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Ophthalmic Migraines Explained

Hello, Dr. Ed Huggett here. Wanted to talk to you today about migraines. Yup. Migraines and how they’re associated with the eyes. There are some people that would come in and say, you know, Dr. Huggett, I get these migraine headaches when I use my eyes or I’m reading. Yes, migraines can be triggered by reading and eye stain. But there’s a certain kind of migraine really that I want to talk about today. I want to talk about an ophthalmic migraine. Ophthalmic migraines are migraines that occur and actually affect a person’s vision. But unlike most migraines that have pain, this type of migraine has no pain or rarely has pain. And that’s a kind of migraine that it will actually sometimes block a person’s vision out. They’ll say, you know, I, all of a sudden had this gray area of my vision and I couldn’t see around it or see through it or looks like zigzag patterns. It’s like Chevron or zigzag pattern that a person will see. Sometimes it looks like a kaleidoscope. I’ve had patients say, it looks like my vision, it’s almost like a, stained glass window, just all crinkled in the pieces. Typically in most cases that is what’s called an ophthalmic migraine. Typically sudden onset usually lasts maybe 15, 20 minutes and then slowly, gradually goes away. If you’re not sure about it and obviously you are worried about stroke or worry about other things. Ophthalmic migraine is typically very benign, doesn’t cause any problem. If you have questions about it, give your eye doctor a call, obviously. What causes them? Well, stress number one, who has stress? Of course you don’t have stress, but stress can do it.

Another common trigger is a food. Certain foods can do it. Like nuts broad beans , navy beans, lima beans, hard cheeses can do it. Process meats, salami, bologna, that kind of thing. Hard liquor, whiskey scotch, things like that can cause or trigger ophthalmic migraines. What I tell people to do is if you have an ophthalmic migraine, obviously run by your doctor. Make sure everything’s fine. Each time you have what write down the foods that you ate the previous 24 hours. And about the second or third time you do that, you’re going to start to see correlations of foods that are common. If it’s, triggered from foods. A commonality, maybe it might be Swiss cheese, one time and cheddar cheese the next time, or it might be navy beans one time or lima beans the next time. So, but you’ll start seeing these commonalities. And once you do that, now, you know what to start to eliminate. So if you see maybe two or three common kind of common foods that may trigger, eliminate one of them. Let it go for awhile. See if the migraine goes away and it never comes back. If it doesn’t come back, you know, you’ve eliminated the source of the problem. The typically migraines occur as maybe middle-aged so around 25 on up into the 50s and 60s. But if you have any questions about them, any comments, please leave them here. I’d love to hear from you.

Struggling with a visual impairment? Let us help!

Hello, Dr. Ed Huggett here today.

I’m going to talk about some additional things I do and have available to me to help you with a vision impairment.

So let’s take off from where we left off in the past.

So a person comes in to see me. They have a vision impairment due to some issue, macular degeneration, diabetes, whatever may be.

Referred to me by the retina specialist, maybe heard about us or looking at what vision a person has then.

And if I find out what you want to see with it, whether it’s faces TV, you want to be able to see across the room.

You want to be able to read. You want to be able to crochet. See your computer.

If I know what vision you have and what you want to do with it, I know then what I need to do to make it better.

So how do I do that?

Well, we talked about optical devices in the past, but most people don’t realize there’s one other really valuable tool, critically valuable tool that I have.

If you’ve ever had physical therapy, you know, that physical therapy is rehab and rehab is done to regain some lost body function, usually after an injury or surgery or something to that effect.

Most people don’t realize that most major medical insurances will actually pay for rehab vision rehab, lost vision. So if you’ve lost a vision, we can actually do some rehab to help with that loss vision.

And that’s done by some orders.

I would write to an occupational therapist. Occupational therapist, specially trained in vision rehabilitation. And they actually, under my orders, would actually go to a person’s residence where they live and do the things that I asked them to do to help a person with their vision.

So it deals with whatever device I would prescribe, helps them use it better. It makes it work better for them.

And not only that, occupational therapy will be my eyes and ears in that person’s residence, their home to be able to see what other things that can be done possibly to help that person.

So they actually will go out into the person’s home and report back to me say, Dr. Huggett yeah, this person needs this, or needs that, this will help him. And then we can prescribe some additional devices.

So it all boils down to keeping a person with a vision impairment, as independent, as possible, safe and operating in a much higher level. And occupational therapy, like I said, most major medical insurances cover the cost.

And most people, most eye doctors don’t even know that that’s available.

We’ve been using occupational therapy for a good 30 years or plus. So that’s one of the other tools I use. And then with the occupational therapy, they’ll look at fall prevention, things that can be done to help a person that’d be likely to fall, can adapt their environment to the person with the vision impairment.

They keep them safe and independent and happy. So that’s it in a nutshell.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them here for us. Like our YouTube channel. If you’re a subscriber and we look forward to talking to you in the near future.

What causes low vision?

Hello, Dr. Ed Huggett here.

I wanted to talk to you today about causes of low vision.

What can cause low vision? Well, let’s talk about low vision first, real quickly.

Low vision is where you have an impairment of your vision caused you to have difficulty doing something that you want to do on a daily basis.

Vision impairment doesn’t mean that everything you do on a daily basis is impaired or your vision is impaired.

It means that something that you’re doing on a daily basis is impaired because you can’t see it like you need to see it. So that’s a vision impairment.

It could be something from something very mild to something very profound, where you have such an impairment that you basically are seeing just shadows, maybe just a light and that’s it.

But if you have vision in most cases, if you have vision, it can be improved.

In fact, we have a standing order in our office that if I can’t help you, there’s no charge because I’d love seeing patients with vision impairments, I love to take my 30 years of experience to help a person see better.

But, causes of low vision? Most commonly age-related macular degeneration could be cataracts. Those are two very common causes of a vision impairment.

Two, it could be a, glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition where you have peripheral vision loss, where it kind of constricts sand to the point where you actually can have like, a tunnel vision.

Diabetic retinopathy, diabetes leading cause of vision impairment.

In fact, if you have diabetes for any number of years, eventually most people will have some type of vision impairment, some type of vision loss, and a person with a vision impairment due to diabetic retinopathy can easily be helped.

So those are just some of the main causes.

You can either be born even with some issues, that cause of vision impairment.

It can be born with amblyopia. It can be born with an optic nerve problem.

So there’s, any number of things can cause that, but basically if you have vision with a proper vision rehab and low vision exam, it could be made better.

And typically within one hour, it’s all it takes about one hour of a low vision exam.

And what we do is we determine what vision you have and then what we could do to make it better.

And we can actually, in most cases, just put together in the office, right at that exam time, we would recommend to help you see that you can see better. So that’s it for today.

What is a low vision assessment?

Hi, Dr. Ed Huggett here. (I) wanted to answer some questions today about how do we test for low vision?

What actually is done to see if a person is visually impaired, and how can we test for that?

Well, three of the things we look at – one is we look at what’s called visual acuity.

How small letter, how small word can we actually make out?

One of the many cards I use is a… we call it the game card and you can obviously see why it’s called the game card.

And we’ve got words that go all the way down into very, very small words.

Top word, there is 2,400, and this typically is tested right at about 16 inches.

So right at the 16 inch distance, we’re testing to see how small a word a person could actually make out because you know, it actually, can be a different measure of whether you’re testing the letters versus actually words.

And I like to test word acuity. I call this word acuity because that’s more to like, more to actual vision.

Other thing that we test for is what’s called your field division.

How far can you see to the side, your peripheral vision?

Do you have a problem with your, your central vision? Maybe with macular degeneration, your central vision is impaired and you’ll only have peripheral vision.

Or you have a visual field cut like a what’s called a Hemianopsia where you may have lost vision due to head trauma.

You could have lost vision to a stroke. And sometimes after surgery that occurs, if you have some type of brain surgery.

So, acuity, your field of vision and one of the things that’s rarely ever tested that I test for on a routine basis, and that’s called contrast sensitivity.

Contrast sensitivity is how much contrast do you need to be able to see what you want to see.

And you can see on this test here, each letter is slightly less contrast than the previous.

Fades out that looks like almost nothing at the bottom, but then believe it or not, there are letters across, down here.

So contrast sensitivity is very, very critical, and we’ll be talking about that in the next video. If you have questions, any comments, please leave them here. Like our video and YouTube channel. And we’ll talk to you soon.

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