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.
How Is Complex Migraine Treated
Migraine treatment often depends upon the specific symptoms a person has.
To treat the immediate symptoms, you may take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like acetaminophen. Doctors may also prescribe anti-nausea medications or pain relief medications.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, if a person has hemiplegic migraine, a doctor doesnt usually prescribe treatments such as triptans and ergotamines. These medications can cause blood vessel constriction and dont usually address the symptoms.
Engaging in preventive strategies may also help reduce migraine days.
How Can You Tell The Difference
It can be hard to tell the difference between a migraine with aura and a TIA. Here’s what to look for:
- With a stroke, symptoms usually come on suddenly. With a migraine, they happen gradually the headache usually starts small and gets more painful.
- A stroke is more likely to have what are called “negative” symptoms such as you might lose sight in one eye or lose feeling in one of your hands or feet. A migraine is more likely to have “positive” symptoms. That means added sensations, like flashes in your vision or tingling in your skin.
- If you’re young, it’s more likely to be a migraine. If you’re older, it’s more likely to be a stroke, especially if you’ve never had a migraine before or you have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat.
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What Is A Stroke
During a stroke, blood flow to part of your brain is cut off. Cells there don’t get enough oxygen and start to die.
There can be two causes. Either a blood vessel is blocked, for instance with a blood clot, or a blood vessel tears or bursts and causes bleeding in or around the brain.
A sudden severe headache can be a sign of a stroke. Other common symptoms are:
- Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of your body
- Trouble speaking or trouble understanding others
- Vision problems in one or both eyes
- Sudden dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
The kind of stroke that tends to be mistaken for a migraine is called a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. It’s also known as a “mini stroke” because blood flow to your brain is cut off only for a short time. Symptoms are less severe than with a regular stroke and may last less than an hour.
Articles On Migraine Types
There are many names for this type of problem. Your doctor might also call it:
- Migraine-associated vertigo
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How Are Vestibular Migraines Diagnosed
Thereâs no blood or imaging test that can tell for sure. But the International Headache Society and other organizations recently set up the first criteria to help your doctor diagnose the disorder.
You could be having a vestibular migraine if:
- You have migraines or had them in the past.
- You have at least 5 episodes of vertigo that make you feel like you are spinning or moving. This isnât the same as motion sickness or feeling faint.
- These feelings last between 5 minutes to 72 hours.
- Your symptoms are moderate to severe. That means they stop you from doing everyday tasks or theyâre so bad you can’t do anything at all.
- At least half of the episodes happen with one of the following migraine symptoms:
- A headache that has two of these characteristics: is one-sided, pulsing, moderate to severe, or gets worse with activity
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Seeing shimmering or flashing lights in your vision
What Is Migraine Headache
Migraine is one of the types of headaches. Migraine is a pulsating or throbbing pain on one side of the head , often accompanied by nausea and extreme sensitivity of photophobia and phonophobia .
The duration of the migraine ranges from four to 72 hours and maybe less in children. From the world population, 5 to 25% of women and 2 to 10% of men have migraines. Migraine is predominant in people aged from 25 to 45 years, and following the 50thbirthday this percentage tends to decrease, especially in women.
The disease occurs in 3 to 10% of children, affecting both genders equally before puberty, but mostly in females after this phase.
Lets learn more about what causes migraines.
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What Is An Atypical Migraine
An atypical migraine is a migraine with a set of symptoms that do not quite fit into the classic migraine profile. Patients also experience some symptoms that are not associated with traditional migraines. Diagnosing atypical migraines can be tricky because there are a number of medical issues that can cause the symptoms and it is important to rule them out before firmly determining that a patient has atypical migraine. A doctor will take time with evaluation and diagnosis to ensure that an underlying issue is not missed.
A patient with an atypical migraine can experience facial and abdominal pains that are sometimes very severe. Neurological symptoms like weakness along one side of the body can be observed, along with visual disturbances, and the patient may develop nausea and vomiting. However, the distinctive aura that precedes traditional migraines is not present, and the patient may not have a headache or may have a headache that is not consistent with migraine.
Comorbidities And Confused Conditions
You may or may not be aware that having migraine with aura increases the risk of stroke. However, it is important to keep in mind that the overall risk is still low. For example, there are about 800,000 strokes annually. Half of these strokes occur among women, and 2,000 to 3,000 of these might be related to migraine, according to Dr. Gretchen Tietjen, the chair of the University of Toledos Department of Neurology. The risk seems to involve patients who experience aura and not necessarily those without aura. This is true whether you have the associated headache or not. Additionally, estrogen-containing hormone treatments are associated with even higher stroke risk in aura patients, especially when taken at higher doses.
Doctors may want to rule out rare presentations of other conditions, like a seizure or other visual patterns associated with migraine. This includes visual snowwhere people see white or black dots in their visual fieldsor other visual symptoms that might not be related to migraine. On a similar note, aura is commonly confused with stroke because they may present similarly. However, one of the most significant differences is that stroke has a sudden onset, whereas aura slowly ramps up.
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Who Suffers From Transient Aphasia
Anybody can experience transient aphasia as part of their migraines with aura. However, its much more likely to occur in people who already have a history of visual aura. You most likely wont experience aura with every migraine attack. Also, as you get older, your migraines may change.
In general, migraine impacts women more predominantly than men. So, they are more likely to have transient aphasia. The reason for this is that changes in hormone levels influence migraines. It also explains why migraine symptoms change after pregnancy. Its also quite common for older women in their years before menopause to suffer an uptick in migraine with aura.
Causes Of Atypical Migraine
The causes for atypical migraine are still unknown but are considered to be the result of environmental and genetic factors. It usually runs in families. There is a misconception about migraines to be common in people with high intelligence. Many biological events and triggers cause psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder that are responsible for atypical migraine. Following are some of the causes for atypical migraines.
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Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care For Migraines With Aura
What happens when there is a misalignment in the upper cervical area? The brainstem and spinal cord are put under pressure, causing them to malfunction. Instead of sending the correct signals to the brain and other parts of the body, they do the opposite. The slightest misalignment in the atlas may cause a chain reaction of problems that will affect the entire body. It can hinder the flow of blood and the cerebrospinal fluid. These malfunctions set up the environment for migraines and transient aphasia to appear.
Take that step towards a safer way of dealing with your migraines and transient aphasia. Search for the nearest upper cervical chiropractors in your area for help. They will take care of any misalignments in your upper cervical spine. As a result, they assist in restoring your bodys optimum health levels. Once properly realigned and corrected through a gentle and safe procedure, you can begin healing just like the patients in many case studies. They are delighted to discover that their migraine attacks either go away entirely or at least decrease in frequency and intensity.
to schedule a consultation today.
Medical Devices And Surgery
When anti-migraine medications do not work or instead result in Medication Overuse Headache then medical devices like Biofeedback and Neurostimulators play a role as a prevention measure. The biofeedback allows patients to be conscious of their physiological aspects. If a patient is aware of these physiological parameters, they try to control them which is helpful in the treatment of ailment. Neurostimulators are like pacemakers. They are implantable and have effective results in case of severe frequent attacks. A Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation device is approved in the USA for prevention against migraine attacks. The surgery for atypical migraine is recommended for patients who do not improve with medications. The surgery involves decompression of specific nerves around head and neck.
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What You Need To Know
- Vestibular migraine can cause vestibular or balance symptoms with or without an actual headache.
- There is almost always a history of motion sensitivity since childhood, and migraine headaches at some point in the person’s lifetime, even if they last occurred decades ago.
- Vestibular migraine isnt fully understood but seems to result from overlapping pathways that modulate pain and vestibular inputs into the brain.
- Many of the triggers for migraine headaches can cause a vestibular migraine.
How To Diagnosis A Migraine
Generally speaking, the diagnosis to detect if the patient has migraine is based on several essentially clinical criteria.
For example, the doctor asks about pain characteristics such as duration, location, pain characteristics, associated symptoms, triggering factors, medications that alleviate or have already been used, as well as to find out if there are alarming signs that make you think of differential diagnoses.
Ones answers to the above are clear then the doctor complete a physical and neurological examination. For some patients, additional tests are required to differentiate migraine from neurological, psychological and psychiatric conditions.
Tip: Stress and panic attacks can cause headaches similar to a migraine, so best to make sure that its not due to panic attacks. Here are the Panic Attacks Symptoms and Stress Symptoms in Men. Saying so, you should not get confused between Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks.
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Who Is At Risk For Atypical Migraines
Anyone can experience an atypical migraine at any age. People who have recurrent atypical migraines may find that the migraines come and go throughout their life. As you age, your migraine may transform in quality and present with different symptoms.
On average, as a person ages they may experience an increase in symptoms such as diarrhea, vertigo, and abdominal pressure. They may also experience less headache discomfort.
Although women tend to experience atypical migraines at a higher rate, men are also affected. Atypical migraines most commonly occur in people ages 30 to 50.
Doctors dont know why some people are more prone to atypical migraines than others. Like typical migraines, it usually runs in families and often has a trigger, such as diet or stress. Doctors have been able to help people modify their lifestyles, though, to help alleviate unwanted atypical migraine episodes.
What Can Cause Transient Aphasia
There is one theory behind the cause of transient aphasia. It traces back to a peculiar electrical wave in your brain called spreading cortical depression. This wave is the same process that triggers visual aura symptoms. The wave interrupts the normal flow of electrical currents between your neurons. As this effect spreads widely throughout the brain, the brain becomes confused by the messages received from the abnormal electrical signals.
The spreading cortical depression seems to push forward to aura symptoms, like seeing images that arent there. If the electrical wave spreads to areas of your brain related to speech, then its even more possible that you will experience trouble with your language and speech skills.
Brocas area of the brain is responsible for the ability to express languageto speak words or create sentences. Wernickes area manages the capability to understand or comprehend languages. When these brain regions get affected during a migraine with an aura attack, you may have difficulty understanding other people. Even when you can still speak, your words will become less likely to make clear sense.
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How Do You Prepare For Contingencies Concerning Transient Aphasia
Living with migraines can be unpredictable for many people, even more, if you experience aura symptoms like transient aphasia which can interrupt your life.
You can do a little planning in case of an attack:
- Prepare and create a simple text or text signal you can give to a trusted support person when you start to have symptoms.
- Identify a few of your loved ones or friends who are capable of helping you. Contact them in case of emergencies and make sure they know how they can help. Do this before youre in the middle of transient aphasia symptoms.
- Include in your plans what to do if youre not at home.
Living with migraine with aura symptoms like transient aphasia is very complicated and at times very scary. Coordinate with your doctor to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms and to obtain a treatment plan. Once seizures and stroke are no longer an issue after a complete check-up, then we can reach the diagnosis of migraines with aphasic aura.
How Is An Atypical Migraine Diagnosed
First, your doctor will review your medical history. Theyll then review the possible factors contributing to your migraines. This may include your eating habits and other lifestyle choices. They may also ask about your work or relationships with friends and family to isolate any stressors.
They can also help to identify any environmental triggers that have the potential to impact your next episode. To assist them with finding answers, theyll most likely ask you to keep a detailed diary of your daily events and eating habits. This information may help unlock answers that can help them make a diagnosis.
Your doctor may also suggest that you see a dentist for jaw pain or an eye doctor for an eye exam. Sometimes, examining these issues further can help eliminate any underlying issues contributing to atypical migraine episodes.
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Treatment For Aura Without Headache
Treating migraine aura without headache can be difficult. Since many medications take longer to work than auras duration, some people dont take any as-needed medication. Others, however, may find that associated symptoms like nausea and sensitivity to light and sound will improve if treated.
There are not a lot of tested medications for this type of migraine. Some medications have been tried, but there arent any good, large studies to guide them. There is nothing with FDA approval in this indication, and the condition is managed on a case-by-case basis.. Some smaller studies and case reports suggest the use of magnesium, aspirin and lamotrigine. For people with prolonged aura, there have been some treatment attempts with intranasal ketamine. These, however, are small studies, and this is very much an off-label use.
When Should I See A Doctor
Although atypical migraines are common, its best to seek an informed opinion from your doctor. They can provide ways to minimize any discomfort and help you to identify factors that make you more likely to have recurring episodes. Learning what factors affect you could help you reduce how frequently you get atypical migraines.
While evaluating your health history, your doctor can also identify if your symptoms mimic the onset of other diseases or disorders. They can let you know if there are steps you need to take to treat any underlying condition.
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