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Ocular Migraine Prevention

The first step to preventing migraines is to avoid triggers. These often include:

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Hormonal birth control pills
  • Exercise
  • Bending over
  • High altitude
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood sugar
  • Excessive heat

Although dietary triggers – such as caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners -- can cause other types of migraines; they seem less likely to trigger ocular migraines.

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

Ocular Migraine Treatment

Since it is brief, the vision loss of ocular migraines is not usually treated. But you may need relief for the headache that accompanies or follows it. The primary treatment for ocular migraines is to reduce exposure to triggers. Calcium-channel blockers are the main drug treatment for ocular migraines. They work by relaxing the blood vessels. One example is Cardene, which can be given as a pill or as a tab you put under the tongue.     

Read the Ocular Migraine Treatment article > >

Medications can also prevent ocular migraines. Calcium-channel blockers, such as Cardene and Calan, are the most commonly used drugs. They work by opening up the blood vessels. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin are also sometimes used. Less often, your doctor may prescribe drugs used to prevent blood clotting, depression, and epilepsy.

A device is also an option. Cefaly is the first FDA-approved device for preventing migraines in people over age 18. The portable headband-like device gives electrical impulses on the skin at the forehead. This stimulates a nerve associated with migraine headaches. Cefaly is used once a day for 20 minutes, and when it's on you'll feel a tingling or massaging sensation.  

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on February 28, 2014

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