Migraine and eye health

What causes migraine?

Migraines are caused by inflammation – inflammatory substances are released deep inside the brain and around the blood vessels of the head and brain resulting in migraine symptoms.

Virtually everyone will suffer a migraine attack at some point in their life.

Your first migraine experience can be frightening- the sudden loss of vision preceding an attack followed by flashing lights is often sudden and alarming. Visual symptoms include vision loss, waving lines and sensation of flashing lights. This is often followed by a nasty headache that can cause nausea and sensitivity to light and noise.

Not all migraines are the same

Typical migraines – can include an aura, which can involve flashing lights and blind spots in your field of vision.

Ocular “Eye” migraines – can occur with or without the accompanying headache.

Retinal or ocular migraines are caused by the same inflammation as in typical migraines. Inflammatory substances are released deep inside the brain and around the blood vessels of the head and brain. While both Ocular and Typical migraines affect vision, ocular migraines usually only affect one eye. It is more common for ocular migraine sufferers to have some family history of migraine headaches.

What causes ocular migraine?

The primary cause of ocular migraine is genetics. If you have a family history of migraine headaches, then you have a much higher chance of becoming a migraine sufferer.

It is also thought that migraines may be related to blood vessel constriction or spasms of the retinal blood vessels. The retina is a fine film of neural tissue at the back of your eye that enables us to see. You can check to see if the problem is affecting one eye or both by covering each eye alternately. 

Eye strain may be a contributing factor.

Eye Strain

Eye strain may be a contributing factor to the onset of a migraine.

Your eyes can become strained and fatigued from a range of visual activities including:-

  • Computer Screen Work
  • Glare from fluorescent or ambient lighting
  • Driving for long periods
  • TV viewing.

All of the above activities can result in visual fatigue a possible cause for migraines.

An eye examination will reveal if you need a particular type of spectacles to reduce eye fatigue during these activities. 

If you have experienced some visual disturbances or unusual vision symptoms, we recommend that you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam with our optometrists. In this way we can rule out vision-threatening conditions such as a detached retina. If you are concerned or have any questions regarding migraines please call us 9872 1555 to make an appointment.