Migraines are severe, recurrent headaches that usually affect one side of the head. Many times, symptoms include visual affects like auras or scotomas (a blank patch in the field of vision). Treatment for visual effects of migraines includes a number of drugs used to treat a migraine as a whole, as well as adequate sleep and exercise.
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CAM for Migraine and Cluster HeadachesMigraine headaches are intense, recurring headaches that are sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting and other symptoms. Alternative therapies that have proven successful for some include: spinal manipulation, acupuncture, and homeopathy. It is important to do research on the practitioner and make sure alternative therapies don't do harm.
What Causes MigrainesResearchers assume migraine occurs because of an imbalance in the level of neurotransmitters in the brain. The resulting imbalance causes the nerve cells to undergo changes responsible for headaches. The trigeminal nerve (the fifth cranial nerve) may also be involved in these pain mechanisms.
What Causes Ocular MigrainesOcular migraines are a type of migraine that causes vision changes such as small blind spots, vision loss, flashes of light, zig-zag lines, or seeing stars. The cause of ocular migraines is unknown, but may be caused by abnormal brain activity. Risk factors include genetics and hormones.
What Is the Main Cause of MigraineIt is not known what causes migraines, but genetics and environment are factors. The main triggers of migraines include stress, poor sleep, hormones, caffeine, alcohol, weather changes, certain foods, dehydration, bright lights, certain smells, and medication overuse.
Chronic PainChronic pain is pain that persists for a period of six months or longer, and is the result of a long-standing medical condition(s) or damage to the body. Common sources of chronic pain include headaches, back pain, and arthritis. There are several types of pain including general somatic pain, visceral pain, bone pain, muscle cramps, neuropathy, circulatory problems, and headache pain. Chronic pain may be managed with over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Common Migraine SymptomsMigraine symptoms include pulsating, throbbing, or pounding pain on the sides or front of the head, visual disturbances (blurring of vision, flashing lights, seeing “stars”), and sensitivity to light and/or sound. For some people, an aura is an early warning sign of an impending migraine.
How Does a Doctor Diagnose a MigraineA migraine headache causes symptoms such as severe head pain and sensitivity to light, sound, or smells. In order to be diagnosed with migraines, your doctor may prescribe tests such as blood tests, imaging tests (X-rays, computerized tomography [CT] scan, magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] scan), or lumbar puncture.
How Does CGRP Cause MigraineCGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide), a protein released around the brain that can dilate blood vessels and cause severe inflammation, is believed to cause the pain of a migraine headache.
Medical AcupunctureThe practice as acupuncture consists of placing fine steel needles placed through the skin and into nodes mapped out in traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture was recognized as a legitimate medical practice by the FDA in the 1990s. Independently licensed physicians practice acupuncture for various types of symptom relief.
Migraine and Cluster Headache MedicationsMigraines and cluster headaches are severe recurrent headaches. Medications to treat them fall under a number of different categories. These include triptans and ergot alkaloids for abortive therapy. For preventative therapy, a number of different drug classes are available, including beta blockers, predisone, antidepressants, lithium, antiseizure medications and others.
Causes and Treatments of Migraine HeadachesTwo general types of headaches exist: primary (like migraines and cluster headaches) and secondary (headaches caused by a structural problem, trauma, or infection) Triggers include stress, lack of sleep, not enough food or fluids, and many other causes. A variety of medications all working through a variety of different mechanisms are used to treat migraines.
Migraine HeadacheMigraine headaches are one of the most common problems seen by doctors, Urgent Care Centers, and Emergency Departments. While the exact cause of this type of headache is not clearly understood, researchers and doctors believe they are due to changes in the brain and surrounding blood vessels.Triggers for migraine headache are certain foods (chocolate, cheese, alcohol, msg, etc.), stress, birth control pills, and smoking.Signs and symptoms of a migraine include a variety of warning signs (referred to as “prodome”), for example, feeling "high," irritable, or depressed, migraine aura, headache pain, and migraine pain that resolves. Other migraine symptoms, for example, problems eating, concentrating, and fatigue may linger after the pain is gone.
Migraine Headache FAQsThe difference between headache and migraine often includes intense pain, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, and nausea and vomiting for migraine headache. Migraines last from 4 hours to 3 days and may be preceded by pre-migraine symptoms like auras. The exact cause of migraines is unclear, but numerous triggers can precipitate a migraine attack. Migraines may be managed and/or prevented by a combination of medication and avoiding triggers.
Migraine Headache in ChildrenMigraine is a headache condition that comes back again and again. Ten percent of children get migraines, and an even higher percentage of teenagers have them. Migraines can be managed with a number of different varieties of medications.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of a Migraine FastThe best way to relieve a migraine is to try to stop a migraine attack before it happens. As soon as you feel a migraine coming on, you should try home remedies such as ice, heat, breathing techniques, getting fresh air, staying hydrated, and getting to a darkened room to avoid light (a migraine trigger).
What Triggers an Ocular MigraineHarsh lighting, long screen time, other visual strain, stress, dehydration, food additives, and other causes all may trigger an ocular migraine, a subtype that focuses in the eye and causes vision changes.
Worst Headache of Your LifeThe worst headache of your life may be a life-threatening emergency. Symptoms such as a headache with fever and a stiff neck, a headache that starts with a thunderclap, a headache following a head injury, a headache with loss of vision or numbness of the arms or legs, or a headache with a fever (not caused by the flu) are emergent medical conditions. Treatment of the worst headache of your life depends on the cause of the headache.
Visual Migraines (Ocular Migraines) Topic Guide - Medications and Vitamins
Frovatriptan is a headache medicine that narrows blood vessels around the brain. Frovatriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache p...learn more »
Almotriptan is a headache medicine that narrows blood vessels around the brain. Almotriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache pai...learn more »
Rizatriptan is a headache medicine that narrows the blood vessels around the brain. Rizatriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache...learn more »
Naratriptan is a headache medicine that narrows blood vessels around the brain. Naratriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache pai...learn more »
Zolmitriptan is a headache medicine that narrows blood vessels around the brain. Zolmitriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache p...learn more »
Caffeine is a stimulant that causes narrowing of blood vessels (vasoconstriction). Ergotamine is an ergot alkaloid (ER-got AL-ka-loid) that works by narrowin...learn more »
Topiramate is a seizure medicine, also called an anticonvulsant. Topiramate is used to treat certain types of seizures in adults and children who are at lea...learn more »
Sumatriptan is a headache medicine that narrows blood vessels around the brain. Sumatriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache pai...learn more »
Cyproheptadine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, ...learn more »
Promethazine is in a group of drugs called phenothiazines (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeens). It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain. Promethazine...learn more »
Prochlorperazine is a phenothiazine (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeen) antipsychotic medicine that is used to treat anxiety or schizophrenia...learn more »
Dihydroergotamine is an ergot medicine. It works by narrowing the blood vessels around the brain...learn more »
Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that is used to treat symptoms of depression...learn more »
Nortriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that is used to treat symptoms of depression...learn more »
Valproic acid is used to treat various types of seizure disorders. Valproic acid is sometimes used together with other seizure medications...learn more »
Chlorpromazine is a phenothiazine (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeen) that is used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia or manic-depression in adults.learn more »
Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer. There are many brands and forms of acetaminophen available. Not all brands are listed on this leaflet...learn more »
Verapamil is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain), and certain heart rhythm disorders...learn more »