Can Migraines Cause Double Vision?


Migraines are best known for the pulsing or throbbing headache that usually accompanies the other symptoms. These headaches can be one-sided, grow worse with exertion, and be very severe. However, today we are going to focus on some of the other symptoms of this neurological condition. For example, can migraines cause double vision? You may be surprised by the answer. We will also address a natural way to get help for your migraines. 

Signs and Symptoms of Migraines 

Because migraines are a complicated neurological problem rather than a simple headache, there are many symptoms, and they can vary from person to person. We’re going to break down the symptoms of a migraine into the four stages a patient may experience.

Migraine Stage One: Prodrome Symptoms 

In the prodrome stage, a person may experience symptoms up to 24 hours before the headache phase begins. One of the most common symptoms is a stiff or sore neck. Other symptoms can include everything from frequent yawning and increased urination to food cravings and mood changes. 

Migraines Stage Two: Aura 

Symptoms in this migraine stage usually occur within the hour before the headache occurs. Most symptoms of aura are visual, and this is the stage where will answer our title question: Can migraines cause double vision? Here are some of the symptoms of migraine with aura. 

  • Uncontrolled movements
  • Audial hallucinations
  • Speech problems
  • Numbness or weakness in the face and the limbs
  • Vision loss – Fortunately, vision loss associated with migraines is temporary and usually resolves within an hour
  • Visual disturbances including seeing flashes of light, floaters of different shapes and sizes, and yes, blurred or double vision

Migraines Stage Three: Headache

Sometimes this stage is being called the attack stage. The change in terminology acknowledges that not all migraines present with a headache (although it is definitely the most common symptoms at 85-90%). Besides the painful headache, what other symptoms are possible during the attack phase?

  • Sensory sensitivities – Patients may experience sensitivity to bright or glaring light, strong scents, repetitive or loud sounds, and even increased sensitivity to touch. 
  • Nausea and vomiting – Fortunately, it is far more common to experience nausea without vomiting, but for some patients the pain and nausea are too great, and vomiting is the result. 
  • Vertigo – You may feel like the whole world is spinning around you. Up to 40% of migraines present with vestibular symptoms like vertigo or balance issues. 
  • Sinus congestion – Some patients have even confused their migraines for sinus headaches because of this symptom 
  • Neck pain – This is, once again, one of the most common migraine symptoms (we will discuss why in a moment)

There are many other possible symptoms of a migraine, but these are the most common.

Migraine Stage Four: Postdrome 

When a migraine ends, you can feel completely wiped out for a couple of days. Some patients also experience cognitive difficulties, such as confusion or mental exhaustion. You may additionally experience mood swings, such as elation or depression. If you are suffering from chronic migraines (more than 15 migraine days per month), experiencing a postdrome may run right into the next prodrome or even attack stage. 

Why Neck Pain Is Such a Common Symptom 

Researchers have not addressed one of the most common problems regarding migraines. Up to 75% of patients experience neck pain either before or during the attack (or both). What are some possible reasons for the link between neck pain and migraines? Consider the following effects that could occur if your neck pain is due to a misalignment of the atlas (C1 vertebra). 

  • Inhibited brainstem function – The atlas surrounds and protects the sensitive area where the brainstem meets the spinal cord. Even the slightest misalignment can put pressure on this crucial component of the central nervous system (CNS). 
  • Reduced blood flow to the brain – The cervical spine is responsible for helping blood reach the brain. Each of the vertebrae in the neck has two loops of bone called the vertebral foramen. This is the passageway that the arteries use to reach the head. However, a misalignment in the neck can affect this free flow of blood and, thus, CNS function. 
  • Diminished cerebrospinal fluid drainage – A misalignment in the upper cervical spine can prevent cerebrospinal fluid from draining properly. As a result, this vital fluid may pool in the head and increase intracranial pressure. This pressure can, in turn, cause significant neurological disturbances. 

Because of this clear connection between neck problems and CNS function, it makes sense to have the upper cervical spine examined if you are suffering from migraines. An upper cervical specific chiropractor may be just who you need to help you find natural relief. 

Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Migraines 

If you get migraines, upper cervical chiropractic may help you to find significant relief. With precise measurements of the C1 and C2 taken using diagnostic imaging, a practitioner will accurately calculate a gentle adjustment for each patient. Correcting this underlying factor can help the central nervous system to function optimally. The results can be fewer or less severe migraines. 

When you first asked the question, “Can migraines cause double vision?” did you imagine you would find a safe and gentle way to find natural relief? Please, use the search feature on this site to locate a preferred practitioner in your area. Even if you have to travel a little to reach the closest practitioner, the prospect of breaking free from migraines is worth the sacrifice.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.