migraine pain


Migraine headaches sometimes preceded by warning symptoms  can have specific triggers but also can vary in severity and type.

As distinct from the tight band type tension headache and the cluster headache often around one eye, the classic migraine is on one side of the head with the vision effected. Migraine is a common headache disorder with no conclusive cures, of many types affecting about 15 per cent of the population, but much is underdiagnosed and can have serious health risk warnings eg women suffering from migraine with aura at any age should never use oral contraceptives accordingly.  

A diagnosis of migraine is one of exclusion.  especially in recent onset cases, increasing severity/frequency, neurological symptoms of pins and needles and visual field defects  all indicate further work up is indicated eg MRI  with a neurologist or neuro-ophthalmologist

Migraine can be triggered by many factors such as food, medication,weather, stress, lack of sleep, skipping meals, dehydration. Triggers need to be kept in a diary,ideally.



migraine factors


Researchers have identified more than 20 irregular chromosome segments associated with migraine. Each potential genetic error affects how nerve cells work in a different way. The most effective treatments control the individuals triggers for migraines often called predisposing and precipitaing factors.
The brainstem is a complex intersection of nervous system wiring at the base of our brain in clusters of cell bodies called nuclei. From these nuclei, new signals are rerouted to other parts of the brainstem and the rest of the brain.These nuclei control pain, stress, balance, mood, sleep and the autonomic nervous system. 

Visual symptoms such as blurred vision, visual aura and photophobia can occur during migraine attacks, but not necessarily always.

Less than half of current migraine sufferers have been formally diagnosed and about one-third are thought to receive appropriate treatment with prescription medications.

Colorimeter research data determines certain specific tints can help migraine sufferers whose migraines are triggered by pattern glare. Pattern glare tests involve tints (that later can be prescribed) often but not always blue or yellow to reduce the nausea that can arise from stripe patterns for some people by reducing or changing the contrast between black and white.

The theory is some people have an hyperactivity imbalance between their central and peripheral vision for light, flicker and certain spatial frequencies in stripes and patterns and can make reading difficult

Optometrists do not treat “dyslexia” or even learning difficulties, but learning-related vision problems, and in above cases treat people with pattern glare with tints when it affects reading.

Migraine is a complex and the most common neurological condition and classified by the World Health Organisation as the 7th most disabling disease worldwide, the 4th for women. It is three times more common in women than it is in men and is usually inherited. It is a very individual condition. Some people experience only an odd attack while others suffer them on a regular basis.



A retinal migraine (aka ophthalmic, migraine, visual , ocular ) has the temporary loss of vision sffect by definition. (A headache that lasts from 4 -72 hours.)

 An aura usually appears in both eyes. 

Retinal migraines involve episodes of temporary vision loss, or blindness in one eye only.

A retinal migraine often comes on suddenly sometimes in concert with head pain and nausea,from a vascular spasm in or behind an eye.

Retinal migraines are apparent in 1 in 200 migraine sufferers with  short-term loss of vision in one eye only. 
• flashing lights or haloes
• blind spots in your field of vision
• partial or complete blindness
• affect one side of the head
• aggravated by  activity
• nausea and vomiting
• sensitivity to light/sound


Aura :

Blind spots
Flashing lights
Zig-zag patterns
Pins and needles on one side usually starting in the fingers/ arm, sometimes spreading up into the face
Slurring of speech
Muscular weakness
Loss of co-ordination
Confusion) up to an hour duration can occur in about 20% of cases before the actual headache.

The actual headcahe:

Intense throbbing headache, usually on one side of the head, worsened by movement and lasting from 4-72 hours
Nausea, sometimes vomiting
Sensitivity to light,noise,smells,Stiffness of the neck and shoulders,Blurred vision


Most commonly migraine occurs without the aura but with the headache
Intense throbbing headache
usually on one side of the head, worsened by movement and lasting from 4-72 hours.

Nausea, sometimes vomiting
Sensitivity to light,noise,smells
Stiffness of the neck and shoulders.
Blurred vision


Occasionally migraineurs can experience only the aura of 
Blind spots
Flashing lights
Zig-zag patterns
Pins and needles on one side usually starting in the fingers/ arm, sometimes spreading up into the face
Slurring of speech
Muscular weakness
Loss of co-ordination


As well as the headcahe occuring mainly in young people there is weakness of one or more of the muscles that move the eye,dilate the pupil and control the eyelids


Rarely in young women mainly loss of balance, double vision, blurred vision, difficulty in speaking and fainting.
headache,loss of consciousness. Basilar migraine occurs when the circulation in the back of the brain or neck is affected.


Rarely headache but with temporary numbness, weakness or even paralysis on one side of their body up to a few days in duration
MRIs, CT scans and other neurological tests are required to rule out stroke ,blood clot, stroke, pituitary tumour, detached retina, or drug abuse.

Treatment causes etc

Acute medications used include the normal NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen,anti-nausea medication as well as preventative medications.


Many migraine sufferers experience some vestibular symptoms during their lifetime, such as dizziness, sensitivity to light/sound and stiffness of the neck

but severe vestibular migraine can encompass 
Severe dizziness
Sensitivity to light,sound,smell
Nausea and vomiting
Ataxia (loss of control over bodily movement)
Neck pain
Muscle spasms in the upper spine area


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