Visual migraine is a type of migraine known also as ocular migraine and ophthalmic migraine. Similar to the common migraine, its cause is vascular; that is, it involves the blood vessels. Whereas the typical migraine affects the arteries located in the surface of the brain, it affects the veins that supply blood to the vision center.
During a visual migraine episode, the sufferer experiences visual disturbances that typically last for fifteen to thirty minutes. It usually starts as a shimmering light with a semi-circular shape and jagged edges, seen in the peripheral vision and later expands to become more central. The ability to see is obscured within the jagged area. A headache may accompany the disturbance but does not occur in all cases. The more common symptoms that come with this are nausea and vomiting and a heightened sensitivity to light. Although the root cause of this particular migraine is not known, some of its common triggers are identified as fatigue, depression, dehydration, eyestrain, stress, alcohol, certain foods, and a shift in estrogen levels.
Diagnosing visual migraine may require visits to the ophthalmologist and neurologist. This is to make sure that the visual disturbances are not caused by an underlying eye condition such as a detached retina or a blood clot in the brain. Once this has been established, then proper treatment can be provided.
Certainly, this is not fatal nor does it cause any damage to the brain or eyes. And since no pain comes with it, treatment is usually unnecessary unless a headache arises during an episode. However, if the attacks are frequent, medications may have to be administered. If the visual migraine occurs with a headache, over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen can be taken to relieve the pain. In addition, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and aspirin are known to prevent these migraine attacks because they help keep the arteries in their normal size. Medications should be taken as soon as the first sign of the aura is felt. During the attack, the vision may be so hampered that doing other activities could be impossible. In these times, the patient should relax and wait for the said migraine to end. Bright lights and sounds should be avoided because they could potentially worsen the symptoms.
Having a visual migraine attack, though most of the times painless, can be frightening, especially for those who experience it for the first time. If anyone encounters any of the symptoms associated with this type of migraine, he should consult his physician immediately. This migraine, by itself, usually requires no treatment but the symptoms could be signs of a more serious condition. Knowing about a disease and how to deal with it is the best treatment of all.Ways of Treating Visual Migraine Migraine Medications