How Our Diets Affect Migraine
Many things can trigger a migraine attack, including what we eat and drink.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, foods that trigger migraine may only do so when combined with other triggers. But this combination and any trigger in general is highly individualized, making research difficult.
Theres no such thing as a universal migraine trigger. But there are some common triggers that can cause or contribute to migraine episodes in some people.
Too much caffeine and experiencing caffeine withdrawal can cause migraine or headaches.
But according to the American Migraine Foundation, caffeine can actually help stop oncoming migraine attacks. It can also offer headache relief with occasional use.
Foods and drinks with caffeine include:
one study , over 35% of the participants with migraine reported that alcohol was one of their common triggers.
Red wine in particular was reported as a trigger in over 77% of the participants who reported alcohol as a trigger.
Alcohol can cause dehydration, which is a significant contributor in developing headaches.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, chocolate is thought to be the second most common trigger for migraine attacks after alcohol. They say it affects an estimated 22 percent of people who experience migraine.
Chocolate contains both caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine, which may trigger headaches in some people.
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.
Should I See A Doctor For An Ocular Migraine
You should see your doctor after your first instance of visual disturbance. They will likely conduct some examinations on your eyes to determine whether or not your ocular migraine is something to be worried about. After that, you may just be given advice on how to manage the symptoms and the pain, and advised to contact your doctor again if they increase in frequency or severity. You might also be prescribed medication to help reduce the intensity of the migraines.
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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
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.
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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.
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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What Causes A Vestibular Migraine
Similarly to other types of migraine, vestibular migraines can be triggered by eating certain foods, the amount of caffeine you are having as well as stress. You might find that particular activities can worsen your symptoms or if you havent had as much sleep as you need. Taking care of yourself by eating regularly, finding time in your day to relax as well as exercise can help to keep you feeling well, and prevent migraine attacks.
Signs And Causes Of Ocular Migraines
Signs and Causes of Ocular MigrainesMany people experience different kinds of migraines even without knowing. An ocular migraine occurs when you experience a blind spot, floating lines, patterns that look like they are zigzagging and flashes of lights. This flash of light can sometimes be accompanied by feelings of headache behind the eyes.What is an ocular migraine?An ocular migraine is a type of migraine that is caused by a set of visual disturbances which may or may not be accompanied by pain. This type of migraine is sometimes known as ophthalmic migraines. These migraines are characterized by a small blind spot at the center of ones vision. This blind spot starts to enlarge later and is often accompanied by flashing lights as well as other visual manifestations. Ocular migraines are typically nothing to worry about. A small percentage, around fourteen percent of the worlds population usually experience some type of migraine which include, retinal, traditional, ocular and other types of migraines.Types of Migraines
This type of migraine is mainly caused by a traditional migraine, which leads to an intense pain, usually on one side of the head. This type of pain can last for hours, or even days and is usually accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light. When experiencing ocular migraine, it can sometimes be followed by pain, but are usually more concentrates around the affected eye.
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Retinal Migraine Occurs In One Eye
Retinal migraine usually occurs in one eye, and there may be an abnormal spread of electrical activity in the retina. The migraine may also be caused by the sudden constriction or blockage behind, or in, an eye. It may occur with, or without, a throbbing headache at the side of the head. The patient may also simultaneously experience sensitivity to light or nausea. The temporary loss or distortion of vision in one eye makes it difficult to conduct close visual work and makes it dangerous to drive. This type of migraine is generally of short duration, an hour or less, and then vision returns to normal. However, some researchers have found that irreversible vision loss is also possible.
Retinal migraine, as defined by the International Headache Society, is actually fairly uncommon. Most cases are diagnosed as ophthalmic migraine.
Why Do I Get A Headache With An Ocular Migraine
Ocular migraines dont always have accompanying head pain or headache like a normal migraine. Ocular migraines causes. An ocular migraine happens when the blood flow to the eye becomes restricted due to a sudden narrowing of the blood vessels. Once the vessels relax, normal blood flow returns and symptoms clear.
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Migraines Can Be Managed With Proper Care And Treatment
In the United States alone, strokes account for nearly140,000 deaths every single year. If you or a loved one are experiencing a stroke, seek immediate medical attention to prevent long-term damage and disability. According to the CDC, Patients who arrive at the emergency room within 3 hours of their first symptoms often have less disability 3 months after a stroke than those who received delayed care.
Understanding your migraines and your specific migraine triggers may help you avoid or at least minimize the occurrence of these disorienting episodes. However, even with the most robust prevention, migraines will still occur for many sufferers. With the inherent elevated stroke risk associated with all migraines , its crucial to know how to recognize the symptomatic discrepancies between the two, and act fast if faced with a potential stroke.
If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke, you know that it can have a significant impact on ones life. Here at Saebo, we are committed to stroke support and recovery to improve the overall quality of life for all survivors and their families.Saebo offers a wide range of products that combine cutting-edge technology with evidence-based rehabilitation techniques. Our offerings and network of Saebo-trained therapists can help you or a loved one to obtain all the necessary tools to maximize stroke recovery.
What Is The Best Medicine For Ocular Migraine
Treatment for retinal migraine
- aspirin to reduce pain and inflammation.
- a beta-blocker which may help relax blood vessels.
- a calcium channel blocker which may help prevent blood vessels constricting.
- a tricyclic antidepressant which may help prevent migraine.
- anti-epileptics which may help prevent migraine.
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Ocular Migraines And Stroke
Henry HoffmanThursday, September 27th, 2018
Today, migraines are considered the most common neurological disorder according to the Journal of Stroke, and, in the United States alone, about30 million people suffer from these debilitating headaches. Research has determined that all migraineurs are at a higher risk of suffering a stroke, and this risk factor is potentiallydoubled or tripled for individuals who suffer from migraines with visual disturbances collectively known as aura.
Unfortunately, migraines with aura exhibit similar symptoms to those associated with certain life-threatening conditions, namelytransient ischemic attacks and strokes. For this reason, many migraineurs may mistake early stroke warning signs for classic migraine symptoms. Telling the difference and recognizing a medical emergency for what it is can be difficult, but isnt impossible.
Can Perimenopause Cause Ocular Migraines
If you experience these symptoms, you’re most likely having an ocular migraine. Ocular migraines seem to run in families. They have been linked to estrogen, a female hormone that fluctuates during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, or with use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapies.
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What Are The ‘red Flags’ That My Visual Symptoms Are Not Due To Migraine
The typical symptoms of a visual migraine are positive, meaning that there is something shimmering or sparkling that is disrupting the vision. Migraines are less likely to cause “negative” symptoms of pure visual darkness. An episode of visual darkness typically requires additional evaluation for other conditions, including a mini-stroke .
What Triggers An Ocular Migraine
Ocular migraines can be triggered by a number of factors. Quite often, people are genetically predisposed to suffering more from migraines, especially women aged under 40. Otherwise, ocular migraines can be brought on by:
- Bending over or standing up quickly
- High altitude or changing weather
- Bright lights
- Consumption of certain foods, caffeine or alcohol
- Changes in hormone levels e.g. pregnancy or menopause
After your first episode, it is important to visit your doctor to check if there are any underlying conditions that caused your ocular migraine. Ocular migraines sometimes occur as a side effect of a number of health issues including:
- Brain tumours
- Inflammation in the brain
Finding out the cause of your ocular migraine could potentially help you get treatment for a more serious condition that you didnt know you had.
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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
Migraine Aura With Visual Disturbances
Migraine is a neurological condition that often causes severe headaches. Migraines tend to run in families.
A migraine aura is experienced by approximately 25 percent of people with a migraine, either before or at the same time as a migraine episode.
Typically, people with migraines with aura do not experience all of their migraine episodes, only some of them.
An aura is a temporary visual, auditory, motor, or other sensory change. Visual disturbances can be:
Of the people who experience an aura, about 99 percent have at least one visual symptom with some of their auras.
Some people with a history of migraines report worsening migraine episodes during COVID-19. Some people without a history of migraines report having migraine-like headaches.
A 2020 study found that of 47 people with COVID-19 who reported having a headache, 24 people reported having migraine-like headaches, while 40 percent had symptoms of a tension headache.
Before the development of COVID-19, only 12 of the study participants had previously experienced migraine episodes.
According to a June 2020 research report, the most commonly reported neurological symptoms of COVID-19 are headache and loss of smell.
Serious neurological complications such as stroke or seizures have also been reported, although these are not common with COVID-19.
The most common eye symptoms were:
- dry eyes or a foreign body sensation
- Eye pain
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How Long Do Ocular Migraines Last
Most of the time, ocular migraines are relatively short-lived in duration. Sometimes, they last for as little as 20-30 minutes before disappearing completely. In other cases, especially if they are accompanied by more traditional migraine symptoms, ocular migraines may last longer. If your vision does not return within an hour, contact a doctor, or seek emergency care to ensure your migraine symptoms were not caused by something more serious.
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.
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What Are The Preventive Treatments For Migraine
Many patients with isolated visual migraines, without severe headaches, have relatively infrequent episodes that do not require specific preventive treatments. If a patient is aware of the particular triggers that seem to bring on an episode, then those triggers can be avoided.
In patients where the pattern of migraines includes frequent, severe headaches, it is very reasonable to consider additional preventive treatments. The main goal for any of these strategies is to reduce the overall frequency and severity of the headaches. None of the preventive treatments is a magic bullet that is 100% effective. For example, it would be considered successful if a preventive treatment helped reduce the number of severe headaches from 8 per month to 2-4 per month.
There are numerous medications that can be used as a preventive treatment for migraine. One medication that is used commonly, particularly because it has no side effects, is vitamin B2 . Approximately 100mg of riboflavin daily is thought to improve migraine headaches . One common side effect of riboflavin is that the urine turns bright yellow. Other herbal medications used to reduce migraine headaches include petasites and feverfew.
Can Poor Vision Trigger A Migraine
If you have poor vision, you may squint a lot or hold items up close or far away from your face in order to see them clearly. This can have a negative impact on your vision over time. You could also strain your eyes by reading in poor lighting. When your eyes are constantly straining to see properly, it could trigger a migraine. Having a comprehensive eye exam by a trusted eye doctor is one step you can take to make sure poor vision is one less thing that could trigger a migraine for you.
Additionally, there are eye conditions that can trigger migraines including glaucoma. Glaucoma causes the pressure to build up in the eye and damage the optic nerve. In order to relieve these migraines, the conditions must be treated.
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