Symptoms Of Ocular Migraines
Q: I have had ocular migraines for many years. I have the classic jagged strobe effect. No big deal usually.
But last year I had a weird and different thing happen that still worries me. All of a sudden my eyes crossed and stuck that way. My fingertips went sort of numb, and the side of my tongue and bottom lip went numb. When I tried to explain this to the nurse, I sounded like a stroke victim.
I saw a neurologist, and he felt it was just a more intense type of ocular migraine. Have you ever heard of this? The MRI showed nothing significant. S.
A: By definition, this would not be a classic ophthalmic migraine, because the symptoms are outside of what is seen. Therefore, I personally would not classify it as a “more intense type of ophthalmic migraine.” These symptoms could be associated with some of the more common non-ophthalmic migraine phenomena. Dr. Slonim
Q: My husband began having symptoms of something very strange. We looked online and found your site. It turns out he was having an ocular migraine.
Your explanation and even better the visual little flash movie explained exactly what he was having and put our minds at ease. We were both thinking brain tumor or aneurysm . So thank you for putting together such an amazingly informative website.
In reviewing your log, you or your doctor may find a consistent pattern of triggers related to your episodes. Avoiding these triggers might help reduce the frequency of your episodes. Dr. Slonim
What Causes Ocular And Visual Migraines
Currently, there is limited research on what causes ocular and visual migraines.
Although studies have shown a change in blood flow into the eye during ocular migraines,the exact cause of this change remains unclear.
However, scientists sometimes associate the condition with genetics, meaning it may run in the family.
According to research, up to 70% of migraine patients have a personal or family history of migraine.2
Migraine triggers play a vital role in the onset and frequency of migraines.
Common migraine triggers include:3
What Kind Of Doctor Should I See For My Migraines
Headaches disrupt daily activities A visit with your primary care physician is a good place to start for headaches that are not disabling but more of a nuisance. However, immobilizing headaches may warrant a trip to a neurologist. Patients should see a neurologist for any headache that is disabling, McLauchlin said.
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A Process Of Elimination
Why all the questions? Doctor want to rule out other types of head pain, such as sinus headaches and cluster headaches, as well as other potential causes. Red flags that something else is going on include fever, weight loss, runny nose, eye tearing or sudden onset of headaches. Doctors use a method called SNOOP to elicit whether any of these worrisome symptoms could be a sign of a serious health situation such as a brain aneurysm or brain tumors . Your physical exam will include vital signs and simple neurologic tests to help rule out those possibilities. In the rare case that your doctor finds cause for concern, blood tests and/or imaging studies will be ordered to pinpoint the root cause, says Dr. Seng.
Know Your Triggers Prevent Headaches
The more you know about what causes your headaches, the better prepared you are to prevent and stop them.
Many headaches, especially migraines, are triggered by certain foods, activities or changes to your environment. If you know your triggers, you can work to avoid them. Common triggers include:
Changes in your normal routine
Regular exercise and drinking plenty of water can help prevent headaches. Exercise reduces stress and helps relieve muscle tension.
Treatments and research
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How Are Headaches Treated
Provided one of the serious conditions noted above is not present, relatively simple treatment options can be considered. To treat symptoms and prevent the frequency and severity of headaches, physicians may try to identify headache “triggers,” such as stress or certain foods, and recommend treatment options including:
- preventive medications and treatments.
- lifestyle changes, including stress management and relaxation techniques.
- pain-relieving medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Children and adolescents should avoid taking aspirin. In rare cases, aspirin can cause Reye Syndrome, a serious and potentially fatal condition.
If your headache is the result of an underlying medical condition or injury, your physician will discuss treatment options with you.
When To Seek Emergency Care For A Headache
- Your headache is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, or blurry vision.
- Your headache is accompanied by weakness or loss of control of part of your body, speech, or vision. This could signal a stroke.
- Your headache is sudden and severe and is accompanied by a stiff neck or fever. This could be meningitis, an inflammation of the brain usually caused by a viral infection.
- Your headache is the worst headache of your life. The abrupt onset of a very severe headache could mean bleeding or a clot in the brain, according to the American Migraine Foundation.
Additional reporting by Becky Upham.
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Is My Life Disrupted Even A Little
Maybe youre functional. Maybe youre going to work, taking care of your kids or pet, or getting housework done. But do you feel like youre dragging yourself through every task? Do you feel like youre going to burn out? If everyday tasks are starting to feel difficult, its time to see the doctor for other options. You dont need to suffer.
Should I See An Eye Doctor About An Ocular Migraine
Despite the unsettling effects they have on our vision, ocular migraines are usually nothing to worry about. Typically, ocular migraine episodes resolve themselves after several minutes and do not require medical treatment. Symptoms can be relieved by closing your eyes, removing yourself from bright light, and taking a break from looking at a screen.
However, if you have frequent ocular migraines, or are experiencing an increase in their frequency, youll probably want to go in for a comprehensive eye exam. Ocular migraines may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition, such as a head injury, brain tumor, arterial problem, infection, or exposure to a toxic substance.
Retinal migraines arent the same as ocular migraines. Retinal migraines are much more serious. Rather than visual distortions, retinal migraines can temporarily cause severe vision loss or even blindness in the affected eye. Consult a doctor immediately if you begin to experience symptoms of retinal migraine.
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When Should You Consult A Neurosurgeon
If you experience a migraine, theres nothing wrong with going to the doctor. However, depending on the severity, you may want to consult a neurosurgeon. What exactly is a neurosurgeon? Theyre the best doctor for migraine treatment that specialises in brain and nervous system problems. As a result, theyre frequently consulted for migraines and headaches. Here are some indicators that its time to see a neurosurgeon:
- Your headaches are strong enough to keep you from working or spending time with your family.
- More than 15 headaches per month are a regular occurrence for you.
- You often use over-the-counter drugs .
- Youre seeing changes in your vision.
- Youve experienced a seizure with your headaches.
What Is A Migraine
No single test can diagnose migraines. But The International Headache Society publishes criteria for what a migraine is . For instance, the IHS describes migraines without aura as recurring headaches that last up to 72 hours, with characteristics like pain on one side of the head, a pulsating quality, and moderate or severe pain intensity. Migraine symptoms may include nausea or photophobia .1
Although theyre less common, migraines with aura have visual symptoms like seeing geometric patterns, flashing lights or possibly a shimmering effect prior to a migraine striking. Less than one quarter of migraine patients will experience aura. Those who do often have visual impairment starting five to 60 minutes before a migraine strikes.1
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What Are Migraines And How Do They Affect You
Migraine is a headache disorder caused by a neurological problem. There are two types of people: those who have an aura and those who dont. While these headaches can afflict anybody, they are more common in women than males. The discomfort might be severe enough to impede everyday activities, depending on the individual.
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.
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Treatment Especially For Cluster Headaches
Several treatments are available for people who have cluster headaches. Work with your doctor to discuss the pros, cons, and side effects. Select the right treatment for you and set up a schedule for prescription medicines.
Your doctor will probably prescribe two medicines. The first medicine is preventive. You take it regularly during the entire cluster period. It helps to reduce the number of headaches you get. The second medicine is reactive. You take it to relieve the pain that occurs from a cluster headache.
These medicines can be very effective. They can reduce the number of headaches you get as well as the severity. Cluster headaches often begin quickly. You may not be able to get medical help, so you should have your medicine available. Take this as soon as an attack begins. You may want to tell family or friends about your headaches and medicines. This way, they can help you when you have an attack. For some people, oral medicines do not work fast enough. For this reason, your doctor may prescribe another form of medicine. This could be a nasal spray, injection , or rectal suppository. Another treatment that works for some people is a local anesthetic. This is a numbing medicine that you apply to your nose.
At the start of a cluster headache, inhaling pure oxygen through a mask can help prevent the attack. However, this is not always practical, since the headaches come on quickly.
Have Your Migraines Changed
You may have settled into a routine with your migraine routine and know what to expect when one hits. But if a symptom changes in frequency or severity, or you have an unexpected or new trigger: doctor time.
The bottom line is that even though you may have gotten used to your pain and the side effects of it, you dont have to needlessly suffer. Having a supportive doctor and treatment plan can make all the difference in your quality of life.
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Migraines And How A Neurosurgeon Treats Them
They can help you with a variety of migraine treatments. What distinguishes them from family doctors? They have the ability to execute surgical operations that no one else can.
Nerve blocks are injections used to stop headaches in their tracks. Anaesthetic drugs will be injected into the base of the skull by the doctor. Theyll be able to alleviate the discomfort by inhibiting the occipital nerve. The operation, which is a temporary therapy, might last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Most people will have no adverse effects because it is well tolerated.
Treatments using pharmaceuticals
Preventative and abortive drugs are available from neurosurgeons. The former will lessen the frequency and intensity of migraines, whilst the latter will not.
Nerve Decompression Surgery
This technique relieves migraine discomfort by reducing pressure on the nerves around the skull. Its usually reserved for people who have severe daily headaches that dont react to medicines.
As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why you should seek treatment from a neurosurgeon for your migraines. Why put up with recurrent headaches when theres something you can do about it? What doctor to see for migraines. Visit Kauvery Hospital, Cantonment, to learn more about migraines and get the adequate treatment you require.
Do Migraines Show Up On Ct Scan
Imaging tests rarely help. Health care providers see many patients for headaches and most of them have migraines or headaches caused by tension. Both kinds of headaches can be very painful, but a CT scan or an MRI rarely shows why the headache occurs. Having a CT scan or MRI also does not help ease the pain.
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What To Expect After Your First Visit With A Neurologist
After your first visit with a neurologist, the next steps will vary. If theyre not able to diagnose migraine from your medical history or exam, they may ask you to keep a symptom log.
They may also send you for a variety of imaging tests to rule out any other diagnoses. If they want you to get any other assessments with other specialists, youll need to schedule those as needed.
If you do have a diagnosis of migraine, you may be prescribed medication based on your symptoms. Youll also get instructions for taking any medication they prescribe.
If you find that a medication doesnt work for you, the neurologist will work with you to find medication thats more effective. Theyll also talk with you about lifestyle changes that may help reduce symptoms and offer advice on how to identify any potential migraine triggers.
Comprehensive Diagnosis And Treatment
Outpatient treatment at the Headache Center includes education about headache disorders, the identification of headache triggers and the development of a headache treatment plan for management of the headache problem. In addition, our program offers an outpatient infusion center and an inpatient program which provides a safe and comfortable environment for treatment options such as medication detoxification, as well as intravenous medication to help break severe headache cycles. The inpatient setting can also help the patient get used to complex headache treatment regimens and provide monitoring for individuals with co-existing medical problems.
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When Should You Worry About An Ocular Migraine
Although the symptoms of ocular migraines can be frightening, the condition is harmless and short-lived in most cases. However, ocular migraines can indicate serious health problems, such as increased risk for stroke or severe carotid artery disease.
Its essential to see an eye doctor when you lose your eyesight suddenly for the first time or if your eyesight deteriorates to check for any serious conditions.
How Can The Doctor Tell What Type Of Headache I Have
You can help your doctor to diagnose your headache type by keeping a headache diary in the weeks leading up to your appointment. Your diary should record the number of days you have a headache, how severe your headache is and any other symptoms associated with your headache, such as nausea. A headache diary can also help your doctor look for patterns and triggers, which can help with your treatment.
It is important that you let your doctor know how your headache affects your day-to-day life and the impact it has on your partner, children, employer, work colleagues and friends.
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Why Choose Uhealth
Specialized headache services. We specialize in headaches, so you know you are getting neurologists with specific experience. When you meet with our specialists, they obtain an accurate diagnosis and develop a headache care plan that emphasizes prevention, risk reduction, safety, and return to well-being. Consultation and referral services are enriched with patient education and interdisciplinary referrals when appropriate.
A top-rated neurology team. Did you know that 30 percent of people who are sent to specialized centers for difficult seizures find out they were misdiagnosed? An inaccurate epilepsy diagnosis could mean years of costly and unnecessary medications. The expert physicians at our state-of-the-art International Comprehensive Epilepsy Center provide you with a comprehensive medical evaluation, so you get the right diagnosis and the right treatment the first time you are evaluated.
High case volume. Our neurologists are experienced and knowledgeable. The number of patients our department has cared for is impressive as an example, there are about 2,500 patients with movement disorders, 2000 patients with multiple sclerosis, 1000 patients with cognitive impairment, 1500 with stroke and about 300 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis .
What Are Headaches
A headache is pain experienced in any part of your head. It is a common condition, and in most cases, not a symptom of serious illness. There are many different types of headache and they can be caused by a range of different things. Headaches can occasionally be associated with serious illness or injury, and your doctor may decide you need further testing or urgent treatment.
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What Is A Headache
A headache is pain in the head or upper neck. The two major types of headaches are primary headaches, which are not associated with a medical condition or disease, and secondary headaches, which are caused by an injury or underlying illness, such as a concussion, bleeding in the brain, an infection or a brain tumor.
Primary headaches include tension, migraine and cluster headaches.
Symptoms of a tension headache include pressure and a band-like tightness that begins in the back of the head and upper neck, and gradually encircles the head.
Cluster headaches are headaches that occur in groups, or clusters, over a period of several weeks or months separated by headache-free periods of months or years. During the headache period, the cluster headache sufferer experiences several episodes of pain during the day, each of which lasts 30 to 90 minutes. These attacks, which often occur at the same time of day, include sharp, penetrating pain around or behind one eye, watering of the eye and a stuffy nose.
Migraine headaches cause intense, throbbing pain, often on one side of the head. Nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, sound and exertion often accompany migraines, which can last several hours or up to three days. Some migraine sufferers experience a visual disturbance called an aura prior to the onset of the migraine. Auras are flashing lights, wavy lines, blurry vision or blind spots.