What Are The Preventive Treatments For Migraine
Many patients with isolated visual migraines, without severe headaches, have relatively infrequent episodes that do not require specific preventive treatments. If a patient is aware of the particular triggers that seem to bring on an episode, then those triggers can be avoided.
In patients where the pattern of migraines includes frequent, severe headaches, it is very reasonable to consider additional preventive treatments. The main goal for any of these strategies is to reduce the overall frequency and severity of the headaches. None of the preventive treatments is a magic bullet that is 100% effective. For example, it would be considered successful if a preventive treatment helped reduce the number of severe headaches from 8 per month to 2-4 per month.
There are numerous medications that can be used as a preventive treatment for migraine. One medication that is used commonly, particularly because it has no side effects, is vitamin B2 . Approximately 100mg of riboflavin daily is thought to improve migraine headaches . One common side effect of riboflavin is that the urine turns bright yellow. Other herbal medications used to reduce migraine headaches include petasites and feverfew.
Treatment For Retinal Migraine
Treatment for retinal migraine usually just involves taking pain relief for any headaches and reducing exposure to anything that might be triggering the retinal migraine.
Your doctor may sometimes prescribe preventative medication to try and reduce how often you get a migraine. Your doctor will discuss the best way to treat your symptoms with you.
There is no one best way to treat retinal migraine. Your doctor may have to try several different medications to see what works best for you.
Can I Have A Visual Migraine Without A Headache
Definitely. It is actually very common to have a visual migraine without any headache. The medical term for this is acephalgic migraine, which literally means migraine symptoms without headache. Except for the absence of a headache, the visual symptoms in acephalgic migraine are identical to the episodes that accompany a classic migraine aura.
How Long Does Retinal Migraine Last
The visual effects of a retinal migraine usually last no more than an hour.
Not all retinal migraine attacks come with a headache or nausea, but such symptoms may last longer potentially for more than a day.
Both children and adults of any age can experience retinal migraine. These tend to be more common in the following groups:
- people under 40 years old
- people with a family history of retinal migraine or headaches
- people with a personal history of migraine or headaches
People with certain illnesses that impact the blood vessels and eyes may also be at risk. These illnesses include:
Can Poor Vision Trigger A Migraine
If you have poor vision, you may squint a lot or hold items up close or far away from your face in order to see them clearly. This can have a negative impact on your vision over time. You could also strain your eyes by reading in poor lighting. When your eyes are constantly straining to see properly, it could trigger a migraine. Having a comprehensive eye exam by a trusted eye doctor is one step you can take to make sure poor vision is one less thing that could trigger a migraine for you.
Additionally, there are eye conditions that can trigger migraines including glaucoma. Glaucoma causes the pressure to build up in the eye and damage the optic nerve. In order to relieve these migraines, the conditions must be treated.
You May Like: Migraine And Fever
What Are The ‘red Flags’ That My Visual Symptoms Are Not Due To Migraine
The typical symptoms of a visual migraine are positive, meaning that there is something shimmering or sparkling that is disrupting the vision. Migraines are less likely to cause “negative” symptoms of pure visual darkness. An episode of visual darkness typically requires additional evaluation for other conditions, including a mini-stroke .
What Causes Temporary Blindness
Temporary blindness can occur for a variety of reasons from standing up too quickly to underlying conditions like brain tumors. If you dont know why you are experiencing temporary blindness or other vision problems, its best to speak with your eye doctor as soon as you can.
Conditions that cause temporary blindness or sensations that only feel like temporary blindness include:
Read Also: What Is A Migraine Headache
What Type Of Doctor Do You See For Ocular Migraines
If you have ocular migraines, you can see an ophthalmologist oran optometrist.
Optometrists are eye care specialists who offer primary vision care services, including:
- Vision testing
- Correction of visual problems
- Treatment and management of visual issues and eye diseases
On the other hand, ophthalmologists are medical practitioners who specialize in eye and vision care. They differ from optometrists in their degrees of schooling as well as what they can diagnose and cure.
An ophthalmologist is a healthcare professional who has finished college and has at least eight years of further medical studies. He or she is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. Ophthalmologists hold a Doctor of Medicine degree.
Optometrists are healthcare professionals who complete four additional years of school after finishing undergraduate studies. They hold a Doctor of Optometry degree.
Treatment And Prevention Of Ocular And Visual Migraines
As already noted, visual disturbances caused by ocular migraines and visual migraines typically go away within an hour.
If you are performing tasks that require clear vision when an ocular migraine or visual migraine occurs, stop what you are doing and relax until it passes. If you’re driving, pull of the road, park your vehicle and wait for your vision to return to normal.
As soon as possible, see your eye doctor, family physician or a neurologist for evaluation of your migraine episodes. Your doctor can let you know about the latest medicines for treating migraines, including those that may help prevent future attacks.
It’s also a good idea to keep a journal of your diet and daily activities. Doing so can help you identify possible triggers of your ocular migraines or visual migraines .
Many migraine attacks are stress-related. You might be able to reduce how often they occur by:
Avoiding common migraine triggers
Getting plenty of sleep
Trying stress-busters such as yoga and massage
Migraines can be successfully managed so they are less frequent and debilitating. The first step is to see a doctor to discuss your symptoms including vision problems and discuss treatment and prevention options.
Also Check: Migraine Numb Tongue
What Causes A Vestibular Migraine
Similarly to other types of migraine, vestibular migraines can be triggered by eating certain foods, the amount of caffeine you are having as well as stress. You might find that particular activities can worsen your symptoms or if you havent had as much sleep as you need. Taking care of yourself by eating regularly, finding time in your day to relax as well as exercise can help to keep you feeling well, and prevent migraine attacks.
Ocular And Visual Migraines
Ocular migraines, sometimes called retinal migraines, describe a type of migraine that causes problems with vision. Temporary blindness and blind spots are symptoms associated with an ocular migraine. In most cases, only one eye is affected.
An ocular migraine blind spot may start small and grow in size. One episode can last up to an hour. The condition is caused by blood vessel spasms or blood flow issues in the retina.
Visual migraines, sometimes called migraine auras, describe another type of migraine that may affect vision. Some disturbances you may experience include a blind spot in the center of your vision. You might see zigzag lines that seem to shimmer. Sometimes it might be dots and stars or flashes of light that resemble camera flashes.
These symptoms can last between 10 to 30 minutes and can lead to a headache. Visual migraines are more common than ocular migraines.
You May Like: Visual Representation Ocular Migraine
Can Stress Cause Vestibular Migraines
It is not completely known what causes a vestibular migraine however they are triggered by a number of factors, such as dehydration, poor sleep, your diet and stress. Changes in the hormone balance of your body can cause you to have a migraine, thats why it is important that you take care of yourself. Make sure that you are taking time out of your day to relax and unwind, as well staying hydrating and getting the right amount of sleep for you.
Tips For Managing And Preventing Visual Migraines
If your visual migraine occurs frequently, here are some tips to help you prevent or manage the condition.
- Acupressure. This is an evidence-based practice of applying pressure with hands to specific points on the body to relieve pain and other symptoms. It can be an effective alternative therapy for migraine headaches.
- Lavender oil. Lavender oil can be inhaled or applied diluted to the temples to ease your migraine pain.
- Peppermint oil. According to a 2010 study, the menthol in peppermint oil can minimize migraines.6 The research showed that applying menthol to the forehead and temples relieved migraine-related pain, nausea, and light sensitivity.
- Yoga. Yoga uses breathing, meditation, and body postures to promote health and well-being, relieving the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines.
- Massage therapy. Massage reduces stress and enhances coping skills. It also lowers heart rate, anxiety, and cortisol levels.
- Herbal supplements. Butterbur and feverfew are common herbal remedies that may aid with migraine pain and frequency reduction.
- Avoid Triggers. Ocular migraine triggers such as caffeinated foods, alcohol, dehydration, smoking, or stress
- Unwind at the end of the day. Basic things like listening to soothing music or taking a warm bath after a long day can help your body relax and prevent migraines.
You May Like: Migraines And Fever
What Is An Ocular Migraine
According to the Mayo Clinic, ocular migraines are migraine headaches that cause temporary blindness or visual impairment. Ocular migraines occur when blood vessels contract, inhibiting the flow of blood to your eyes. An ocular migraine attack lasts around five to thirty minutes. While generally harmless, ocular migraines can produce feelings of panic, nausea, and dizziness in migraine sufferers.
What Are The Symptoms Of Ocular Migraines
Ocular migraine begins with an aura, a blind spot out of the corner of the eye that gradually gets bigger, making it difficult to focus on anything else, like driving a car, reading, or writing.
Typically, visual distortions associated with ocular migraines follow a pattern:
- Initially, a small spot of light, or blind spot, appears in one side of your peripheral vision. Additionally, a dull, throbbing headache might appear.
- Within ten minutes, the blind spot grows, taking up your entire peripheral vision on that side.
- At this point, your vision is severely impaired. You might experience temporary blindness, distorted blurry vision, or a bright, iridescent orb that clouds your eyesight.
- Sometimes, disorientation ensues, a result of trying to see out of only one eye.
- After approximately half an hour, the ocular migraine aura disappears.
- Most people feel exhausted, wiped out after an ocular migraine, but after a brief nap, you should feel much better.
- You might feel nausea, either because of the aura itself, or from anxiety.
Recommended Reading: Diarrhea Before Migraine
Temporary Partial Vision Loss
If you have partial vision loss, the causes include:
Migraines: These are, by far, the most common cause of short-term, partial vision loss. When you get a migraine, you may have âauraâ that affects the vision in both of your eyes. You may see flashing lights, shimmering spots, or blind spots.
A retinal migraine affects only one eye. This rare condition causes partial or total blindness for a short period, usually 10 to 30 minutes. It typically comes before or during a headache. It is totally harmless to you and your vision.
Retinal vasospasm: Like migraine, this condition can cause temporary vision loss. Treatment can fully restore your sight.
When a blood vessel in your retina tightens, it causes a vasospasm. This cuts down on blood flow, which can bring on temporary vision loss in one eye. Various conditions can lead to a vasospasm. These include a retinal migraine, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure.
If you have a retinal vasospasm, your doctor may recommend aspirin or a type of medicine called a calcium-channel blocker to relieve it. Youâll also work with your doctor to manage whatever caused the retinal vasospasm in the first place.
This disease causes inflammation in the linings of your arteries, particularly those in your head. Symptoms include head pain, scalp tenderness, jaw pain, fever, and fatigue. Giant cell arteritis also triggers vision loss, usually in one eye. Without treatment, it can result in permanent blindness in a week or two.
Temporary Blindness Vs Temporary Blind Spots
Like temporary blindness, temporary blind spots can occur with sudden light changes. They can also be caused by visual migraines and other issues. Unlike temporary blindness, temporary blind spots only affect portions of the visual field, not the entirety of it.
Whether you experience partial, full or just spots of temporary blindness will depend on the underlying cause.
Temporary blind spots can occur in both your frontal vision and your peripheral vision. Losing your peripheral vision temporarily is also called tunnel vision.
Read Also: Reglan For Migraines Pregnancy
Are Ocular Migraines Harmful
In general, ocular migraines are not considered harmful. Most people have no symptoms other than blindness or blind spots. Neither retinal migraines nor full ocular migraines are, in and of themselves, harmful. However, in some cases, retinal or ocular migraines may be a sign of a more serious problem. If you have a retinal or ocular migraine, its important to consult with a doctor as soon as possible to undergo an evaluation and ensure your symptoms dont signal a larger problem.
Most of the time, ocular migraines are not caused by actual visual symptoms nor is their trigger within the eye. Instead, they are caused by migraine activity within the visual cortex of the brain.
What Causes A Retinal Migraine
Unfortunately, no one is certain about the cause. Some believe its due to a problem with the blood supply to the retina, which is the part of the eye that is most responsible for vision. But some retinal migraines might be caused by a problem in the nerves in the eye or brain, not the retina. Therefore, some experts believe they should be called ocular migraines, which is obviously confusing. Clearly more research is needed.
You May Like: Blinding Migraine
Is There A Connection Between Strokes And Ocular Migraines
Currently, there isnt a definitive answer. But some researchers believe that ocular migraine and stroke have a connection. The connection, they believe, has to do with damage to the cells lining your blood vessels. The inflammation of the cells can cause them to become stiff and hence increase the risk of suffering a stroke.
Also, people who have migraine with aura are twice as likely to suffer a stroke as those who have no migraines.
When Should I Seek Help For A Retinal Migraine
If you have vision loss, seek help. Because there are many other things that can cause blindness, its important to get it checked out. These could include stroke or other diseases specific to the eye or brain.
For this reason, there is no specific test for retinal migraine. The other things have to be ruled out before a diagnosis can be made. This ruling out process could include heart monitoring, blood tests, or imaging.
Also, retinal migraines rarely happen when a doctor is around, so theres no one to test the visual fields and confirm vision loss. Given the overlap in symptoms with migraine with aura, its helpful to talk through them with your doctor to have a better idea of whats going on.
Don’t Miss: Migraine Medication With Caffeine
Ocular Migraine Vs Retinal Migraine
The terms ocular migraine and retinal migraine are often used to mean the same thing. But to be precise, a retinal migraine is a rare type of ocular migraine.
Its also worth differentiating the term visual migraine, in which the migraine affects an area of the brain that involves vision. This may result in aura affecting sight in both eyes, not just one.
Symptoms Of An Ocular Migraine
The International Headache Society has defined the symptoms that are typical of a retinal or ocular migraine. These symptoms are monocular , temporary, and include:
- Scintillations: seeing something that looks like flash of light, lightning, or a sparkle. Halos or lines may also be seen.
- Scotoma: a temporary blind spot, black spot, blurriness, or a partial loss of vision.
- Blindness: partial or complete blindness in one eye.
- Migraine headache: The symptoms in the eye are accompanied by a headache that can last from a few hours to a few days. The headache is often located on the same side of the head as the eye that is experiencing symptoms.
- Other: Symptoms that typically occur with a migraine may also occur, such as light sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting.
Other types of migraines can cause visual problems, especially flashes of light and blind spots in the field of vision. The important distinction is that with an ocular migraine, these symptoms only occur in one eye.
It can be difficult to determine which eye is experiencing the symptoms, or if they are taking place in both eyes. A qualified healthcare professional can help determine the location of the symptoms while they are occurring.
If the symptoms cant be assessed at that time, a patient may try covering one eye. With one eye covered, it may be easier to tell which eye is affected, or if the problem is occurring in both eyes.
Read Also: Sumatriptan For Back Pain