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What is an Optical Migraine?

505275_migraineOptical Migraine also known as Retinal or Acephalgic or Ocular or Visual Migraine falls under the category of neurological syndromes. Unlike migraine which is characterized by recurring, unbearable headaches, this type of migraine does not bring either mild or chronic pain with it. In other words, the victim of this migraine does not experience headache.

Patients of Retinal Migraine are at a greater risk of developing other types of migraines whose typical feature is headache.

Symptoms of Optical Migraine:

  • Experiencing visual disturbances. These include                appearance of flashing lights in zigzag form. This type of aura initially begins as small visual marches passing in front of the eye that gradually faded away. The patient may also experience blind spots in the vision field. These attacks may show their affect for several minutes to an hour.
  • Presence of migraine aura.
  • Nausea.
  • Photophobia.
  • Hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body).

What Causes Visual Migraine?

Medical experts have not been able to find out the exact cause of this migraine. Some factors that could be contributing are:

  • Temporary brain edema.
  • Interruptions in blood circulation within the brain.
  • Endocrine disturbances.
  • High levels of stress.
  • Improper and inadequate food habits.
  • Changes in and during menstrual period in women.
  • Foods such as chicken liver, caffeine containing stuff, food products containing monosodium glutamate and nitrate preserved meats can trigger Ocular Migraine.

Treating Optical Migraine:

  • Pain killing medications such as aspirin and sedatives.
  • Antidepressants, beta-blockers and antiepileptic medications can work wonders in most of the patients.
  • A dark room should be chosen to rest or sleep which can alleviate the symptoms.
  • Triptans can be taken in the form of injection or nasal spray or orally if you experience headache along with the Acephalgic Migraine aura.

If you have any of the above symptoms, start observing the type and duration of symptoms before you seek medical advice. Never take migraines for granted!

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