Ocular and Visual Migraines: Prevention and Treatment
An ocular migraine causes a huge discomfort to the body. It is alarming and can even cause temporary loss of vision. There are rare cases of the occurrence of this migraine but having the normal migraine can have devastating results. Migraines occur at different phases in life and whenever you feel like you are having this problem, then it is important that you discuss some of the available and suitable treatment options for you. It does not matter whether or not you are experiencing this problems for the first time.
What are Ocular Migraines?
This is a medical term that is used to refer to the type of migraine that causes discomfort and visual disturbances. There are also other forms of migraines that come with severe headache as the main characteristic and is associated with several other symptoms. However, ocular migraine is a unique type of migraine that occurs and caused temporary vision problem and can also occur without any pain or headaches.
Symptoms of Ocular Migraine
These symptoms are not the same in everybody as they can vary from one person to another. In addition to that, different individuals have different symptoms for each migraine that they face. However, ocular migraine is associated with common symptoms such as;
- Temporary vision loss: This occurs in that you are able to see but not as clearly as before. This situation is temporary and can be corrected most of the time.
- Temporary blindness: this on the other hand, affects only one eye. You will realize that one eye is seeing clearly as compared to the other.
- Blindspot: Blindspot occurs in one eye and affects the central vision in human beings.
- Headache: this is the most common symptom in every ocular migraine patient.
Migraine is used to refer to a condition where one experiences severe headache. This is the main symptom in ocular migraine patients and is always the cause of an alarm. However, there are some instances where patients have ocular migraine but do not experience any headaches or pain of any form. This is why it is important that you have regular eye checkup to determine the problem as early as possible.
How visual and ocular migraines differ
People confuse visual and ocular migraines to mean the same thing but the truth is that they are two distinctive terms. In addition to that, there are some cases where migraine that results to visual disturbances is referred to as optical migraine. The symptoms of visual and ocular migraines are somehow similar but there are unique symptoms that are only found in patients with visual migraine, which is also known as aural migraine.
- Wavy light rays
- Flickering blind spot
- Zig-zagging light.
- A blind spot that moves in the field of vision.
- Visual migraine aura.
In ocular migraine, the blind spot starts small then progresses as the condition worsens. When the spot is bigger, you will experience difficulties in seeing. Ocular migraines last for about 30 minutes or less most of the time, but other times, it can go up to an hour before your vision returns to normal.
The main difference that occurs between ocular and visual migraine is how the eyes are affected in the process. Ocular migraine usually affects one eye whereas visual migraine affects both eyes at the same time.
What causes ocular and visual migraine?
Most people believe that both ocular and visual migraines are caused by the similar factors. However, what causes both types of migraines are different, and the change arises in how the blood flows to the eye when the migraine occurs. The changes that occur might result to a reduction in the flow of blood to the eye which in turn affects the retina, which is at the back of the eye. The effective response of these changes is still unknown despite the fact that researchers have identified the changes in blood flow though imaging studies. Assumptions are that there is an outside trigger that activates the area within the brain, hence releasing the inflammatory substance. The inflammation affects the nerves and the blood vessels, present in the brain and the head.
In addition to that, genetics also plays an important role in a person’s risk of getting migraines. Patients who experience ocular migraines have a history of someone in their family or a relative with migraine headache.
How to prevent Migraines
For ocular migraine, you have to identify some of the things that trigger the migraine and completely avoid those things. Always ensure that you are keen on the activities you are undertaking before the migraine occurs. Moreover, you can keep a record and see the pattern that the migraines are taking for future reference. Furthermore, you can also improve your health to reduce the occurrences of these migraines. Eat healthy, have enough sleep at night and learn how to manage some of the stressful episodes you might be experiencing. When everything is under control, you reduce the occurrences of migraines. Prescription may also be given to be used when the migraine symptoms start to occur. You can keep the medication where you can easily reach it to help in early prevention of the ocular migraine.
How to handle ocular migraine
If you pay attention to the pattern that your ocular migraines take, then you might be able to understand some of the triggers of the migraine. Once you know the triggers, you will know what to avoid to reduce the occurrences of these migraines. In addition to that, ensure that you are safe when you start to experience ocular migraines because you might injure yourself because of your partial vision. For instance, if these symptoms occur when you are driving then pull the car to the side of the road and relax. Ensure that you only start driving again once the symptoms have subsided. Many patients have reported that the most effective way of treating the ocular migraines is to rest and relax. Go in a room with less or no people, lay down, close your eyes and relax until you are okay.