How to know if it is an Optical Migraine

Although optical migraines do not seem to fall into a specific definition, the overall idea of an optical migraine is one that includes a vision disturbance called an “aura”. This aura can be accompanied by the pain of an intense headache, or can be completely painless. Migraines that include an aura are rarer than common migraines that do not have any vision disturbances, and they can be very unsettling to the victim of the migraine. Normally, the vision disturbances that a patient suffers from last from five to twenty minutes and rarely cause any permanent damage to the eye. The auras can vary dramatically from patient to patient, and can even change from headache to headache.

What does an Aura look like?

The aura associated with an optical migraine usually presents prior to the onset of migraine pain. It can come in a variety of forms, including blind spots, zigzagging lines or other geometric patterns, flashing light or bright colors. Auras can also include “floaters” which are tiny objects that appear to float across the eye in a repetitive pattern. These unusual disturbances can cause nausea and dizziness, a sense of imbalance or a feeling of confusion. These symptoms of an optical migraine can occur in one or both eyes.

Treatment of an Optical Migraine

If you suffer from optical migraines, the best course of action is to lie down in a dark, quiet room with a cool compress over your eyes or forehead. Sleep is usually the best cure for one of these headaches, and will generally eliminate the aura as well. If you suffer from frequent optical migraines, or you find that the pain is too intense for over-the-counter medications, you can ask your doctor about prescription treatments. Prescription medications can either be given on a daily basis to act as a preventative measure, or can be used at the first sign of an optical migraine to diminish or even eliminate the subsequent symptoms.

It is thought that the creator of “Alice in Wonderland”, Lewis Carroll suffered from optical migraines. Perhaps it was his interesting auras in combination with a vivid imagination that managed to invent a world of shrinking people, talking flowers and disappearing cats. Today, many doctors refer to the “Alice in Wonderland Syndrome” when discussing the variety of auras that can take place during a migraine episode. The good news for optical migraine sufferers is that there are a number of treatment options available to decrease and even eliminate the number of optical migraines a person can get.

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