Ocular Migraine 101

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Ocular Migraines

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What Is An Ocular Migraine?

According to doctors at WebMD, ocular migraines may trigger temporary vision loss that can last up to an hour, with or after suffering from the symptoms of a migraine. These are typically referred to as “one eye” or retinal migraines.

Your chance of suffering from this type of migraine is small because it affects less than one percent of migraine cases. It’s very difficult to isolate the triggers for this migraine pain because experts believe many of the symptoms reported have other causal factors.

[alert-warning]Work with your doctor to gather the facts and systematically through trial and error, figure out whether or not you are one of the minority suffering from an ocular migraine without headache.[/alert-warning]

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Migraine Symptoms – Ocular

The International Headache Society reports this problems stem from vision issues with one eye only, including:

  • Bright flashing lights
  • Temporary blindness in just one eye
  • Random blind spots within your field of vision in one eye

[alert-announce]In extreme scenarios vision loss may be a result of complex issues with the ocular migraine.[/alert-announce]

72 hours is generally the longest these symptoms will last, and the characteristics are:

  • Just one side or your head is affected
  • The feeling is pulsating in rhythm
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Pain intensity increases with exercise
  • Weird sensitivity to lights, sound, and particular smells
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

It’s critical to note if you are battling what you think are causes of a migraine in both eyes, then what you are experiencing is not an ocular migraine without headache.

Migraine with aura – This involves may involve flashing lights in both eyes and has more complex migraine symptoms than an ocular migraine. The migraine with aura affects up to 20 percent of migraine cases.

How do you figure out if it’s an ocular migraine or migraine with aura?

Cover each eye separately to determine if you are experiences the symptoms in one or both eyes.

Triggers of Ocular Migraines

There is no concrete cause but researchers believe the issue is related to…

  • Blood vessel spasms in the back of the eye
  • The nerve cells of the retina are experiences abnormal changes

If you happen to suffer from ocular migraine without headache, you increase your risk of developing permanent blindness in one eye. Preventative measures may help to protect you against permanent vision loss, which makes it ultra-important to make sure you speak with your healthcare provider about it.

Nobody can turn back the arms of time!

 
migraines_small(RELATED: Migraines Explained: learn everything from causes to symptoms to treatments)

 

 

Initial Steps to Diagnose Ocular Migraine Pain

Up front your doctor will ask you to relay all the symptoms you’re experiencing and make sure you don’t have a more serious health issue that is triggering your vision problems. Some of these are:

  • Inflammation of the blood vessels – giant cell arteritis
  • Blood flow spasms within the eye
  • Temporary lack of blood flow to the eye called amauraosis fugax
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Abnormal blood clotting diseases like sickle cell disease
  • Abuse of drugs

Treatment of Ocular Migraines

  • Aspirin
  • Divalproex sodium or other drugs used to treat and prevent epilepsy
  • Amitriptyline or other Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Beta-blockers

Ocular Migraines In Children

According to Healthtap.com, ocular migraines in children is possible. In fact it’s been reported in children as young as two years-old. Be sure to get a thorough examination done to rule out more serious issues.

Migraines in Children

It’s important to understand that a migraine isn’t must a nasty headache. Migrainereserachfoundation.org reports it’s a neurological disease that’s associated with various symptoms. Some of which include:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • insane sensitivity to smells, lights or sound
  • abdominal pain
  • mood swings
  • extreme sensitivity to touch

Kids usually don’t have as long or as severe attacks of migraine pain compared to adults. However the chronic migraine symptoms can be just as devastating, affecting quality of life and more importantly overall attitude toward life.

  • Up to ten percent of kids in school suffer from migraines
  • More than half of migraine sufferers have their first episode prior to the age of 12
  • As kids, boys suffer more than girls
  • The coin flips after puberty and women experience more migraines than men
  • By the age of seventeen up to 10 percent of boys and 25 percent of girls have experienced chronic migraine symptoms
  • Up to 30 percent of children that suffer from migraines continue to suffer as adults

What information should you take with you to the doctor when looking for a diagnosis?

  • Details of the pain (timing, length, and location)
  • Possible triggers
  • Pain intensity level
  • How often and when they suffer
  • How disabling are these episodes
  • Family history
  • Current or previous treatment
  • Symptoms or auras

What you are looking for specifically is identifying patterns before, during, and after a migraine episode. The more details the better because this will help your healthcare provide to isolate the symptoms and triggers to create a take-action plan of attack, with the focus of prevention first.

You definitely don’t want to prescribe prescription medication for your child if you can avoid it. This is why it’s so important to work with the experts quickly to get to the root of the headache pain, ocular migraine or not.

Bottom line is, ocular migraines can be prevented and they’re treatable. Make a point of gathering the information you need to take action so that chronic migraine symptoms don’t control your life.