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What Do You See When You Have A Migraine

Ocular Migraines: Common Questions And Answers

What happens to your brain during a migraine – Marianne Schwarz

Below are some frequently asked questions about ocular migraines:

Can dehydration cause ocular migraines?

Dehydration is one of the triggers of ocular migraines. Keeping your body hydrated will help prevent or reduce the frequency of occurrence of migraines.

Can anxiety cause ocular migraines?

Just like dehydration, anxiety is also a trigger of ocular migraines. The symptoms of ocular migraines can also cause anxiety, which worsens ocular migraines.

Simple reassurance from your doctor will lower anxiety levels and decrease or eliminate ocular migraines.

Can high blood pressure cause ocular migraines?

Researchers are working to fully understand the relationship between high blood pressure and ocular migraines.

Current research points to the fact that migraine attacks are prevalent in people with high blood pressure.

Anyone suffering from high blood pressure is advised to get it under control, especially those with a known history of ocular migraines.

Are ocular migraines a symptom of a brain tumor?

A migraine that is accompanied by vision issues can be associated with certain tumors, such as the occipital lobe tumor.

Although this is a rare condition, migraines are common among patients with brain tumors.

Is an ocular migraine a sign of a stroke?

An ocular migraine is not necessarily a sign of a stroke, but can indicate increased risk.

However, research indicates that people with a history of ocular migraines are at a higher risk of stroke.

In this article

When Its Actually A Migraine

If you have a migraine, you may experience:

  • An aura, or light haze, in the minutes before migraine pain appears
  • Blurry vision
  • Pain on one side of your head
  • Light, touch, smell or sound sensitivity
  • Nausea

Occasional migraines can be brought on by:

  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Lack of food or hydration
  • Changes in the weather

In the case of a one-time migraine, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief.

What Happens When You’re Enjoying Yourself

When you’re enjoying yourself, on the other hand, a few wonderful things happen:

  • You are not experiencing fear, so you are depriving the pain of its fuel source, and your pain dissipates.
  • The pain is not as important to you .
  • You are training the brain to become more sensitized to pleasurable sensations rather than painful ones . How does your migraine brain get hyper-sensitized to pain?
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    What Else Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

    While there are no sure ways to keep from having migraine headaches, here are some things that may help:

    Eat regularly and do not skip meals.

    • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
    • Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise can help reduce tension as well as keep your weight in check. Obesity can contribute to migraines.
    • Keep a migraine journal to help you learn what triggers your migraines and what treatments are most helpful.

    Migraine Without Head Pain

    13 Things Not To Say To Someone With A Migraine

    Also called a Silent or Acephalgic Migraine, this type of migraine can be very alarming as you experience dizzying aura and other visual disturbances, nausea, and other phases of migraine, but no head pain. It can be triggered by any of a persons regular triggers, and those who get them are likely to experience other types of migraine, too. The International Headache Society classifies this type as typical aura without headache.

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    Finding The Right Doctor Can Be Difficult

    According to Cowan, there are only about 500 board-certified headache specialists in the entire United States. This translates to about one doctor for every 65,000 to 85,000 people who get migraines, depending on the estimate you use. If headaches are really interfering with your life, then you should see someone who knows a lot about headaches, he says. But this might have to be someone other than a headache specialist.

    Jacobson believes that the lack of headache specialists in the country, and around the world, reflects the fact that migraines arent taken seriously as an illness. Most doctors dont choose this field, she laments, because they think its just a headache.

    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.

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    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.

    The Headache Or Main Attack Stage

    Do you have a Migraine or a Neck Headache- we discussed how upper cervical and neck can cause both

    This stage involves moderate to severe head pain. The headache is typically throbbing and is made worse by movement. It is usually on one side of the head, especially at the start of an attack. However, you can get pain on both sides, or all over the head.

    Nausea and vomiting can happen at this stage, and you may feel sensitive to light, sound, smell and movement. Painkillers work best when taken early in this stage.

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    When To Call A Professional

    If you have a history of migraine, you should contact your doctor if you develop headaches that differ from your usual headache or other migraine symptoms. Examples include:

    • Headaches that get worse over time
    • New onset of migraine in a person over age 40
    • Severe headaches that start suddenly
    • Headaches that worsen with exercise, sexual intercourse, coughing or sneezing
    • Headaches with unusual symptoms such as passing out, loss of vision, or difficulty walking or speaking
    • Headaches that start after a head injury

    In addition, you may want to see your health care professional if you have headaches that do not get better with over-the-counter medications severe headaches that interrupt work or the enjoyment of daily activities or daily headaches.

    What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines

    Migraines are unique to each individual. Likewise, how migraines are managed is also unique. The best outcomes are usually achieved by learning and avoiding personal migraine triggers, managing symptoms, practicing preventive methods, following the advice of your healthcare provider and reporting any significant changes as soon as they occur.

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    A Guide To Ocular Migraine: Everything You Need To Know

    We have all experienced different types of headaches. Most adults get headaches now and then, but how do you know if its serious? But there is a throbbing excruciating pain in your head that usually signals that you do not have a normal headache.

    These are signs that you might be having a migraine. The most common neurological disorder is the migraine. It is estimated that a whopping 30 million Americans are suffering from migraines each year. What is even worse is that if you suffer from migraines, you are more likely to suffer a stroke.

    Different types of migraines are caused by different things, each with a different set of symptoms.

    An ocular migraine is a type of migraine that involves visual interference. Since some migraines, including the ocular migraine with aura, can show similar symptoms as life-threatening conditions, you need to know the differences and knowing when it as an emergency.

    What Is A Migraine Aura

    How To Tell If You Have A Headache Or A Migraine

    Migraine aura is considered a warning stage that sometimes occurs before the onset of a migraine headache. Migraine aura refers to any number of sensory disturbances, including dots, sparks or zigzags in your vision. Some people experience tinnitus, dizziness or even the inability to speak clearly.

    This condition may occur prior to or during a migraine attack usually 30 to 60 minutes prior to the head pain. It’s important to note that migraine aura doesn’t happen during every migraine episode.

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    Do You Have Any Recommendations For Other Migraine Symptoms I Experience Such As Nausea Or Vomiting

    While most doctors prescribe medications to help with pain management, you may also need something to help with other symptoms you experience as well, especially if these symptoms impact your ability to function on a daily basis. Its OK to ask your doctor about things you can do or medications you can take to help with these symptoms as well.

    Living With Migraines Takes Courage And Resilience

    Imagine how hard it is to drag yourself out of bed, in pain, day after day, and fight a disease that others think is stress induced or imagined, says Dumas. It takes courage to keep fighting.

    Kessel is encouraged by people who show up at Miles for Migraine events with a determination to spread awareness about their condition. If you want a cure for this disorder, you need to start advocating for yourself, she says. You need to get up and make some noise about your condition, and come out of the closet and not be silent.

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    What Treatment Options Are Available To Me Will These Treatment Options Decrease The Severity Or Frequency Of My Migraine Symptoms

    Medications are the most commonly prescribed treatments for migraine, but the exact combination of preventative meds and pain relievers will depend on specifics. Make sure to ask your doctor questions about any medications they recommend, including how they may interact with medications you already take, like birth control pills or psychiatric medications.

    Caffeine: Help Or Hindrance

    Migraine : What you need to know

    When combined with some pain medications, caffeine can help provide relief. Most migraine sufferers can drink a cup or two a day of coffee without any problems. However, too much caffeine can lead to headaches when the stimulant effect wears off. It can work the other way as well. If you are used to having a cup of coffee at about the same time every morning, you may get a headache if you sleep in and your coffee is delayed.

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    Are Migraines Fatal

    Most migraines don’t cause lasting harm.

    Rarely, you can have a complication called migrainous infarction. That’s when you have a stroke while you’re having a migraine. But there’s no evidence migraine can trigger a stroke.

    It’s extremely rare, but a hemiplegic migraine can sometimes lead to a coma or other serious complications.

    A very intense headache that starts suddenly can be a sign of another, more serious condition, like a stroke or aneurysm. Get medical help right away if this happens.

    What Is A Headache

    Headaches are unpleasant pains in your head that can cause pressure and aching. The pain can range from mild to severe, and they usually occur on both sides of your head. Some specific areas where headaches can occur include the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. A headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common headache type is a tension headache. Triggers for this headache type include stress, muscle strain, and anxiety.

    Tension headaches arent the only type of headache other headache types include:

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    Limits Of Medication Use

    Overuse of medications can sometimes lead to chronic headaches. You shouldn’t take prescribed medication more than two times per week. You can get rid of the chronic headaches by tapering and discontinuing medication — under a doctor’s supervision. Pain medicines containing narcotics should be taken only at the direction of your physician because they can be habit-forming.

    What Do You Think Is Causing My Migraine Attacks

    Menstrual Migraine

    While migraine is still a largely unstudied chronic illness, doctors have identified some possible causes of migraine, such as changes in the brainstem and trigeminal nerve, or imbalances in brain chemicals. Based on the details about your migraine, your doctor may be able to pinpoint some potential causes.

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    When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider

    • You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
    • You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
    • Your headache comes on suddenly.
    • You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.

    Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:

    • The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
    • Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.

    Migraine Triggers: What Causes Migraines

    Although there is not yet a definitive cause for migraines, researchers have noted that changes in brain chemicals, such as a decrease in the brain chemical serotonin, can trigger the condition. Other factors that may provoke a migraine include:

    • Bright lights
    • Alcohol or caffeinated drinks
    • Travel

    If youre uncertain what your migraine triggers are, your doctor may ask you to keep a headache journal. Recording your activities, the foods you eat, and the medications you take before your migraine strikes may help pinpoint your migraine triggers.

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    There’s No Doubt Migraines Affect People Around You

    Cancelled plans, shifted work loads, missed deadlines, disappointed faces. It’s what makes us feel guilty for a disease that’s not our fault. Yet you might be surprised to hear the kind, encouraging things people may say about you and your migraines.

    Migraine is a genetic neurological disorder for which there is no cure. Trouble is, many of the people around us, like friends, family members and co-workers, don’t understand that. When they trivialize migraines as just a headache, it’s infuriating, and can lead to broken relationships.

    My best friend admitted that cancelled plans frustrated her. But when we recalled the day she took me to the ER, she told me, “I had absolutely no idea. No idea of the suffering you endure. Not until I witnessed it at the hospital. I’m so sorry for you, every single time I hear about another attack. I admire your strength!”

    The 2015 CaMEO study examined how Chronic Migraines affect family members. As reported in Neurology, people with chronic migraines reported:

    • Reduced participation in family activities
    • Reduced enjoyment of quality time with partners
    • Cancelled plans and family vacations
    • Less enjoyment during vacations and important family events
    • Headaches made them easily annoyed with their partner and children
    • Headaches made their partner’s and children’s lives more difficult

    Should I Take Notes Or Keep A Journal About My Migraine Symptoms

    Talking while having an ocular migraine

    Many experts strongly recommend keeping a migraine journal if you experience chronic migraine. This handy tool can help you keep track of the details of your migraine, including the dates, times, intensity, and length of your migraine attacks. Similarly, a migraine journal can help you pinpoint triggers, find treatment methods and prevention measures that work, and eliminate treatments that arent effective for you. All of this information can be helpful for you and your doctor.

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    How Are Migraines Diagnosed

    Your doctor can diagnose migraines by the symptoms you describe. If the diagnosis is not clear, your doctor will perform a physical exam. Your doctor might want to do blood tests or imaging tests, such as an MRI or CAT scan of the brain. These tests can help ensure there are no other causes for the headache. You may also be asked to keep a headache journal. This can help your doctor identify the things that might cause your migraines.

    If headache pain is getting in the way of your daily activities, its time to see your family doctor. Read More

    When To Call A Doctor About Your Migraines

    If you’re not getting satisfactory relief from over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes, or if you’re taking over-the-counter medications more than 10 to 15 times per month, talk to your primary care physician about your headaches.

    “The evaluation of headaches usually starts with the primary care doctor, who assesses whether a patient has a common headache or something more serious,” says Santiago Mazuera Mejia, MD, a neurologist at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore, Maryland. “Primary care doctors often continue to see people with infrequent migraines. However, if at some point, there is a need for more complex treatments, patients usually go to neurologists and headache specialists who have additional training in preventive and acute treatments as well as nonmedical treatments.”

    It’s important to get evaluated by a doctor because taking over-the-counter medications too frequently can sometimes lead to serious side effects or actually make you get headaches more often.

    It’s helpful to keep a diary if you experience migraines because you may discover your triggers, which can inform which type of treatment is best for you. Write down what time your migraines occur, how long they last, how you slept the night before, what you ate/drank that day and when, how you felt emotionally that day, etc. Then bring that information to your doctor.

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