Pain or no pain, optical migraines can be scary. Keep notes of what happens and when, and take them to your doctor so you can get the right diagnosis. The steps I recommend are below.
You may also hear this being referred to as an eye migraine because of the visual symptoms experienced.
Visual disturbances are common.
These are: flickering lights, zigzag patterns and blind spots.
I found these all to be really scary when I first experienced them, but now I know they are my early warning signs for my complicated migraine diagnosis. They are part of my migraine aura plus my eyes physically feel like they are being squashed.
This is not normally considered part of the optical type migraine attack. Typically there is no pain associated with this type of migraine. I can't even imagine a migraine without pain.
If you suffer from optical migraines on a regular basis, your work and lifestyle may be affected.
To be sure that you are actually experiencing optical migraines and not a more serious condition, see your physician asap.
Eye tests are typically done to ensure that there is nothing wrong with your eyes.
Do not be concerned if numerous tests are done to rule out other causes. This is the common process of elimination most doctors follow.
Once a diagnosis of optical migraines is made, then you need to determine what your triggers are. Keeping a migraine diary will help you and the physician to know what is actually going on.
Once you have identified the triggers that set your migraines in action, make every attempt to avoid them.
The next step should be to actually look at the triggers you have identified. Stress is a big trigger for most people's migraines. If stress sets your migraines off, step back and evaluate your types of stresses.
What can be done about them? Every step should be taken to minimize these stresses and if that is not possible, then you need to determine how you could deal with them better.
Look at other potential triggers such as your diet. There are definite common foods that are known to be migraine triggers. Caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, chocolate, preserved meats, MSG, red wine, and others, can be avoided for a while and then added back into your diet one at a time to see if they are migraine triggers for you.
Always schedule some "me" time.
Relaxing and rejuvenating can prove to work wonders in decreasing the frequency and severity of your migraines. Stay calm and attempt to relax using your breath. One of my favorite methods is Dr. Weil’s Breathing CD.
I use these:
The visual impairment can last anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. The symptoms can be frightening but they do not cause damage to the eye long-term.
They are considered harmless.
Wearing sunglasses or sitting in a darkened room can at times be beneficial.
I often wear my polarized sun glasses indoors as well as outdoors. The polarized lens will protect your eyes from glare.
If you happen to be driving when a migraine starts, you will most likely have to pull off the road.
Perhaps you can lay down in the back seat, or just recline fully and close your eyes for at least 10 minutes. It might be an idea to keep a hand towel in the car, or a hat to help keep the light out.
Always keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your car. You can also try yoga for your eyes! Yup - there is yoga for everything.
Healthy lifestyles are the rage today. Sit down and evaluate your lifestyle. You may get surprised if you actually analyze it. There are usually many things you would be better off not doing. Sometimes, just a change in some of these, can reduce the number of times you suffer migraines.
Negative people can be migraine triggers too! You might need to limit your exposure to them, even when they are family. Just some food for thought!
I recommend reading these posts:
And if you are struggling emotionally:
This is hard .... support is good!
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6 Steps to Deal with Optical Migraine