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Optical Migraines

Updated on January 26, 2010
It is important to distinguish optical migraines from regular migraines
It is important to distinguish optical migraines from regular migraines

Migraines are nothing to take lightly. If you have ever had a migraine, then you know what I am talking about. Perhaps you have experienced some form of visual changes during your migraine. These are called optical migraines. They can occur with or without pain. Those that occur without pain are called silent migraines.

Before I talk about optical migraines, I would like to discuss what migraines are specifically. Migraines are a type of headache that is extremely painful. Migraines are recurring, meaning that they will happen over and over again. Migraines will usually only happen with one side of the head of the sufferer. Before one of these attacks, an aura will occur. An aura could be visual spots, flashes or many other symptoms. An aura will happen right before the migraine strikes.
Now that we know what migraines are, it is time to talk about optical migraines specifically.

An optical migraine involves an aura that comes before a migraine attack, but there usually no pain. It is a migraine aura unaccompanied by headache.These auras usually begin as small visual hallucinations of light that will cross the field of vision. Attacks like these will last from anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. An optical migraine can also be experienced as a blind spot in the field of vision.

While it is not completely known what causes migraines, there are several causes of migraines. It is best to avoid things like caffeine and alcohol. Migraines can also be caused by allergies, certain chemicals, and things like cigarette smoke.

You are more likely to suffer from optical migraines if you are a female than if you are a male. Females account for about 75% of all optical migraine sufferers. Most of the time, the cause for optical migraines includes genetics, so there is a great chance of inheriting optical migraines.

If you want to treat migraines, be they optical migraines or not, the most common medications that are used to treat these migraines are aspirin and sedatives. Antidepressants have also been known to help treat migraines. If you want to help yourself, then in addition to taking these medications, you can also rest while laying down in the dark.

Always pay attention to your migraine symptoms and discuss them with your doctor, so that you can decide on the best treatment for your migraines.


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