What causes ocular migraines? No one quite knows. At least, we don’t understand what exactly causes the brain to suddenly release inflammatory substances around the nerves and blood vessels. However, there are several prevailing “triggers” that many migraine sufferers seem to have in common. If you suffer from chronic ocular migraines, here are some stimuli to avoid.
Research consistently shows that skipping meals can cause a migraine to develop. Scientists aren’t sure how this happens, but it is likely to be related to falling blood glucose levels. Dehydration has also been linked to the onset of headache, so be sure to get all the calories and H20 you need every day.
Alcohol, chocolate, and caffeine are all common migraine triggers. Other possible trigger foods include cheese, salami, and pickled foods containing large amounts of tyramine. Food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and artificial sweeteners like aspartame can also trigger migraines in some individuals.
Sleep disturbance is one of the most common factors linked to ocular migraine. Excessive sleep is a less common trigger as well. Sudden changes in your sleep schedule, jet lags, and insomnia can also cause migraines.
People with chronic ocular migraines frequently cite harsh smells, like cologne, perfume, and scented candles, as migraine triggers. Many people report that they cannot stand certain smells during a migraine episode, like cigarette smoke and perfume.
Some people report that bright, flickering, or pulsating lights may trigger a migraine. Even brief exposure to sunlight can be a factor, if the sufferer is already sleep deprived, stressed, dehydrated, or experiencing low blood sugar due to skipping a meal. Wearing a hat and sunglasses can help mitigate this effect.
Seeing lights, lines, zigzags, or stars while experiencing a migraine, while common, can also be an indication of a major neurological issue or eye issue. If you live in Raleigh and are experiencing severe or frequent ocular headaches, be sure to see our Raleigh optometrists as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment here.