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Help for Your Holiday Migraine

Santa with a migraine

The holidays are upon us, and for some people, that means getting through some stressful situations. Shoreline Vision is dedicated to providing helpful tips to help alleviate the symptoms that come along with headaches and migraines brought on by the holidays.

Continue reading below to see how migraines affect your vision and what you can do to reduce the effects.

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is a typical problem that has to do with the human brain. It typically consists of a throbbing headache, in some cases on one side. The pain gets worse when you move.

A lot of people with migraines will experience visual symptoms before experiencing the pain. This is called a classic migraine. You may see zigzag lines, shimmering or colored lights, or flares of light in one side of your vision. These symptoms can last up to 30 minutes.

You can also possess these visual signs and symptoms without the head pain. This is called a migraine variant.

With migraine headaches, you might be sensitive to light, sound and smells. You might also be nauseous or vomit.

What is an Ocular Migraine?

Ocular migraines are painless, short-term visual disruptions that can affect just one or each of the eyes. Even though they could be scary, ocular migraine headaches typically are harmless and self-resolve with no prescription medication within 20 to 30 minutes.

Other terms used by eye doctors to describe ocular migraines include ophthalmic migraines, retinal migraines and eye migraines.

If an ocular migraine-like vision disturbance is followed by a throbbing, generally one-sided headache, this is called a “migraine with aura” (formerly referred to as a classic migraine), and the visual disruption is described as an aura instead of an ocular migraine.

Migraine auras normally are observable in nature, but they can easily involve disturbances of hearing, speech or smell; progressing numbness or tingling in the face or arms or legs; or generalized weakness.

It’s also conceivable, though less typical, for an ocular migraine and a migraine headache to occur simultaneously, causing visual disruptions and unilateral (one-sided) or bilateral (two-sided) head pain simultaneously, or for an ocular migraine to follow a migraine headache.

Ocular Migraine Symptoms

Men and women with ocular migraines can have an assortment of visual symptoms.

You might possibly see a little, enlarging dead spot (scotoma) in your main vision with bright, flashing or flickering illuminations (scintillations), or wavy or zig-zag lines surrounding the dead spot. The blind spot usually expands and may move across your visual field.

This entire migraine phenomenon may end in just a couple of moments, but usually lasts up to 30 minutes.

Approximately 60 percent of migraine sufferers additionally experience a “prodrome” that happens days or weeks before the migraine attack. Symptoms of a migraine prodrome can be understated and may include adjustments in mood, cravings for certain foods items, or a general feeling of being tired.

What Causes an Ocular Migraine?

Ocular migraines are thought to possess the very same triggers as migraine headaches.

Migraines most commonly have an effect on adults in their 30s and 40s, but they commonly start at puberty and also can affect children. Women are up to three times more likely than men to have migraines.

Typical migraine “triggers” which can easily cause a susceptible person to have a migraine attack (including ophthalmic or ocular migraines) include certain foods, like aged cheeses, caffeinated drinks, red wine, smoked meats, and chocolate.

Food additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), and artificial sweeteners also can trigger migraines in some individuals.

Other potential migraine triggers include cigarette smoke, fragrances and other strong odors, glaring or flickering lights, lack of sleep and psychological and mental stress.

Ocular Migraine Treatment and Prevention

Due to the fact that they generally are harmless and normally resolve on their own within just a half hour, ocular migraines generally require no therapy.

If you are driving or carrying out other tasks that require good vision when an ocular migraine occurs, cease what you are doing and relax until your vision returns to normal.

If you experience visual disruptions that belong to a migraine with aura, or you wish to prevent forthcoming ophthalmic migraines or migraine headache attacks, it’s a smart idea to see your general doctor for an exam and advice.

Also, you should think about having a detailed eye examination with an eye doctor or ophthalmologist when you experience unusual vision signs and symptoms to rule out sight-threatening disorders like a detached retina, which demands urgent attention.  Occasionally migraines are treated with medical BOTOX by your ophthalmologist.

It’s also a smart idea to keep a journal of your diet and activities just prior to your incidents of ocular migraine or migraine with aura to observe if you can recognize potential migraine triggers that you can avoid in the future.

If your ocular migraines or migraine headaches seem stress-related, you might be able to reduce the regularity of your migraine attacks without having medicine by simply:

  • Consuming healthful meals on a regular basis.
  • Avoiding common migraine triggers.
  • Getting a lot of sleep.
  • Trying stress-busters like yoga and massage.

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