5 Common Causes and Triggers of Optical Migraines

Have you ever found yourself navigating through an ordinary day and unexpectedly noticed a shimmering, undulating light slicing through your field of vision like a broken glass pane? Did this fleeting visual impairment set off a throbbing headache that caused you to feel disoriented and apprehensive? If this sounds familiar, you may have experienced an ocular or optical migraine. And chances are, like most people who have experienced this type of migraine, you want to know the top optical migraine causes and what specific remedies or options you can pursue to cope better when you have an episode.

Optical Migraine Causes, Triggers and More

So, what are the leading optical migraine causes or triggers? Are they somehow different from the regular type of migraine? Notably, as the name suggests, an optical migraine primarily affects vision. While it mainly affects only one eye, it can cause disorienting symptoms and leave sufferers feeling frustrated and concerned.

Many individuals experiencing ocular migraines may initially mistake them for classic migraines, strokes, or even post-concussion syndrome, given that these conditions can present similar symptoms. However, these conditions have their own distinctive symptom sets and patterns. Recognizing the unique optical migraine causes or triggers can assist in managing this peculiar and sometimes disconcerting condition.

Top Triggers and Causes of Optical Migraines

The mystery surrounding the exact causes of optical migraine remains unsolved. However, research has managed to pinpoint several triggers. Identifying and understanding these triggers can be a powerful tool in managing and possibly preventing future episodes. Here are the five most common things you must look out for:

#1. Stress

This can be among the leading major causes of optical migraine. Both emotional and physical stress can stimulate an attack. Stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga may be beneficial.

#2. Bright Lights and Glare

Light sensitivity or photophobia is common among optical migraine sufferers. Exposure to flickering or harsh lights, glaring screens, or even bright sunlight can trigger an episode. To mitigate this, consider wearing sunglasses, using anti-glare screens, or simply adjusting indoor lighting.

#3. Dietary Triggers

Certain food and drink items like aged cheese, artificial sweeteners, excessive caffeine, red wine, and processed meats have been identified as potential triggers. Maintaining a food diary can help identify if your migraines are diet-related.

#4. Sleep Disruptions

Changes in your sleep pattern or sleep deprivation can instigate optical migraines. Ensuring you maintain good sleep hygiene and get sufficient rest is vital.

#5. Hormonal Changes

Many women often wonder about the most common optical migraine cause. Notably, this is because they’re quite prone to the condition due to the impact of their fluctuating hormone levels. 

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: A Holistic Approach to Managing Ocular Migraines

Living with recurring ocular migraines can feel like a relentless battle. Thankfully, there’s hope and it comes in the form of Upper Cervical Chiropractic. For many years, this unique chiropractic technique has been a trusted source of migraine relief by patients across the country.

It’s main mechanism hinges on the importance of maintaining proper spinal alignment and seeking help, especially after a neck or head injury. As we often tell our patients, the Upper Cervical spine (the neck region) is critical for maintaining overall body balance. This area houses the brainstem, an essential conduit that transports nerve signals to and from the brain. Any misalignment in this region potentially disrupts normal nerve function, which may manifest in various conditions, including ocular migraines.

While it would be inaccurate to portray Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care as a definitive “cure” or remedy for optical migraines, it has undoubtedly proven to be a valuable ally in managing this condition. This focuses on correcting misalignments, restoring optimal nerve function, and potentially reducing the frequency and intensity of migraine episodes. It offers a non-invasive, drug-free approach, making it an attractive and holistic avenue for relief.

Taking steps to understand and identify the triggers and causes of optical migraine, coupled with a comprehensive approach like Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care, can light the way towards managing this condition more effectively. Improved quality of life may be just around the corner. However, remember that it's always wise to consult with a Board Certified Upper Cervical doctor to determine the best course of action for your individual needs.

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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.