Holiday alert: Help for visual migraines

The holidays are upon us!  Because so many people suffer from migraines & chronic headaches, especially during the stress of the holiday season, we’ve dedicated December to understanding this condition.

Have you ever experienced an ocular migraine?

With an ocular migraine, your vision becomes blurred or completely obscured for short periods of time. Many people worry they might be going blind – or have a tumor growing somewhere sinister.

Of course, consult with your physician.  But know this: often, these are symptoms of ocular migraines (or vision migraines).

Hearing the word migraine associated with these symptoms sometimes doesn’t make sense. There is often no pain with this type of vision loss.

As it turns out, not all migraines are painful.

What are the symptoms of an ocular migraine?

Ocular migraine symptoms can vary. Typically, they last anywhere from just a few minutes to 30 minutes.

When you’re experiencing a vision migraine you might see a small spot in your central vision which enlarges as the migraine progresses. This spot could flash, flicker, wave or zig-zag. As it enlarges, it typically moves across your field of vision.

What causes visual migraines?

It’s unclear exactly what causes an ocular migraine. Some specialists believe they are caused by spasms in your retina’s blood vessels. (Retinas are the delicate lining in the back of your eye.) Other specialist believe they are caused by changes that spread across the nerve cells of your retina.

Regardless of the cause, ocular migraines are similar to regular migraines, in that sufferers experience the same triggers for both.

Triggers for visual migraines include:

  • Bright lights (like: fluorescent bulbs, car headlights, retail store lighting)
  • Food and beverages (like: aged cheese, alcohol, and caffeine)
  • Scents (like: perfume, scented detergent, and cigarette smoke)
  • Stress (like: squealing children, traveling, and entertaining relatives)

It’s normal to be scared at the onset of an ocular migraine. Any interruption to your normal vision can cause you to panic. Remember to remain calm. Try to find a dark, quiet space where you can rest while the ocular migraine passes.

How can chiropractic care help ocular migraines?

The underlying principle of chiropractic care is this:  Your spine houses your central nervous system.  Any time your spine is out of alignment (called subluxation), it puts an enormous amount pressure on your central nervous system.
Your central nervous system is responsible for the healthy operation of your sensory organs – including, of course, your eyes.

Many chiropractic patients in our clinic have experienced nothing short of miraculous results when it comes to relief from migraines of all kinds.

Do you suffer from visual migraines – or any other kind of chronic, severe headaches?  

Book an appointment to see us today – and experience health, happiness, and peace over this holiday season!


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