Do you occasionally or regularly suffer from migraines and are your headaches associated with impaired vision? Is your eyesight hindered by flickering spots that look almost like a camera flash? Then you are likely to have an ocular migraine or ophthalmic migraine. Don’t worry, migraines of this kind usually do not pose a health risk. Here are some suggestion on how you can react correctly if you or one of your loved ones develops ocular migraines.
Symptoms of Migraine
An ophthalmic migraine occurs without warning: from one second to the next, your eyesight is affected by black and white spots or spots. The field of vision is narrowed and it becomes difficult or even impossible to fixate on an object. This first phase can take 20 to 60 minutes.
This is followed by other symptoms: more or less severe headache that can last the whole day, nausea, vomiting. In some cases, equilibrium becomes disrupted or, more worryingly, the person is unable to form logical sentences.
The sudden occurrence of eye migraines is very limiting, as all activity usually has to be interrupted. This is especially true for activities that involve a screen (smartphone, computer, cinema, television …) or reading, as well as for all activities that are related to sight.
Under no circumstances should you sit behind the wheel of a car during a migraine attack. Because the visual disturbances hinder the recognition of the street signs and the other road users!
If your eye migraine occurs at work, you should inform your manager immediately. Explain what the disorder is and ask for a brief break from your work. Informing supervisors and employees is an important first step in dealing with your migraines: After the first attack, more such attacks are very likely to occur.
It is also typical of an ophthalmic migraine that it recurs at very irregular intervals over the course of life.
What To Do During
Unfortunately, there is often only one thing that can be done: Lie down in a darkened room at least until the visual disturbances have subsided. You can take medication for the headache or wait for it to go away on its own.
If a darkened place is not available (for example, because you are at work or in a shop), you should stop your activity as soon as possible and go to a quiet place. Under no circumstances should you sit behind the wheel to drive home.
Go to a quiet place, close your eyes and gently massage your eyelids with your fingertips. Take a deep breath, hold your breath, and then exhale slowly. If this technique is used in the first few minutes after the black and white spots appear, the ocular migraines sometimes subside quickly.
You should also always have sunglasses on hand. Also turn off the lights and close the shutters if possible.
If in doubt, visit your general practitioner, who can refer you to a specialist. Preferably someone that has studied migraine continuing education resources.
How to Self Diagnose?
It is very easy for health care professionals to identify an ophthalmic migraine. However, the causes are not yet entirely clear. Stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, nicotine, bright lights – obviously various factors can trigger a seizure in those affected.
Keep a diary in which, in addition to the date of the migraine attack, you write down everything that seems important to you: the food and drinks you have consumed, the weather, your psychological state, your bedtime … In time you will definitely succeed To recognize connections.