient may be asked to look in various directions during the examination
    • A small, blunt probe may be used to apply a little pressure to the eye
    • Slit lamp examination
    • A slit lamp provides greater magnification of the back of the eye than an indirect exam
    • Drops may be administered to dilate the pupils
    • The slit lamp positioned across from the patient who rest their chin and forehead on the instrument
    • A bright light is shined directly into the eye and a microscope is used to evaluate the back of the eye
    • Other tests
    • The Abcs Of Ocular Migraines

      Migraine sufferers, we see you . We hear you . We feel you . And we want to help.

      Migraines are the worst. Theyre up there with root canals and income tax audits. One of the hardest things about migraines is determining the root cause, which is different for different people and identifying the individual triggers that bring one on in the first place.

      Many people dont know it but migraines can actually impact vision. When this occurs, its called an ocular migraine.

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      Causes Of Ocular Migraines

      Some scientists think that ocular migraines are caused by or triggered by inflammatory substances released in the tissues surrounding the circulatory and nerve system of thehead and brain.

      Ocular migraines may be due to stress and fatigue – the same probable causes of migraine headaches. Learn more about migraine headaches, computer eye-fatigue. These related causes can include improper glasses and other conditionssuch as hypertension, sinus conditions, tumors, hormonal changes, certain foods such as alcohol, aged cheese, MSG or chocolate, or other allergies rather than due to problems related to the eyes.

      Other causes include being female, being younger than 40, and people with a family history of migraines or other headaches. Additionally, people with diseases such as lupus, hardening of the arteries, sickle cell disease, epilepsy, or depression are at greater risk.

      For some people low blood sugar , bending over or being at high altitude can cause ocular migraines. Hormonal birth control pills are another possible cause.

      An ocular migraine can appear simultaneously with a migraine headache.

      When Do Patients Begin To Feel This Relief

      Eye Health & Optometry : Strange Ocular Migraine Symptoms

      There are two common scenarios that a person might expect when trying migraine glasses for the first time.

      Scenario #1: You feel an immediate calming of the eyes, with long-term migraine relief building over time

      We hear this often. Light loses its intensity within seconds of putting on a pair of lenses with the migraine tint, and it just grows the more they are worn. This is supported by the earliest known study of these rose-colored glasses, which showed that initial improvements were felt in the first 30 days, but most importantly it continued after 120 days and beyond.5

      Scenario #2: You experience an adjustment period before noticing an improvement in migraine attacks and/or symptoms after 2 to 6 weeks

      Although it seems to be rare, it can take some time before migraine glasses can do their magic. We see this most often with people who are accustomed to wearing sunglasses indoors to prevent their attacks. In fact, in the study we previously cited, the brain hyper-reactivity that is so common with migraine had actually diminished after 120 days this was not initially reported after the first 30 days, signaling that changes and improvements occur in the brain over time. This is why it is important not to get discouraged if you do not have the immediate relief.

      Read Also: What Type Of Migraine Do I Have Quiz

      Diet Nutrition & Lifestyle Choices

      Evidence is beginning to support the idea that migraine headaches are associated with mitochondria dysfunction. Supplements such as riboflavin , coenzyme Q10, magnesium3, niacin, carnitine, and lipoic acid, which support mitochondrial function, have been shown to help alleviate migraine headaches.2

      • Be sure to also read our lifestyle recommendations for migraine headaches.
      • See our essential visionwellness tips for this eye condition.
      • Stress. Manage stress – meditate, take cool walks in the morning, do yoga … whatever works well for you.
      • Computer. Avoid long hours on the computer and take frequent breaks.
      • Exercise regularly, at least 3x weekly. Exercise reduces the amount of pain from migraines although it does not directlystop migraines by itself.
      • Pay attention to what you eat in the event that the ocular migraines are tied to an allergy.
      • Sleep routine. Wake up at the same time each morning, and get plenty of sleep at night
      • Finally, acupuncture is worth considering.

      More On The Headache Issue

      Some people believe polarized lenses cause headaches or migraines. While there have been reports that the tint of certain windows take on a checkerboard pattern when viewed through polarized lenses and cause nausea, there is little evidence to suggest polarized lenses cause headaches.

      The likely culprit is poor quality lenses that fail to efficiently block out enough light. Truth be told, polarized lenses are more likely to fend off headaches rather than cause them.

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