Do you suffer from migraines that affect your eyesight?

10 May 2014

Migraines can be the source of misery for thousands of suffers across Northern Ireland, with the intense throbbing that can be felt on one or both sides of the head that often affects the field of vision.

A migraine that involves visual disturbances is referred to as an ocular migraine and is commonly characterized by a person experiencing bright or flashing lights in a zigzag pattern, blind spots, temporary vision loss, and/or an oversensitivity to light.

Classic migraine vs. Ocular migraine

Migraines are a type of neurovascular headaches that are thought to be linked to the functioning of blood vessels in the brain and their impact on nearby nerves.

It is thought that the onset of a migraine could be linked to a chemical imbalance in the brain which can be triggered by a range of factors.

Classic migraines are often accompanied by an ‘aura’ which includes light sensitivity and the appearance of flashing lights in both eyes, whereas ocular migraines tend to involve light sensitivity, flashing lights as well as temporary vision loss in one eye only.

It can be difficult to distinguish if the migraines and associated symptoms are those of a classic or an ocular migraine, which is why it is worthwhile to get your eyesight checked to rule out any irregularities that could be triggering migraines.

What causes migraines?

It is important to realise what triggers a migraine episode in order to limit or prepare for their occurrence.

An experienced optometrist at any Optilase clinic in Northern Ireland can carry out a thorough eye exam which will check the inner and outer parts of the eye to rule out any signs of nerve damage, retinal detachment or the presence of any natural eyesight defects that could cause eye strain.

Eye strain caused by a natural design flaw in one or both eyes may be attributed to inducing migraines as the stress placed on the eye in order to see clearly could trigger a migraine.

Common triggers include:

  • Bright lights
  • Loud sounds
  • Strong odours
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Weather
  • Alcohol/Caffeine
  • Artificial additives/sweeteners
  • Hormonal imbalances during menstruation
  • Familial history of migraines

A thorough eye examination at Optilase Northern Ireland can identify any visual errors present in the eye which could potentially cause migraines.

To find out more, arrange your free consultation today on 08000 121 565.

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