How do you recognize and treat an ocular migraine?

Contrary to what the name might suggest, it is not an eye disease but a migraine with a visual aura.

Migraines with a visual aura are much more commonly referred to as retinal migraine. Migraines are often preceded by a neurological sign called an “aura.”

These demonstrations, especially visual ones, settle into a few minutes and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. The migraine comes later and the aura disappears completely. The term accompanied migraine is used when the aura phase occurs at the same time as the headache.

Benign, these primary headaches can prove disabling when chronic. Young adults (between 30 and 40 years old) and especially women are more at risk.
In addition, however, there is a hereditary factor. People with a family history of migraines are therefore particularly at risk.

Young adults, usually between the ages of 30 and 40 and more commonly women, are those most at risk. Just like someone with migraines in the family.

Ocular migraines: aggravating factors

The crisis can be favored by changes in the state:

  • stress, anxiety;
  • change of mood;
  • alcohol, tobacco, consumption of chocolate and dairy products;
  • fasting or overeating;
  • light flashes;
  • period of menstruation;
  • contraceptives;
  • climatic fluctuations.

Ophthalmic migraine symptoms

Visual Aura Level

Neurological signs appear first, and most often at the visual level:

  • bright patches from the center of the visual field to the periphery;
  • seeing colored spots;
  • narrowing of the visual field;
  • Poor eyesight: Objects appear blurry or deformed…

However, other symptoms may also occur: numbness, tingling, difficulty speaking, nausea, dizziness…

headache stage

All of these early signs will gradually disappear in favor of the migraine itself. Almost always unilateral and pulsating, it can be accompanied by hypersensitivity to light and sound.

What About the Diagnosis In addition to the clinical examination, ocular migraines can be the subject of an MRI, a scanner.

Ocular migraines: what treatments?

Analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) combat headaches but have no effect on neurological symptoms. But triptans reduce the aura state. Be careful though, daily use of anti-inflammatory drugs is not recommended.

If the seizures recur frequently and are disabling, beta-blockers are prescribed, or antiseizure derivatives if the beta-blockers are poorly tolerated.

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