Ophthalmic migraine: how to recognize and treat it?
Ophthalmic migraine: what causes?
Vascular dilation of arterioles leads to emergence of migraines. When these are accompanied by visual aura, this process is first preceded by a contraction of these small blood vessels. This is called vasoconstriction. This particular phase of ophthalmic migraine may persist for a quarter to an hour before headaches occur. Today, researchers have highlighted the genetic origin of migraine whose location is located on chromosome 8. However, the exact causes of this neurovascular disease are still unknown.
What are the triggers of a migraine attack?
Yes the stress is recognized as one of the main factors which increase the frequency between crises, others may also affect their occurrence:
- Alcohol consumption ;
- strong smells;
- lack of sleep ;
- the noises ;
- light flashes;
- temperature variations;
- hormonal fluctuations;
- the tobacco ;
- chocolate ;
- oral contraception;
- the young ;
- the changes of rhythm ...
Ophthalmic migraine: what symptoms?
Prior to headaches, the aura phase can result in various visual disturbances:
- scintillating scotomas: perceptible luminous points at the center of the visual field then at its periphery;
- a homonymous hemianopia of the same name: impossibility for both eyes to see right or left;
- black dots;
- geometric drawings.
In some people, disorders of sensitivity can occur - tingling, numbness - while speech disorders sometimes appear during a crisis. The patient may suffer from digestive disorders such as nausea or vomiting. Headaches are not present during this phase. They begin at the end, and intensify gradually. This pain is unilateral, and is characterized by its pulsatile character.
How is she diagnosed?
It is the characteristics of the headaches described by the patient that allow the physician to reach the diagnosis of ophthalmic migraine. To verify that visual disturbances are not caused by an underlying pathology, the practitioner may recommend additional examinations, such as to scan, the Doppler or againMRI.
Ophthalmic migraine: what treatment?
In general, the management of ophthalmic migraine is organized around two distinct therapeutic axes: the treatment of the crisis and the background treatment. Thus, the first aims to relieve as quickly as possible the different clinical manifestations of ophthalmic migraine. This involves the administration of antalgic or anti-inflammatory substances more or less powerful depending on the intensity of the pain felt. At the same time, a background treatment must be put in place. This is monitored daily, and tends to prevent the occurrence of crises or, at least, to reduce the frequency. Prophylactic drugs, such as beta-blockers, specific anti-migraine drugs or anti-depressants, may then be recommended by the doctor.
Can we prevent migraine attacks?
To reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, you must first know your illness and the factors that can trigger it. To achieve this, specialists recommend that their patients keep a kind of log of migraine, in which they will have to note various useful information: day, date, time, duration, trigger identified ... The simple act of identifying what can induce an ophthalmic migraine attack may be enough to stop it by adopting other lifestyle habits..
Read also :
⋙ Treatment of migraine: how to treat migraine attacks?
⋙ Causes of migraine: what are the possible triggers?
⋙ Migraines d'été: our personalized solutions