A migraine that involves visual disturbances is called as an ocular migraine. It is important to note that ocular migraines can develop with or without the pain of a classic migraine.
During an ocular migraine, the individual can see flashing lights or even stars. It might also cause blind spots in the field of vision. Ocular migraines can disrupt with the ability of the individual to perform even simple tasks such as writing, reading or driving. The symptoms are momentary and not considered as a serious condition.
The exact cause of ocular migraines is still unknown but a family history of migraine is considered as a risk factor. If an individual has not experienced an ocular migraine before, it is best to schedule an appointment with a doctor for proper assessment of the condition. If you want to learn measures to manage the symptoms of an ocular migraine, it is best to enroll in a class on first aid today.
Role of genetics
Always remember that there is a genetic link to migraine. When a family member has this condition, there is a possibility that the individual might also experience one. If the individual has a family history of migraine, it increases the risk of the individual to experience them.
Migraine is often linked to the female hormone estrogen. This hormone controls the chemicals in the brain that affect the sensation of pain. Among women, the level of hormones fluctuates due to the menstrual cycle, menopause and pregnancy. The hormonal level is also affected by using oral contraceptives and hormonal replacement therapies.
What are the triggers?
Many individuals can identify the triggers but based on research, it is more likely a combination of factors that trigger migraine. The triggers tend to vary for each individual.
- Loud sounds
- Bright lights
- Strong odors
- Changing weather
- Anxiety and stress
- Excess intake of caffeine or withdrawal
- Alcoholic beverages especially red wine
- Foods that contain nitrates, tyramine and MSG
- Artificial sweeteners
The individual can keep a diary to identify the triggers of ocular migraine. It should include the diet, sleep habits, exercise and menstruation.
Possible underlying conditions
Oftentimes, the headaches accompanied by aura can be a symptom of an underlying health condition which includes the following:
- Brain tumor
- Head injury
- Ischemic stroke
- Hemorrhagic stroke
- Arterial dissection
- Arteriovenous malformation
- Cerebral vasculitis
- Inflammation caused the encephalitis or meningitis
- Spinal fluid leak
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Exposure or withdrawal from toxic substances
- Head, spine or neck structural abnormalities
In a study conducted, it was revealed that an ocular migraine with an aura is a contributing factor to the development of a heart attack or a stroke. Women who suffer from migraines and utilize new forms of oral contraceptives also face a higher risk for the development of blood clots.