What causes optical migraines?

  • 1
related to an answer for: What Are the Symptoms of Optical Migraine?

1 Answer

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.

The causes of optical migraine are the same as those of migraine headaches.


Studies indicate that optical migraines are caused due to certain activities in the brain which results in the release of inflammatory materials around the blood vessels and nerves of the brain and head. The reasons for such mechanisms within the brain are not understood.


MRI and other forms of imaging studies reveal that there are changes in the flow of blood in the brain at the time of optical migraines, but the causes of such blood flow alterations are also unknown.  

Some possible causes that may trigger an optical migraine attack are: 

  • Particular types of food like caffeinated drinks, smoked meats, aged cheeses, chocolate and red wine
  • Certain food additives such as artificial sweeteners and monosodium glutamate or MSG
  • Other probable triggers for optical migraines include powerful perfume odors, flickering or obtrusive lights, cigarette smoke, emotional stress, lack of sleep and certain kinds of strong odors.
What are some treatment options for optical migranes
Generally speaking, there is no particularly good way. The main treatment is symptomatic treatment, including HT receptor antagonists, calcium antagonists and other vasodilators.
...