Retinal migraine is a rare eye condition that causes short episodes of visual problems, such as zig-zag vision, blurring of vision, or a vision loss. These episodes may or may not be followed by a headache on the affected eye’s side.
Retinal migraine is often confused with migraine aura since both of them have almost similar symptoms, however, they are different conditions. So, in this article let us understand more about the retinal migraine, how it differs from the migraine aura, its causes, and prevention.
People with classical migraine experience visual disturbances for some time before they develop a migraine headache. This is called migraine aura. They may experience zig-zag flashes of light or colorful sparks in the field of vision. Some people experience haziness or blurring of vision as if looking from fog or mist. This affects both the eyes. Migraine aura may last for half an hour
It is often followed by migraine a headache: pain in one half of the head with sensitivity to the noise and light and nausea and vomiting. Occasionally, an episode of migraine aura may subside without developing a headache. The origin of migraine aura is in the brain.
Retinal Migraine and Its Symptoms
Retinal migraine is rare and usually affects only one eye. The person experiences brief attacks of blurring of vision or a loss of vision. It starts from the center of the eye and slowly spreads and affects the entire field of vision of that eye. Vision loss, partial vision loss, and headaches are some of the common symptoms of retinal migraine.
This episode lasts for anywhere between half an hour to one hour. The person may experience a headache during or after the episode of visual disturbance. The person may also have a history of other types of migraines.
What Causes Retinal Migraine?
The episode of retinal migraine is believed to occur due to a spasm of blood vessels supplying the retina and the parts around it. There is a reduced blood supply due to this spasm causing the visual disturbances.
An episode of visual migraine could be triggered due to
- Stress and emotions
- High Blood pressure
- Bending down
- High altitude
- A low blood sugar
- Extreme heat
- Hormonal influences, such as those happening around the time of getting menses, taking hormonal pills, or hormone replacement therapy.
- Bright light and staring at the bright computer screens.
- People with certain medical conditions, such as SLE, antiphospholipid syndrome, giant cell arteritis, eosinophilic vasculitis, polyarteritis, etc., are more prone to get episodes of retinal migraine.
- Also, it is commonly seen in women, people with a family history of migraines, and people above 45 years of age.
Diagnosis of Retinal Migraine
A loss of vision in retinal migraine, even though temporary, could make you feel scared. It could be serious in case you are driving or working near a fire or operating machinery. In case you are driving or operating machines and get the episode, move aside to a safe space and wait till the episode subsides.
The blood supply to the retina becomes normal after the spasm subsides. However, repeated spasms may cause damage to the eye in the long-term. Hence, it is important to visit the doctor and take treatment for this condition. Your doctor will diagnose the condition after a detailed history of symptoms. He will examine your eyes by using special instruments. If needed, the doctor may suggest blood tests and a brain scan in order to rule out possibilities of other pathology.
How to Prevent Retinal Migraine?
Here are some tips to help prevent the episode of retinal migraine.
- Since retinal migraine results due to triggers, to prevent or reduce the frequency of the episodes, you try to identify the triggers and avoid them. For this, you can maintain a diary and record your food intake as well as the activities.
- If you have any underlying health issues, take treatment to correct them, or keep the condition under control.
- Quit smoking
- Practice meditation and exercise for stress relief
- Reduce the brightness of the computer screen and mobiles, and avoid staring at the screen.
Homeopathy Treatment for Retinal Migraine:
Homeopathic medicines help treat retinal migraine with no structural changes or cases where there is no irreversible pathology causing the symptoms of retinal migraine. The selected medicines could help to prevent the spasms of the retinal blood vessels, thereby reducing the frequency and duration of retinal migraine episodes.
- Gelsemium:Migraine preceded by blurred or smoky vision indicate this remedy. When the patient experiences bruised pain at the back of the orbits, one pupil dilated and other contracted, dull heavy headache with the heaviness of the eyelids, headache preceded by blindness, better after passing the urine, and band-like feeling around the head, this medicine is recommended. The relief in pain gets better by a tight bandage and lying with head high.
- Iris V:Iris V is indicated for migraines resulting due to mental exertion. When the episode starts with the blurring of vision, dullness and heavy sensation in the forehead, pain with the sensation at the top of the head, sour watery vomiting, one-sided pain in the supraorbital region, and pain aggravated in the evening, by the cold air, and cough, this remedy may help. The patient feels better in slow motion. Vision returns with a headache.
- Natrum Mur:It is suited for headache in school-going children. Migraine with a fiery zig-zag halo around objects indicates this medicine. Vision returns to normal as the headache starts, pain in the head as if from thousand small hammers in the head, on waking up, headache from eye strain, letters appear to run together, and headache from sunrise to sunset indicate this remedy. The patient experiences a great craving for salt and salty things.
- Theridion:This remedy helps the patient who has an increased sensitivity to the noise and light, who is acutely sensitive to a person walking about in the room during headache, and experiences noise penetrating the body, particularly affecting the teeth. It helps treat sparks before the eyes. When the patient cannot tolerate bright light and gets the feel of a large and heavy head during the headache which starts in the back of the head, Theridion may help. When the patient experiences sensation as if vein in the front of the eyes, indicate this remedy.
Now that you know all about retinal migraine and the efficacy of homeopathy in treating it, opt for homeopathy for retinal migraine without a second thought if you happen to suffer from it.