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What Causes Migraines And Blurred Vision

Why Do I Have Fuzzy Head And Blurred Vision

Not knowing what causes fuzzy head and blurred vision can be upsetting. Especially if you have never experienced anything like this before. Here are a few of the common causes and some not-so-common causes:

1. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

This syndrome is caused by a vitamin B-1 deficiency. It affects the brain by causing bleeding near the thalamus and hypothalamus. The resulting swelling causes dysfunction in your endocrine and nervous system. If the disease progresses, permanent memory loss may result. It is common in alcoholism or medical conditions that affect the absorption of B vitamins.

Symptoms

  • Hard to find the right words when talking
  • Trouble comprehending information

Treatment: If this condition is treated quickly, permanent damage can be prevented. Doctors will start you on IV vitamin B-1 in the hospital and send you home on vitamin B-1 supplements by mouth. You will also be instructed to eat a diet high in B vitamins. If you drink heavily, you will be encouraged to stop using alcohol.

2. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease occurs when you are bit by an infected tick. It is a bacterial infection and easily treated if you know you were bit. Often, people dont know they were bit until symptoms are severe. It is most common in the warmer months in heavily wooded area where there are deer. If you have fuzzy head, blurred vision, it is important to check for the classic bullseye rash that accompanies tick bites.

Symptoms

3. Diabetes

Symptoms

3. Multiple Sclerosis

Symptoms

Blurred Vision And Headache Pseudotumor Cerebri Symptoms

Headaches associated with pseudotumor cerebri start as dull pain and frequently occur at the back of the head or behind the eyes. The headaches worsen with eye movement and tend to be worse first thing in the morning or at night. Concurrent migraines or tension headaches can complicate the diagnosis.

Other symptoms of pseudotumor can include:

  • Nausea, vomiting or dizziness
  • Flashes of light or auras
  • Difficulty seeing to the side
  • Dimmed or blurred vision
  • Rhythmic thumping or whooshing sound thats often in time with the heartbeat
  • Brief episodes of blindness in one or both eyes
  • Neck stiffness or neck, shoulder or back pain
  • Forgetfulness and/or depression
  • Double vision

Physical activity can make the symptoms worse.

The cause of pseudotumor cerebri typically is unknown. It may stem from a problem absorbing brain and spinal fluid into the bloodstream. Too much of the fluid confined in the skull could cause the pressure.

Headache And Blurred Vision: 13 Possible Causes

Headache is the most common pain experienced by people worldwide and is usually nothing to worry about. Therefore, sometimes associated symptoms experienced with the headache can indicate a serious underlying condition that can in return have serious complications. Headache and Blurred Vision is one such condition that requires serious medical attention. Some of the possible causes are:

  • Brain Hemorrhage
  • Other Conditions That Can Cause Blurry Vision

    Sometimes, blurry vision can be caused by something other than a migraine attack. These can include:

    • Low blood sugar.When your brain is deprived of glucose, its primary source of fuel, the result can be a headache and blurred vision.
    • Stroke. Symptoms of a stroke can include a sudden, severe headache and/or blurred vision in one or both of your eyes.
    • Ministroke. A ministroke, also referred to as a transient ischemic attack , can have symptoms that include headache and blurry vision. TIA is a sign that you are at risk for an impending stroke. 
    • Carbon monoxide poisoning. When carbon monoxide deprives the brain and body of oxygen, common reactions include vision problems and headache. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so you may not notice if you breathe it in. When you breathe in carbon monoxide, it binds to the hemoglobin in your blood, preventing it from carrying oxygen to your tissues and organs.
    • Hemangioblastoma. A progressive headache and blurred vision can be signs of a hemangioblastoma, a rare type of tumor. According to a 2013 case study, these rare tumors account for 12.5% of all abnormal growth in the cranial cavity.

    What Is The Best Way To Manage Headaches In Children And Adolescents

    Blurred vision and headache: 5 possible causes

    Suggestions for managing headaches include:

    • Educate yourself and your family. Read about your type of headache and its treatment.
    • Keep a headache diary. Bring the diary with you to your appointments.
    • Ask your doctor for written instructions about how to manage your headache.
    • Follow a regular schedule:
    • Dont skip meals, especially breakfast.
    • Get 8 hours of sleep nightly.
    • Exercise 30 to 60 minutes three times/week
    • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water/day`
  • Avoid your headache triggers. Common triggers include caffeinated foods and beverages , nitrates , tyramine . Also avoid MSG-containing foods including DoritosĀ®, RamenĀ® noodles, other junk foods, and Oriental foods.
  • Reduce emotional and physical stress. Take time to relax and get away from stressful situations. Learn relaxation skills, such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. If you sit for long periods of time, get up and stretch from time to time. Relax your jaw, neck, and shoulders. Talk to a friend, family member, religious professional or health care professional if your problems are causing you stress.
  • Go to school every day. Attendance IS A MUST!
  • Start non-drug measures as soon as the headache begins:
  • Rest in a cool, dark, quiet, comfortable place.
  • Use methods to relax and reduce stress.
  • Apply a cold compress to your head.
  • Don’t wait!! Take the highest allowable dose of recommended medication at the first sign of a severe headache.
  • Never miss a follow-up appointment with your doctor.
  • Blurred Vision Associated With Head Or Body Movements

    Patients that develop an injury to their inner, or vestibular system, can develop blurred vision.  The vestibular system is critical in maintaining balance, but particularly of the eyes when the head moves.  A reflex, called the vestibulo-ocular reflex, or VOR, is designed to dampen head movement as fine as reading a book to as significant as being ona bouncing boat in a choppy sea.  When the VOR becomes dysfunction, a phenomenon occurs called oscillopsia. 

    In laymans terms, think of an oscillating fan and trying to see the fan blades moving.  This is the same phenomenon people experience with oscillopsia and a VOR weakness. 

    Patients will often go to their optometrist or an ophthalmologist thinking that there is something wrong with their eyes.  The oscillopsia can make you feel dizziness symptoms like nausea and a sense of being off balance.  The actual origin comes from the dysfunction of the inner ears not being able to keep up with the movement of your leading to to strange sensation.

    The grest thing about most forms of oscillopsia is that it is treatable by the physical therapists at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers.  The therapist can objectively measure the VOR dysfunction using a special test called a Dynamic Visual Acuity test or DVA.  With the information from the DVA, the therapist can prescribe specific exercises to help the brain recognize the oscillopsia and stabilize your vision.

    What Causes Ocular Migraines

    Doctors believe that migraine with aura is caused by abnormal electrical activity in certain areas of the brain, specifically the cortex, or outer surface. These abnormal electrical impulses gradually spread across the cortex over 5 to 60 minutes, and this causes the visual changes.1

    Doctors believe retinal migraines may be caused by the same type of abnormal electrical activity but it takes place in the retina, which is located in the back of the eye. Retinal migraine may also be caused by slow blood flow to the retina.

    Triggers for ocular migraines include bright or flickering lights, looking at an electronic screen for long periods, and eye strain from driving long distances. Other common migraine triggers include stress, dehydration, high altitude, and low blood sugar.1

    Why Does A Migraine Affect Vision

    While the exact causes of migraine and aura are not fully understood, we are aware of what happens to the brain after a migraine is triggered. The cortical spreading depression or over-stimulation of the brain has a flow on effect.

    This sudden intense activity in the brain cells is like if all the lights in a city were turned on at once. Then it is followed by a drop-off of activity in that area of the brain. Like a power cut, a blackout in one suburb of the city. The decrease in activity spreads across the top layer of the brain . Like a power outage that gradually spreads from suburb to suburb, until the whole city is in a black out. The drop off starts in the visual areas of the brain , then travels to the body sensation part of the brain , then to the areas important in processing sound .

    If there is a loss of activity in the visual areas of the brain, our eyes will still gather information important for sight, but our brain confuses the information and what we see will be distorted, disrupted and weird! When trying to get a grasp on ideas like this, it helps to remind ourselves that the eyes do not see. The eyes gather visual information about the outside world. This is then packaged into electrical and chemical messages that get sent along nerves to the occipital lobe in the brain. This information is then processed into something our brain can understand like a beautiful sunset or a busy city street.

    What Causes Migraine Pain

    Research is still ongoing, but migraines are thought to likely be caused by a phenomenon called cortical spreading depression . This is a process that happens in the brain, more specifically the cortex, when these brain cells are over stimulated. 

    This stimulation affects the production of serotonin and other brain chemicals. Serotonin then stimulates the trigeminovascular system. This system controls the brains blood vessels, causing them to swell. 

    Swollen blood vessels do two things:

    • Push on neighbouring nerves causing the sensation of pain.
    • Force the blood to travel through much smaller than normal spaces, making the pulsation of the blood more prominent.

    With changes like this happening to the vessels inside our heads, it isnt all that surprising that people often describe the pain as throbbing or as a feeling of pressure inside their head.

    What Types Of Headaches Are Seen In Children And Adolescents

    The International Headache Society lists more than 150 headache types. In general, headaches are broken down into four main categories:

    • Migraine.These are episodic severe headaches with sensitivity to light and noise followed by nausea and vomiting. Migraine can be hereditary. About 60% of people who have a migraine also have an immediate family member who have migraine.
    • Episodic tension , chronic daily headache, or chronic non-progressive headache. These headaches occur daily or a few times a month, but patients do not experience the symptoms of migraine listed above.
    • Mixed headache syndrome. These are a combination of migraine and chronic non-progressive headaches. Mixed headache syndrome is also called chronic migraine or transformed migraine. Patients with mixed headache syndrome have headaches more than 15 days/month.
    • Traction and inflammatory headaches. These headaches may be due to an illness or brain disorder for example, a brain tumor or bleeding within the

    Cleveland Clinic classifies headaches in children and adolescents by when the headaches start, how long they last, and how often they occur. The general categories of headaches are:

    Emergency Care For Blurred Vision On The Central Coast

    Its common to experience blurred vision when you cant see fine or focused details in the form of nearsightedness or farsightedness. Seek medical care, however, if you experience a quick change in vision, such as a sudden loss of sharp vision. Blurred vision is a symptom of a wide range of conditions, and it can begin suddenly or gradually over time. Your Dignity Health Central Coast doctor knows that these conditions can range from serious to mild, and will work with you to pinpoint whats causing your sudden blurred vision on the Central Coast of California. Seek immediate medical care for sudden blurred vision even if your blurred vision is temporary since such vision changes can signal a serious underlying medical condition.

     

    How Are Migraines Diagnosed

    To diagnose a migraine, your healthcare provider will get a thorough medical history, not just your history of headaches but your familys, too. Also, they’ll want to establish a history of your migraine-related symptoms, likely asking you to:

    • Describe your headache symptoms. How severe are they?
    • Remember when you get them. During your period, for example?
    • Describe the type and location of your pain. Is the pain pounding? Pulsing? Throbbing?
    • Remember if anything makes your headache better or worse.
    • Tell how often you get migraine headaches.
    • Talk about the activities, foods, stressors or the situations that may have brought on the migraine.
    • Discuss what medications you take to relieve the pain and how often you take them.
    • Tell how you felt before, during and after the headache.
    • Remember if anyone in your family gets migraine headaches.

    Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests and imaging tests to make sure there are no other causes for your headache. An electroencephalogram may be ordered to rule out seizures.

    What Causes Ocular And Visual Migraines

    Blurred vision and headache: 5 possible causes

    The exact cause of an ocular migraine can be difficult to pinpoint. But it’s believed they occur for the same things that cause migraine headaches.

    Migraine headaches have a genetic basis, and some studies say that up to 70% of people who suffer from the disorder have a family history of migraine.

    According to the World Health Organization , migraines are caused by the activation of a mechanism deep in the brain that leads to release of pain-producing inflammatory substances around the nerves and blood vessels of the head.

    Studies have shown changes in blood flow to the brain during ocular migraines and migraine auras . But exactly why this happens remains unclear.

    Common migraine “triggers” that can cause a person to have a migraine attack include:

    • Certain foods

    • Caffeinated drinks

    • MSG

    • Artificial sweeteners

    Stress and lack of sleep also can trigger an ocular migraine or visual migraine.

    How Are Migraines Treated

    Migraine headaches are chronic. They cant be cured, but they can be managed and possibly improved. There are two main treatment approaches that use medications: abortive and preventive.

    • Abortive medications are most effective when you use them at the first sign of a migraine. Take them while the pain is mild. By possibly stopping the headache process, abortive medications help stop or decrease your migraine symptoms, including pain, nausea, light sensitivity, etc. Some abortive medications work by constricting your blood vessels, bringing them back to normal and relieving the throbbing pain.
    • Preventive medications may be prescribed when your headaches are severe, occur more than four times a month and are significantly interfering with your normal activities. Preventive medications reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches. Medications are generally taken on a regular, daily basis to help prevent migraines.

    Is My Blurry Vision Caused By A Migraine Attack

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 15.3% of American adults have experienced a migraine attack or severe headache within the past 3 months. Sometimes, a migraine attack can cause blurry vision. But blurry vision can be caused by other conditions as well.

    Read on to learn more about migraine and which conditions can cause blurry vision. 

    Causes Of Dizziness And Blurred Vision

  • 9. Vision conditions
  • Home

    Dizziness and blurred vision can be triggered by various conditions, a reaction to medication and even stress. Whether symptoms are mild or severe, it is important to pinpoint what may have caused dizziness or blurry vision to occur.

    Depending on the underlying cause, occurrences of blurred vision and dizziness are often accompanied by nausea, headache and light-headedness, among other symptoms. If blurred vision and dizziness are prolonged or other serious symptoms develop, contact a doctor.

    Ocular Migraine And Visual Migraine Symptoms

    Ocular migraine symptoms generally include a small blind spot that affects your central vision in one eye. This blind spot gets larger, making it impossible for you to drive safely or read with the affected eye.

    In some cases, the entire visual field of one eye may be affected. Generally, the episode lasts less than an hour.

    Visual migraine symptoms can vary, and may include:

    Visual migraines often appear suddenly and may create the sensation of looking through a cracked window. The visual migraine aura usually moves across your field of view and disappears within 30 minutes. 

  • A flickering blind spot in the center or near the center of your field of view

  • A wavy or zigzag ring of colored light surrounding a central blind spot

  • A blind spot that slowly migrates across your visual field

  • The symptoms of a visual migraine typically affect both eyes and last less than 30 minutes. A migraine headache may occur shortly after the symptoms of a visual migraine subside or no headache may occur.

    If you’re experiencing a blind spot or other visual disturbance and you’re not sure if it’s an ocular migraine or a visual migraine , cover one eye at a time. If the visual disturbance affects just one eye, it’s probably an ocular migraine. If it affects both eyes, it’s likely a visual migraine.

    What Causes Dizziness And Blurred Vision

    Dizziness and blurred vision can be triggered by various conditions, a reaction to medication and even stress. Whether symptoms are mild or severe, it is important to pinpoint what may have caused dizziness or blurry vision to occur.

    Depending on the underlying cause, occurrences of blurred vision and dizziness are often accompanied by nausea, headache and light-headedness, among other symptoms. If blurred vision and dizziness are prolonged or other serious symptoms develop, contact a doctor.

    Pseudotumor Cerebri Isnt As Scary As It Sounds But It Needs To Be Treated Right Away

    Children with blurred vision and headache or double vision may be experiencing increased pressure inside the skull. Sometimes theres no obvious cause. Often, the condition is pseudotumor cerebri.

    Pseudotumor cerebri in adults is associated with obesity and is much more frequent in women. In children who havent started puberty, pseudotumor cerebri happens equally among boys and girls and is not associated with weight, according to Darren M. Farber, D.O., pediatric neurologist with Norton Childrens Neuroscience Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of  Medicine.

    Primary care physicians may look for signs of optic nerve swelling and refer patients to a neurologist. A neurologist will check the pressure in the skull and order an MRI to rule out a tumor.

    As the name suggests, pseudotumor cerebri symptoms mimic those of an actual tumor. Another name for it is idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

    Who Gets Migraines What Are The Risk Factors

    Its difficult to predict who may get a migraine and who may not, but there are risk factors that may make you more vulnerable. These risk factors include:

    • Genetics: Up to 80% of people who get migraine headaches have a first-degree relative with the disease.
    • Gender. Migraine headaches happen to women more than men, especially women between the ages of 15 and 55. Its likely more common in women because of the influence of hormones.
    • Stress level. You may get migraines more often if youre high-stress. Stress can trigger a migraine.
    • Smoking.

    What Is An Ocular Migraine

    A Fool

    An ocular migraine is a rare condition characterized by temporary vision loss or even temporary blindness in one eye. Ocular migraines are caused by reduced blood flow or spasms of blood vessels in the retina or behind the eye.

    In an ocular migraine, vision in the affected eye generally returns to normal within an hour. Ocular migraines can be painless or they can occur along with a migraine headache. Ocular migraines are also called retinal migraines.

    Unfortunately, “ocular migraine” often is used to describe a much more common condition called a visual migraine or migraine aura.

    Visual migraines also cause temporary vision disturbances. But the vision problems caused by visual migraines affect both eyes, not just one eye, and tend to be somewhat shorter usually around 20 minutes in duration.

    Now, lets take a closer look at ocular migraines and visual migraines .

    What Do Visual Disturbances Look Like

    • Black spots, threads, wiggly lines that float across your vision. We call these floaters. This visual disturbance can occur with or without flashes of light. 
    • Patches of shimmering light or flashing lights.
    • Psychedelic colours, distorted colours and shapes, or kaleidoscope vision.
    • Zig-zag patterns or dark spots in your vision.

    These are all associated with visual aura of migraine.

    Ask The Doctor: Blurry Vision And Headache

    Q.I experienced a minute of blurred vision during a headache today. Is that cause for concern?

    A. While temporary blurred vision usually does not indicate a serious underlying health problem, on occasion it can. In people over age 60, I am more concerned about that symptom, because it can be sign of a transient ischemic attack , also called a ministroke. The fact that your vision problem accompanied a headache could well indicate that you are suffering from a common type of headachemigraine. Migraines don’t threaten permanent damage to your brain, whereas a TIA is a sign that a person is at risk for an impending stroke. Strokes can cause permanent brain damage. If you are younger than 60, if you have had headaches accompanied by visual problems multiple times in the past, or if you have been diagnosed as having migraine headaches, I’d feel even more confident that your symptoms are caused by this condition.

    Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D.

    Treatment Of Blurred Vision And Headache

    Treatment of blurred vision and headache depends on the underlying cause of these symptoms. If your symptoms only occurred once, then you are unlikely to require any treatment.

    If your symptoms are caused by low blood sugar, then eating a fast-acting carbohydrate such as candy or fruit juice will rapidly boost your blood sugar levels.

    In case the symptoms are being caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, then you will be treated with oxygen, either by being placed in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber or through a mask.

    Depending on the cause of your blurred vision and headache, the treatment may include:

    • Blood thinners
    • Pain medication such as aspirin
    • Migraine drugs
    • Surgery

    When Might A Child’s Headache Be A Symptom Of A More Serious Health Problem

    A more serious problem may exist when a childs headaches:

    • Increase in number , keep getting worse, or wont go away.
    • Dont respond to simple therapy.
    • Wake the child from sleep.
    • Are triggered by exertion, coughing, bending, or strenuous activity.
    • Occur along with balance problems, loss of muscle strength in the limbs, vision problems, dizziness, or loss of consciousness.
    • Occur along with a stiff neck or fever.
    • Occur along with projectile vomiting, blurred vision, and confusion.
    • Occur and there is no family history of similar headaches.
    • Occur and there is a family history of neurological disease.

    Neurologic symptoms that may indicate a brain problem as the cause of the headache include:

    • Seizures loss of consciousness.
    • Ataxia loss of muscle coordination, especially of the arms and legs .
    • Lethargy sluggish, sleepy, tiredness.
    • Weakness especially on one side of the body.
    • Nausea and vomiting especially if it occurs in the early morning or is becoming more frequent or more severe.
    • Visual problems blurred vision, double vision, decreased vision, eye movement problems, blind spots.
    • Personality change acting inappropriate or a change from previous behavior, feeling sad or depressed, rapid mood swings from happy to sad or sad to happy.
    • Slurred speech or numbness/tingling.

    Other signs of a more serious health problem:

    Fundus Exam Found Optic Nerve Hyperemia In Both Eyes Rpe Loss In The Right Macula And Scattered Yellow

    A 28-year-old woman presented to the department of ophthalmology at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center with 2 months of headaches and progressive visual changes in both eyes.

    Two months before presentation, she was evaluated by an outside retina specialist for headache and blurred vision in her right eye. At that time, she was noted to have mild anterior uveitis in the right eye, but by report, no etiology was identified, and no medications were started. Over the next month, our patient developed several small scotomas in her left eye in addition to the blurred vision in her right eye. She also had several severe migraines with one requiring pain medication in the emergency department, which was unusual for her.

    The patients medical history was notable for migraines, obesity, ADHD and a remote history of microscopic colitis diagnosed by biopsy for which she had never received therapy. A comprehensive review of systems was positive for headaches and neck stiffness. On social history, she did not use illicit drugs or alcohol. She had multiple sexual partners in the last 2 years, including a current relationship with a same-sex partner. She had no preceding viral illness before her vision changes and had no other systemic symptoms during this period. She did not have eye redness, discharge, pain or irritation and had no flashes or floaters.

    Examination

    What is your diagnosis?

    See answer below.

    Blurred vision

    Case continued

    Inpatient admission

    Discussion

    Case continued

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