Why Do I Have Blurry Vision With a Headache?

Believe it or not, there are physical signs that can present themselves hours before the actual headache – and blurry vision is one of them.

Other symptoms can occur as early as a few days before the migraine. Depending on the type of migraine you’re experiencing, these symptoms will vary.

The average migraine is made up of four primary stages. These include: prodome, aura, headache, and postdrome. Not everyone who experiences a migraine will go through each of these stages.

Also, the length of each stage will vary from person to person. In this article, we’ll talk about the causes of a blurry vision with a headache.

We’ll do this by discussing each stage individually. Let’s get started!

Stage 1: Prodome

The first stage of a migraine is the prodome. This usually appears 1-2 days before the actual headache. Some common symptoms include:

  • Cravings for certain foods
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Irritability
  • Stiffness in the neck

Uncontrollable yawing is another symptom that often occurs during the prodome stage of a migraine.

Stage 2: Migraine Aura

When most people talk about a blurry vision with a headache, they’re most likely referring to stage 2 of a migraine attack: the aura.

What exactly is an aura?

It’s no one specific thing. It’s made up of a range of symptoms that affect the central nervous system.

An aura can occur before the migraine, during the migraine, or both.

Some people can have a migraine without experiencing an aura. Auras can vary in intensity, and typically last 1-2 hours. If you’ve got blurry vision, then what you’re experiencing is a visual aura.

Aside from the blurriness, you might also might experience loss of vision, flashes of light, or bright spots.

It will look like this:

Stage 3: Headache

blurry headache

This is the part of the migraine that we’re all familiar with – the headache.

During this stage, you’ll experience pain on one side of your head (or both).

The pain can be acute or dull, and can often come in “waves”.

This throbbing pain can be so debilitating that it can hinder your ability to perform everyday tasks. Experiencing blurry vision with a headache is also a common symptom.

During stage 3, people experience bouts of nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to lights and smells, and even faint. This is considered the “climax” of the migraine. Its length will vary from person to person.

Stage 4: Postdrome

During this phase, you won’t experience as much pain. Instead, you’ll feel fatigued and completely out of energy. Oddly, some people have even reported feeling euphoric during this phase.

How Are Migraines Diagnosed?

The bad news is that most migraines go undiagnosed for years. Thus, they also go untreated.

To properly treat your migraines and lessen their frequency/severity, you’ll first need to get diagnosed by a neurologist.

Once diagnosed, he or she can prescribe you the right medication for your symptoms. Here are some of the tests that your neurologist might perform:

  • Blood Test: There are certain blood tests that can reveal a lot about potential blood vessel issues that you’re experiencing.
  • CT Scan: A CT scan will provide your doctor with a detailed image of your brain. This will help them make the correct diagnosis.
  • MRI: Like a CT scan, MRIs can give very detailed images of your brain. It shows things like infections, bleeding, strokes, and more.
  • Lumbar Puncture: Finally, there’s the lumbar puncture. Also called a spinal tap, it can help determine if you’re suffering from migraines.

For people having blurry vision with a headache, it’s likely that you’re suffering from a migraine. But to know for sure, you’ll need to have one or more of these tests performed on you.

Drugs That Can Be Taken at The Onset of Migraine Symptoms

During stage 2, when you’re starting to experience blurriness, there are certain drugs you can take to lessen the intensity of stage 3.

These medications fall into one of five categories: pain killers, ergotamines, triptans, antinausea drugs, and opioids.

In no specific order, here are some of the common ones:

  • Aspirin (Pain Killer)
  • Ergotamine (Ergotamine)
  • Ibuprofen (Pain Killer)
  • Acetaminophen (Pain Killer)
  • Almotriptan (Triptan)
  • Methysergide (Ergotamine)
  • Metoclopramide (Antinausea Drug)
  • Codeine (Opioid)
  • Morphine (Opioid)

If you have an addictive personality, you may want to minimize your opioid risk since these are easy to get addicted to.

If your pain isn’t that severe, then taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen should suffice.

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