Ocular Migraine – How to Stop it Naturally? With Acupuncture and Herbs
Frequent ocular migraines can disturb the daily routine and impact your quality of life. They cause temporary vision disturbances in one eye and are or are not associated with a headache. They have similar risk factors and causes of migraine headaches and are more common in women than men from age 30-39.
What triggers ocular migraines? They are usually the same as migraine headaches and may include certain foods like smoked meats or aged cheese, chocolate, then some health conditions like high blood pressure, low glucose levels, dehydration, processed food additives like MSG, caffeinated drinks, hormones, bright lights, stress, etc.
How long do ocular migraines last? The episode usually lasts less than an hour, and in almost all cases, the same eye is affected every time. It is important to see an ophthalmologist immediately if you experience vision loss, as there are more severe causes that the doctor will want to rule out.
Acupuncture for ocular migraine can be effective in many cases of migraine flare. It is a drug-free, natural, and safe approach to treating chronic pain. Stay with us, and we will tell you everything about ocular migraines causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
Ocular Migraine Acupuncture and Natural Treatment at Makari Wellness
How to get rid of ocular migraines? At Makari Wellness, we offer a holistic approach to ocular migraines – we do not focus only on the core problem but also address the whole organism. Treating eye migraine can involve several Traditional Chinese Medicine modalities, including acupuncture and acupressure, Chinese herbal therapy, lifestyle counseling, and supplements. Each treatment is based upon the patient’s individual needs, as every case is unique.
Gaining freedom from illness is possible even remotely with our telemedicine eye care treatments. With face-to-face consultations, you can have dietary recommendations, instructions on at-home acupressure, and advice about Chinese herbs and supplements – everything from the convenience of your home. Do not wait too long; book an appointment at (888) 871-8889.
What is an Ocular Migraine?
It is a rare condition characterized by episodes of temporary blindness on usually one eye. The affected vision, in most cases, will return to normal within one hour. Optical migraine can be painless or can be associated with a migraine headache (it can occur along with or following the headache).
The term “ocular migraine” is used to describe various types of migraine subtypes that are characterized by a wide range of visual disturbances such as seeing stars or shimmering spots, blind spots, zig-zag lines, flashes of light, or temporary vision loss. There are two types of ocular migraines:
- Migraine with aura – this type of ocular migraine will affect both eyes. Visual symptoms do not last long and include a small but enlarging blind spot called a scotoma, flickering lights called scintillations, or a zig-zag line that is shimmering (metamorphopsia) in your central vision.
- Retinal migraine – covers all one-eye symptoms before or along with the migraine headache attack. It includes the appearance of temporary blindness or twinkling lights.
Ocular Migraine Symptoms
As we said before, the symptoms of ocular migraine can vary, from a zig-zag or wavy colored light surrounding a central blind spot (as if you are looking through a cracked window) to a blind spot that slowly migrates across your field of vision.
What Causes Ocular Migraines?
Ocular migraines cause can be the abnormal electrical activity of the visual cortex of our brain or narrowing of arteries that causes a temporary lack of blood flow to the eye due to the spasms in blood vessels in the retina. They are usually painless but can be accompanied by a migraine headache.
Ocular migraine triggers are different for every person, but the most common ones include:
- Different food: processed food containing additives like MSG, nitrates and tyramine, chocolate
- Alcoholic beverages like red wine
- Caffeinated drinks
- Stress and anxiety
- Bright lights, loud sounds, and powerful odors
- Weather changes
- Hormonal changes
- Not eating enough
- Too much/too little sleep
- Low blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Bending over
- High altitude
- Excessive exercise
Also, genetics play an important part in the occurrence of ocular migraine. Some research says that a family history of migraines may account for up to 60% of the chances of migraine attacks.
Are ocular migraines dangerous? In most cases, no. Usually, there are no abnormalities within an eye, and permanent eye damage is rare. Still, it is always recommended to visit the doctor if you experience any type of vision loss. What is more, your visual acuity will be significantly affected during a visual migraine attack, so it is crucial to stop what you are doing and wait until the ocular migraine passes.
Ocular Migraine Treatment
Generally, ocular migraines do not require treatment. However, if migraine headaches follow them, you may try some medications to relieve pain like ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen.
Many natural treatments are available for ocular migraine treatment, including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, acupressure, nutritional therapy, and supplements.
Acupuncture for Ocular Migraine
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uninterrupted flow of Qi (vital life energy) protects the body from illness. Its flow through meridians (pathways) provides proper body nourishment. When the Qi is blocked, physical symptoms in the form of the disease may occur.
Acupuncture treatment for ocular migraine aims to restore the flow of Qi and balance in the body. The acupuncturist manipulates the Qi flow by inserting the fine, sterile needles. The therapist will choose the appropriate acupuncture points related to specific organs based on your unique symptoms. It will encourage energy flow and release natural painkillers called endorphins.
The most effective acupuncture ocular migraine can have has proven beneficial, but it is not a quick fix. Depending on the patient’s condition, our acupuncture specialist will create a unique protocol to address the usually chronic problem of ocular migraines.
Acupressure for Ocular Migraines
Unlike acupuncture, acupressure uses the hands for stimulation. This TCM modality is more convenient for some patients as it seems less scary. It can help with migraine attacks that are followed by nausea and vomiting. Several important acupressure points can help with easing pain:
- LI 4 (or Hegu) – located between the index finger and thumb base.
- ST 36 – below the kneecaps, between the leg muscles and shin bones.
- LU 9 – located in the inner wrist, on the same side as the thumb.
- SJ 17 – you can find this point below the ear on the back of the jawbone.
Once your practitioner shows you these points vital for migraine pain, you can perform acupressure on your own in case of a migraine attack.
Herbs for Ocular Migraine
Herbal remedies are not one-size-fits-all in terms of effectiveness, so our certified Chinese herbalist will combine different herbs to create a unique formula for your condition. Herbal formulas are used in the form of fresh or dried herbs, teas, powders, tinctures, and tablets. The plants that are used have the highest potency of medically active ingredients that will help relieve migraine pain.
If you suffer from ocular migraines associated with migraine headaches, some of the most common herbs include:
- Feverfew – the parts of this herb that is the most effective in treating migraines are stems, flowers, and leaves.
- Butterbur – its purified root extract is used in the form of pills for migraine prevention.
- Peppermint – its oil is a good option for stopping migraine pain and easing migraine-induced nausea.
- Ginger – popular also for flu symptoms; just be careful not to take it with blood thinners because of the potential drug interactions.
- Coriander – the coriander seeds can be chewed and used in food as a spice or tea; oral extracts are also available.
- Lavender – known for its sweet smell, common use forms include liquid capsules and topical solutions. Inhaling lavender oil during migraine can help alleviate pain.
- Linden or lime tree – its blossom is used in the form of tea, tinctures, capsules, and liquid extracts to relieve migraine pain.
- Ginkgo – its tincture is great to promote circulation and is particularly helpful with ocular migraines.
- Wood betony – it is widely known in its tincture form for soothing the nerves and making a solid base for most migraine treatment formulas.
Nutritional Supplements for Ocular Migraine
The deficiency of some nutrients can also trigger a migraine. It usually includes:
- Magnesium – the deficiency of this essential mineral can be a migraine trigger.
- B complex vitamins – they have a role in regulating neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Vitamin D – as this vitamin supports nerve health and safeguards the body against inflammation, it is not hard to understand why it is so important in migraine prevention.
How to Prevent Ocular Migraines
Ocular migraines are not well understood as it is rare for a physician to be present during the ocular migraine attack. Also, available studies are made of small sample sizes, usually include case studies, and focus on the more prevalent migraine types. Due to their rarity, naming, classifying, and naming them can be difficult.
Some research suggests that 29-50% of people with ocular migraines have a history of other types of migraine. However, there are some things patients can do to reduce the risk of migraine occurrence:
- Keep the migraine journal to track what triggers them.
- Diet changes according to the migraine journal.
- Stress management like meditation, exercise, or relaxation can help in migraine prevention.
- Stay hydrated, as dehydration is a well-known migraine trigger.
- Get enough sleep because irregular sleeping patterns can trigger migraine attacks.
- Acupuncture and massage can help release the tight areas and relax muscles.
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