THE USUAL CAUSES OF HEADACHE AND OPHTHALMIC MIGRAINE

Optical defects (myopia, hypermetropia, and astigmatism) and presbyopia, when insufficiently or inadequately corrected by spectacles, contact lenses or refractive surgery, are the most frequent causes of headache.

Insufficient coordination between the eyes is equally a frequent cause of headache.

High eye pressure, inflammations of the cornea, iris, corpus ciliaris and of the eye fundus are other relatively frequent causes of headache.

Consult your Eye Doctor in order to exclude these diseases.

Headache can also be due to various food additives (especially in black chocolate, blue cheese, white wine, glutamate and glutaraldehyde), irregular or insufficient meals (especially in weight loss diet), constipation, insufficient duration or quality of sleep and coitus.

Fluctuations in the arterial tension, hormonal troubles, excess of analgesics, parasites in the bowel (see your Family Doctor), sinusitis (see your Nose, Throat and Ear Specialist), dental problems (see your Dentist) and neurological troubles (see your Neurologist) are other frequent causes of headache.

 

OPHTHALMIC MIGRAINE

Ophthalmic migraine is a common clinical form of migraine where symptoms are primarily visual.

This is circulatory disorders of the visual area of the brain of which the exact mechanism remains controversial. Among the advanced causes, instability of blood pressure (of constitutional origin, nervous, hormonal, nutritional, drug induced) seems to be the most plausible.

Visual troubles during an ophthalmic migraine are various. The most common are: vision as through a wet glass, distorted, floating images; bright geometric lines, more or less broken, more or less coloured, more or less shiny, silver or kaleidoscopic coloured lines; gradually expanding dark or light spot(s); swarming multitude of points; light or dark veil that gradually covers part or all of the visual field etc. Abnormal images are generally mobile, glittering, of variable size, and often shift to the periphery of the visual field. Visual disturbances are generally seen in both eyes (you must close one eye then the other to realize it), more or less symmetrical, but may occur in only one eye.

In general, the duration of these visual disturbances may vary from a few seconds to forty-five minutes.

Most often, these visual disturbances are isolated and constitute the only symptom of ophthalmic migraine. They can, however, be preceded, accompanied or followed by transient double vision (rare), transient change in pupil size (rare), headache (more or less intense, which usually increase with head movements), increased sensitivity to light, dizziness, nausea, impaired hearing and smell. These accompanying phenomena usually last from minutes to hours.

Ophthalmic migraine can be single or multiple and group together in more or less spaced crises spanning several days. The average crises frequency is 3 to 6 times a year.

The ophthalmic migraine described above are considered benign. They require causal treatment (control blood pressure and hormonal status, avoid food causes: chocolate, coffee, wine) and possibly symptomatic treatment: lie down and take anti-migraine (see your general practitioner).

Migraines in repetitive bursts of long duration, especially if they are associated with neurological disorders require consultation with a neurologist.

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