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November 8, 2022

12 Questions To Ask An Optometrist About Migraines Pains

Migraines are a common neurological disorder that can cause moderate to severe throbbing pain predominantly on one side of the head which can last for hours or even days. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to migraine management, but there are several strategies that can help reduce symptoms and improve the quality of your life. Understanding migraine triggers and investing in helpful migraine treatment options will allow you to continue to do things that you enjoy without having to worry about your symptoms! 

How Optometrists Can Help With Migraine Management

Optometrists do not diagnose or medically treat migraines but do deal with ocular migraines. Many patients experience symptoms of ocular migraines and optometrists can help patients understand and manage their symptoms. Certain ocular issues like retinal detachments, cataracts may have similar symptoms to people experiencing migraines. Therefore it is important you visit your optometrist to rule out any ocular condition. Optometrists are able to recommend migraine-reducing therapy like special lenses, botox, and lifestyle changes to help you manage your symptoms. Optometrists are also able to refer patients to other physicians, like neurologists etc who treat migraines.

12 Questions to Ask Your Optometrist in Calgary

1. Are visual migraine eyes related?

Migraine auras include different visual sensations like flashes, seeing zig zag lines, dots, or vision loss for a period of time. It is vital you book an appointment with your optometrist if you are having any visual symptoms due to a migraine.

2. Does an ocular migraine require a trip to the ER?

It is important to get checked by an optometrist when experiencing an ocular migraine. Your doctor will be able to assess and determine if a trip to the ER is required. Alberta health care covers optometry visits if you are experiencing an ocular migraine.

3. My colleagues’ visual migraine sounds nothing like mine. What’s up?

Everyone has different triggers and severity of symptoms.It is important you and your doctor have a plan in place to avoid certain triggers and they provide you with the knowledge and tools to better manage your symptoms. 

4. What kind of climate conditions cause migraine problems

Climate-related conditions that can cause migraines include changes in barometric pressure, dry or very humid air, extreme sunlight and glare, extreme heat or cold, and windy conditions.

5. Are Migraine Pains ever an emergency?

Depending on the severity of your symptoms you should head to the ER or see your primary care physician like a GP or optometrist. If you find your symptoms are unbearable and require immediate attention then heading to the ER may be the best option otherwise your primary care physician will be able to assess and determine if an ER visit is required. 

6. Should I keep a track of my Migraine Headaches?

Yes, keeping track of your migraines can greatly help you and your healthcare provider. By keeping track of your migraines you will be able to identify what triggers to avoid, how to manage your pain, what treatments are working for you etc. There are resources like apps you can get to help in tracking your migraines. Important things to note during migraines are when the migraine started and lasted, intensity of the pain, did you experience an aura and other symptoms.

7. Is there a chance my migraine symptoms might go away in a few years?

Since there is no cure, only preventative measures for migraine doctors can’t provide a permanent solution, however, people can go into remission. Patients’ symptoms can go away or become very infrequent. 

8. Are there some lifestyle changes that might help prevent my headaches, such as diet, exercise or meditation?

Yes, lifestyle changes like having a consistent sleep schedule, eating healthy foods, regular exercise, and drinking enough water can reduce the amount of migraines you experience.

9. How might my migraine headaches affect my life, and what changes, if any, should I make?

Migraines can have the potential to impact your presence at work, social gatherings, and at home. The effects can trickle into your work output, how you behave with people around you and even your mental health. It is important to speak with a medical physician so they can empower you with resources, and medication and recommend lifestyle changes needed so your symptoms can become manageable. Your healthcare professional may recommend mindfulness techniques like meditation or yoga, getting more sleep, and avoiding certain food and drinks. 

10. What are the different types of Visual Auras?

While migraines generally come with symptoms like pulsing or throbbing head pain, nausea, and increased sensitivity to sound, light, and smells, some people can experience aura symptoms, too. These auras often develop before the migraine headache occurs.

Positive Aura

Includes seeing zigzagging lines, bright stars or shimmering lights and shapes at the edge of your vision.

Negative Aura

Including seeing dark holes, blind spots and tunnel vision.

Altered Visual Aura

kaleidoscope vision, or visual distortions in that you perceive straight lines as wavy or blurred, or large objects as small objects. distance and colour perception can also be altered with visual aura.

11. Is Migraine Pain covered under insurance?

Optometrists are able to monitor patients and recommend preventative measures, follow-up with patients with Ocular Migraines, and co-manage care with Ophthalmologists and family Physicians when required. Alberta Health Care covers these visits. Migraine treatments options like glasses or botox can be covered by insurance companies billable by the patients. 


What treatment options are available for Migraine Pains?

There are a number of traditional strategies that can help manage migraines, in addition to taking medication. Things like practicing stress-relief techniques such as yoga or meditation, drinking plenty of fluids, eating regular meals and snacks, getting enough sleep, taking breaks from bright lights and loud noises, avoiding excessive caffeine consumption, wearing sunglasses outdoors to reduce light sensitivity and putting cold compresses on the forehead or neck to relieve pain. Eyedeology is also proud to offer Avulux Lenses, a one-of-a-kind lens built to specifically target migraines by filtering out harmful blue lights and allowing soothing green light to enter. Call us at 587-353-5061 to learn more!

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