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.
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 To Treat And Prevent Ocular Migraines
There is usually no treatment needed for an ocular migraine, as the symptoms disappear on their own within the hour. However, if you experience visual disturbances alongside a migraine headache, see your optician or GP for additional advice on treatment.;
The most common treatment for ocular migraines includes pain relief for headaches and being able to reduce your exposure to any known triggers. It may be helpful to make a diary of your diet and lifestyle, especially anything that happens just before an episode. These records could lead to an established pattern of what triggers your ocular migraines, allowing you to try and reduce the frequency.
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How To Get Rid Of An Ocular Migraine With The 3 Truths + Common Treatments
The most common treatment plan for ocular migranes is to make sure its nothing more serious and then go about a regular migraine treatment approach.
This usually means a life long sentence of medication.
Here at Migraine Professional we understand that its more important to focus on what is causing the underlying pathology to create the symptoms than it is to only address symptoms.
Of course you want to manage symptoms like pain, fatigue, brain fog and visual disturbances so they dont impair your life but you want to make sure you are going about a clear plan of action to deal with the causes.
If your brain is going through this electrical outagechoke uprevv or whatever you want to call it then you want to continually address and heal the causes of those.
This means we want to look at 3 different areas.
Symptoms Of Retinal Migraine
The symptoms of retinal migraine may include:
- partial or total loss of vision in 1 eye ;this usually lasts 10 to 20 minutes before vision gradually returns
- headache ;this may happen before, during or after the vision attack
It’s unusual for an episode of vision loss to last longer than an hour. The same eye is affected every time in almost all cases.
Vision may slowly become blurred or dimmed, or there may be flashes of light. Some people see a mosaic-like pattern of blank spots , which enlarge to cause total loss of vision.
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What Are The Causes
The exact causes of ocular migraines are not definitively established. However, many scientists think that the symptoms that you experience happen because of reduced blood flow to the brain. Spasm in the blood vessels is what causes a reduction in blood flow.
The source of visual disturbances in ocular migraines is the retinal blood vessels. Contrarily, the source of migraines with aura is the occipital cortex, which is located at the base of the skull.
Since the source of the problem in aura migraines is not the eyes but the brain, you will still experience the sensory disturbances even when you close your eyes.
What Should You Do If You Have An Ocular Migraine
If you note ocular migraine symptoms, your actions will depend on the severity of the symptoms and how much they affect your ability to function. Since ocular migraines are generally painless, you may be able to continue with your normal daily activities, especially if symptoms are confined to one eye or wear off quickly. You should also follow these steps:
Make sure that you are in a place where you do not require visual clarity. If you are on the road, for example, you should pull over as soon as it is possible to do so safely. If you suffer complete blindness, sit or lie down and wait for the migraine to pass. Ocular migraines may also be disorienting, so you may need to sit down while waiting for symptoms to stop.
See if you can isolate a trigger. If possible, note what is going on in your environment that could have triggered a migraine, whether you note that you are highly stressed, that there are extremely bright or flashing lights in the room, or that you have recently consumed a specific food.
Contact your doctor if needed. While ocular migraines are generally harmless, you should consult your doctor to rule out any larger problems, especially if you have recently had an ocular migraine for the first time or frequency appears to be increasing. In some cases, your doctor may be able to help you manage ocular migraines with medication. In other cases, they may work with you to help isolate a trigger, which can help you avoid potential future episodes.
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Treating And Coping With Migraines
Even if the migraines exist alone and are not a symptom of an underlying condition, they can still be debilitating and impact your life. If youre experiencing blind spots or vision disturbances, for example, you will want to wait until they pass before driving.
Ocular migraines will typically go away on their own within 30 minutes. You should rest and avoid triggers such as bright lights until the vision disturbances are gone.
There are both over the counter treatments and prescription medications that can be used to treat recurring migraines. Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or Excedrin migraine can be used to reduce the symptoms of a migraine once you already have them. Your doctor can prescribe you:
- beta blockers, to relax blood vessels
- calcium channel blockers, which can prevent the blood vessels from constricting
- anti-epileptics or antidepressants, which are sometimes used to treat and prevent migraines
Some of these prescription medications will be taken on a regular basis instead of an as-needed basis when you get the migraines.
If youre experiencing ocular migraine pain, you can:
- lie down or sit in a dark, quiet room
- massage your scalp with a lot of pressure
- put pressure on your temples
- put a damp towel over your forehead
Ocular Migraine Symptoms: How To Stop Them
Written and verified by Holly Hazen
Here are 10 tips to help deal with ocular migraine symptoms;so you know what they look like, and then what you can do to stop, reduce or relieve them.
Ocular migraines are rare and just like classic migraines it is important to learn and avoid your triggers and find ways to reduce your symptoms.
Ocular migraines are not necessarily associated with a headache or a migraine pain phase.
These episodes occur when the blood flow in the brain responds to a trigger.
These triggers can vary from bright lights, foods, medications or even hormones. Just like those associated with classical migraine headaches.
In response to these triggers, the brain may produce light patterns, which can include blind spots or zig-zag patterns. The ocular migraines are quite different from the regular migraines. It is quite normal to have an optical migraine aura without headaches.
Here are some symptoms you need to watch for:
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What Is Visual Disturbance
Visual disturbance is when you experience a short spell of flashing or shimmering of light in your sight. The symptoms normally last around twenty minutes before your sight returns to normal. Usually, there is no headache during the visual disturbance. A visual disturbance should not be confused with a retinal or ocular migraine where there is a partial or total loss of vision in one eye, normally with a headache.
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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What Causes Ocular And Visual Migraines
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:
Stress and lack of sleep also can trigger an ocular migraine or visual migraine.
What Does Retinal Migraine Look Like
The criteria for identifying retinal migraines include vision changes in one eye. These may consist of flickering lights or even temporary blindness. Visual symptoms tend to start gradually and last for up to an hour. A headache will also occur at the same time or within an hour of the vision problems.
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Visual Disturbance Of Migraine Is Short
The visual disturbances of migraine generally last less than an hour, most commonly 10-30 minutes. Sometimes they only last seconds. They may or may not be associated with a headache, and some individuals only experience the visual symptoms without headaches. The visual symptoms usually start before the headache but may occur during the headache.
To complicate the issue, migraine may change throughout life. The character of the headache may change, and the visual symptoms may change. The most common pattern is for the headaches to become less severe or even go away, with episodes of visual aura persisting. Some people only experience migraine-related visual symptoms, often without headache, starting at age 50 or later.
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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.
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Stay Calm This Shouldn’t Last Long
One of the best things which you can do is to stay calm.
Typically the ocular migraines last ten minutes to an hour and are not known to have long lasting effects.
The more you can relax and avoid stress until the symptoms disappear, the better off you will be.
Plus, once you learn your early warning signals of your ocular migraine symptoms, you will know what to do and feel more in control.
You can take action to take care of yourself faster.
Ophthalmic Migraine Occurs In The Visual Cortex
Ophthalmic migraine is a vision-loss symptom that occurs due to the aura phase of the common migraine headache. It can occur with or without a headache. An ophthalmic migraine takes place in the brain, which affects vision in both eyes, and is generally believed to originate at the occipital cortex rather than in the eye itself. For this reason it is experienced in both eyes, not just one eye. It is also known as a scintillating scotoma.
A scintillating scotoma can occur with or without a migraine headache. Scintillating means sparkling or shining, and a scotoma is a partial loss of vision or a blind spot in an otherwise normal visual field.
This condition is marked by a spasm, or spreading wave of spasms that arise in the occipital area of the brain . Related blood vessel spasm and redilation is likely linked to these electrical charges. The experience of a person suffering from this condition is a sparkling or flickering of lights, as well as dots, wavy lines, zigzags, arcs, camouflage patterns, or blurry areas toward the periphery of vision . Typically, the scotoma starts as a small visual disturbance that slowly starts growing over much of the visual field over about 15-20 minutes before disappearing completely.
A headache might follow the visual effect, ranging from mild to severe, or accompanied by feeling tired, depressed, or washed-out. Sometimes a sensory aura will occur at the same time or just after the visual aura.
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How Common Are Ocular Migraines
Q: Thank you for the information you have published about ocular migraines. Iâve had numerous episodes over the past five years, but most recently was last week when I was two and a half hours away from my home. It took over an hour for it to totally go away. I appreciate your explanation of the usual symptoms, because it described what I experienced to a âT.â
I had one question, though. Other sources on the Internet say this phenomenon is rare. But you say it is quite common. Is it? B.M.
A: Ophthalmic migraines are not rare, especially if you are a woman under age 40 with a history of migraines. Dr. Slonim
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Why Does An Ocular Migraine Happen
Its believed that ocular migraines have similar causes as a migraine headache. Both may have a genetic link, with those who have a family history of migraines being more susceptible to them.
The cause of ocular migraines can be down to reduced blood flow in the retina. The blood vessels to the eye suddenly narrow, reducing the blood flow to the eye. Many triggers may contribute to the onset of an ocular migraine, and they may differ from person to person.
Triggers can include stress, lack of sleep, smoking and certain foods like caffeine, chocolate or red wine. Ocular migraines are more common in women, and more common amongst those under 40.
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Treatment Options For Ocular Migraines
Ocular migraine is not well understood, and some treatments are supportive in nature, meant only to help deal with symptoms.
Certain medications can also be helpful in preventing an episode. Triptans, which are sometimes used to treat other types of migraines, are not typically used to treat ocular migraines. Some of the medications that may be used to treat ocular migraine include:
How Can I Treat Migraines Without Using Medicines
It is very important to remember that many of the most effective preventive treatments for migraines do not require any medications. Frequent aerobic exercise is an excellent example of an effective way to improve headaches. Other strategies may include better sleep habits, stress reduction, massage, yoga, and acupuncture.
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Headaches Behind The Eye In People Over 40
In particular, people over the age of 40 may begin experiencing headaches behind the eyes more frequently as they get older due to a condition called presbyopia. As the eyes age, it can become more difficult for them to focus on objects up-close, causing them to squint and strain in order to see more clearly. This strain can lead to feelings of pain behind the eyes, alongside soreness and redness.;
With other common conditions such as blurry vision, digital eye strain, and difficulty seeing up-close, its best to have your eyesight checked by an optician if youre concerned.;