Pearls And Other Issues
- A retinal migraine a rare phenomenon that usually affects monocular vision transiently.
- Duration of symptoms on average is 5 to 20 minutes.
- The prognosis for an ocular migraine is good.
- The frequency and intensity of the headache typically decrease.
- During prolonged periods of retinal, choroidal, or optic nerve hypoxia, permanent visual loss may occur.
How Common Are Ocular Migraines
They are more common in women and have a genetic link to them.
Its always more important to focus on the epigenetic and exposomic links because you can change those and they will affect your health far more.
Below is a great video representation of the migraine aura as it grows.
Massage Around Your Nostrils
1.Put your index fingers on either side of your nostrils and slowly start your small circular movements in a downward pressure. So not pressing into the nose but onto your face and bone.
2.Remember to use gentle pressure here.
3.You can do this massage daily if youd like, only for five minutes or so to help prevent a future attack.
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Visual Impairments Associated With Migraine Can Happen With Or Without A Headache
Ocular Migraine is a term that has been used to refer to a number of migraine subtypes that are characterized by a variety of visual disturbances including visual loss, blind spots, zig-zag lines, or seeing stars. Unlike other forms of migraine, they may occur without any accompanying head pain. Its not uncommon for a single patient to experience a wide range of visual symptoms. Heres what you need to know to better understand the migraine subtypes that affect vision.
Other Ocular Migraine Triggers
Despite the fact little is known about the condition and how to treat it, several other possible triggers have been identified through research. Here are a few more ways you should investigate when trying to find out how to prevent ocular migraines:
- Working at the computer for too long
- Eating smoked meats, items with cheese, chocolate, red wine, caffeinated drinks, etc.
- Watching too much television
- Reading for extended periods without a break
- Any activity that requires intense and long-term focus
- Low blood sugar
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Symptoms Of An Ocular Migraine
The International Headache Society has defined the symptoms that are typical of a retinal or ocular migraine. These symptoms are monocular , temporary, and include:
- Scintillations: seeing something that looks like flash of light, lightning, or a sparkle. Halos or lines may also be seen.
- Scotoma: a temporary blind spot, black spot, blurriness, or a partial loss of vision.
- Blindness: partial or complete blindness in one eye.
- Migraine headache: The symptoms in the eye are accompanied by a headache that can last from a few hours to a few days. The headache is often located on the same side of the head as the eye that is experiencing symptoms.
- Other: Symptoms that typically occur with a migraine may also occur, such as light sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting.
Other types of migraines can cause visual problems, especially flashes of light and blind spots in the field of vision. The important distinction is that with an ocular migraine, these symptoms only occur in one eye.
It can be difficult to determine which eye is experiencing the symptoms, or if they are taking place in both eyes. A qualified healthcare professional can help determine the location of the symptoms while they are occurring.
If the symptoms cant be assessed at that time, a patient may try covering one eye. With one eye covered, it may be easier to tell which eye is affected, or if the problem is occurring in both eyes.
Protect Yourself From Light Exposure
One thing that might help is the wearing of sunglasses inside or out! Polarized sunglasses, in particular, can help protect your eyes from the glare of interior lighting or computers.
There are times when the light is actually the trigger for the ocular migraine and sitting or lying in a dark room can be very beneficial.
If this is not possible, shut your eyes and try to rest for at least 15 minutes.
For example, looking at this picture feels like it is triggering a migraine for me. So glare is definitely a trigger for me. But I never leave the house without my polarized or migraine tinted sunglasses.
These are great:
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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.
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 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.
Our Free Guide Gives You 5 Tools For Every Day Migraine Prevention
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Ocular Migraine Vs Retinal Migraine
People may use the terms ocular migraine and retinal migraine to mean the same thing, but there are some important differences. An ocular migraine generally occurs in both eyes. A retinal migraine is rare and tends to occur in just one eye, when vessels that supply the eye with blood narrow. It usually lasts about 10 to 20 minutes and sometimes up to an hour. Symptoms are similar to ocular migraine and may also include complete, temporary vision loss in one eye.
Once the retinal migraine passes, blood vessels open back up and your vision returns to normal. Its a good idea to have retinal migraines checked out by a doctor to make sure symptoms are not signaling a more serious problem.
How To Relieve Eye Pain From Migraine
According to traditional Chinese medicine , the eyes relate to the internal organs: the iris is the liver the corners of the eyes relate to the heart zang the upper and lower eyelids are related to the spleen the pupil the kidney. There are more, but let’s not get too detailed here.
While using acupuncture needles is considered to be more effective, you can also use your fingertips for massaging these points right at home, when you need to.
I’ve written all about an acupressure point routine you can use for migraines here – Want A Good Migraine Pressure Point Routine?
Here are some good points to help relieve eye migraine:
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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:
What Does An Ocular Migraine Feel Like
An ocular migraine begins with a sparkling and shimmering area that has a jagged border and that gradually spreads outward. It causes a small blinding spot that enlarges and blocks your vision temporarily. The brightness begins at the edge of your field of vision and gradually spreads to your line of vision. Zigzag lines or stars may also be seen. It is almost like looking through a broken window. Scotoma is the area where vision is disrupted and the whole episode is called a positive aura.
An ocular migraine is often referred to differently by different experts. While many call it a visual migraine or a typical aura without headache, the International Headache Society classifies such a migraine as a silent or acephalgic migraine.
Though it seems serious since you lose your vision partially, the condition is usually harmless and will resolve on its own within 2030 minutes without any medical intervention. Complete visual darkness, or a negative aura, is not a symptom of an ocular migraine, but of some other underlying condition that needs to be investigated.2
Apart from visual disturbances, ocular migraines can also interfere with your speech. You may also feel tingling, weakness, or numbness in your hands and legs, experience size or space distortions, or feel confused. All of these, however, are rare.3
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Effects Of The Pandemic On People With Migraines
Various factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are not related to direct viral infection may have increased the frequency or severity of migraines in some people.
A September 2020 study found that in a group of 1,018 people with migraines in Kuwait, more than half reported an increase in migraine frequency or severity from before the pandemic.
Factors such as lack of communication with a neurologist and increased stress could have played a role.
Only 4 percent of study participants developed COVID-19, but 63.4 percent of those people said their migraines got worse.
It is possible that ocular migraines may persist in some people even after recovering from COVID-19.
Some people develop headaches that last for months after COVID-19. For example, in one case study, a woman experienced persistent loss of smell and headache 80 days after the onset of symptoms.
During her COVID-19 illness, she suffered from migraine-like headaches, but reported that her subsequent headaches felt different.
Researchers are still trying to understand why some people develop long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms after recovering from their initial infection. Increased inflammation and neurological damage may play a role.
Eye migraines often refer to headaches that cause visual disturbances. It can also refer to a specific type of migraine that causes vision loss called a retinal migraine.
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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How Is An Ocular Migraine Diagnosed
Ocular migraine is diagnosed with a patient history, physical examination, and other tests such as:
- Eye screening test
- Patient sits in a chair in a room with the lights out
- A doctor looks through the lenses of the ophthalmoscope to examine the eyes
- Patient may be asked to look in various directions during the examination
What Is An Ocular Migraine
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 .
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Should I Be Concerned About Ocular Migraines
Q: I recently found out by looking on the Web that my symptoms point to ocular migraines. I have also discovered that flashing lights sometimes bring these on. I am an intensive care unit nurse who believes in not running to doctors for every little thing, but should I be concerned?
Dr. Jerry W. Swanson responds:
Not necessarily, but here’s what you should know. Ocular is a term that usually refers to a condition known as migraine visual aura, which involves episodes of passing visual disturbances, such as bright spots, affecting both eyes. Visual aura usually precedes a migraine . However, it may also occur during a headache. In some cases, as with ocular migraine, people experience the symptoms of visual aura without getting a headache. The symptoms of an aura usually begin slowly and last 15 to 30 minutes, although they sometimes persist for up to an hour.
Often, the symptoms of ocular migraine begin near the center of vision as either a bright spot or area of visual loss that spreads to involve one-quarter or one-half of the visual field. Zigzag lines or other shapes may also appear. For some people, these shapes resemble the walls of a medieval fortress. In fact, the term “fortification spectrum” is used by neurologists to describe it.
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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.
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What Are The Acute Treatments For Migraine
An isolated visual migraine, without headache, typically does not require any acute treatment, since the visual symptoms resolve on their own fairly quickly. The first few times someone experiences a visual migraine it usually causes a lot of anxiety. Once someone has become familiar with the symptoms of a visual migraine, new episodes no longer cause the same level of anxiety.
It can be helpful to try to rest during the episode. Some patients benefit from other strategies, including eating something, having caffeine, or taking an over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
Patients in whom the visual symptoms are accompanied by a severe headache often benefit from additional therapies. The goal of these medications is to try to cut short the headache before it becomes too severe. Some patients find naproxen , which is a stronger anti-inflammatory medication, to be helpful. Other patients try a class of medications known as triptans.
Triptans are specially designed to work on receptors on blood vessels and brain cells in order to halt a migraine at an early stage. Although there are a number of different triptans, made by several different pharmaceutical companies, each of these is approximately equally effective. Triptans are often taken orally, but also come as injections and nasal sprays. These medicines are generally not considered safe in patients with a history of strokes, heart attacks, or other vascular diseases.