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thornysoul Click to EMail thornysoulClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Nov-25-02, 11:46 AM (CMT)
Hi all, I'm posting from the UK where the doctors are even more archaic and out of touch than yours sound - at least over there you get tests if you want them. Here we have a 6 month waiting list to see a regular neurologist!!! Because of this I have to pay to see him sooner and that will be 140 (about $200) and that doesnt include tests and of course we dont have the kind of health insurance over here that you do.. And then he says its stress and needs to be treated with some perspective!!! Anyway, winge over. I wanted to ask if anyone knew what could cause photophobia which precedes migraine? My migraines (varying severity for ten years - I'm 27) only come as an after thought to exposure to light. The light causes severe pain to the surface of my eye and then becomes a migraine. The opthamologist (more money) said there was obviously something wrong but he couldn't see any evidence of it - then I get the bill! I wear sunglasses all the time and try not to go out during the day but with a daughter and a job its difficult. Anyway, lovely to find out you are all in the same boat and hope to talk to you all again soon. Toni.

 Table of contents

RE: photophobia, Elise, Nov-25-02, (1)
RE: photophobia, thetsarisa, Nov-25-02, (2)
RE: photophobia, nubbyjenn, Nov-25-02, (3)
RE: photophobia, Steve B , Nov-25-02, (4)
RE: photophobia, thornysoul, Nov-27-02, (5)
RE: photophobia, Rose, Nov-27-02, (6)
RE: photophobia, thornysoul, Nov-27-02, (7)

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Elise Click to EMail EliseClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Nov-25-02, 12:04 PM (CMT)
1. "RE: photophobia"
Hello Soul,


I believe there is no real "cause" for photophobia, but there is someone here who works for an opthalmologist (I think) and hopefully she'll give her more educated opinion on this. WHat I think is that when a certain number of other triggers have built up, I then get extrememly sensitive to light. That sensitivity is what has led me to understand that I've had migraines for years, though up until seven or eight years ago they were infrequent.

There are very dark sunglasses called something like glacier sunglasses. They have sides to them and are very, very dark.

There is an idea that if we eliminate other triggers (dietary, stress, etc.) that we get less headaches. This works for me to a certain extent.

When I started getting migraines regularly, I went to a sinus doc, a dentist, and an eye doc (not to mention acupuncture, physical therapy, massage therapy, cranial-fascial therapy, acupressure...) trying to find the reason for the pain. No one found anything because migraine happens in the brain. It's a neurological disorder, as you know.

Good luck. There are things that help. I found that the extreme photosensitivity passed for me after a few years - it isn't nearly so bad now as it used to be - I only get it once in a while.



thetsarisa Click to EMail thetsarisaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Nov-25-02, 01:06 PM (CMT)
2. "RE: photophobia"
I think if a sensititvity to light happens a certain time before migraine attack, it might be a sort of an aura, or - the light is your trigger - you get migraine from light.
I don't have auras, and I know if I become very sensitve to light and sound and smell, then a migraine is on it's way .

nubbyjenn Click to EMail nubbyjennClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Nov-25-02, 02:52 PM (CMT)
3. "RE: photophobia"
My understanding is that the photophobia is a result of the optic nerve being constricted via the arteries that are in the area. Pre migraine pain the constriction occurs and this is what causes a lot of the visual disturbance etc. I suspect that migraineurs have a sensitivity in this area...



Steve B Click to EMail Steve B Click to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Nov-25-02, 09:16 PM (CMT)
4. "RE: photophobia"

Sorry to hear that you're having such a bad time getting the help you need. But it's not like we here in the "the colonies" have it any better. Yea we can see a doctor on almost a moments notice, but we still get the same answers!

In answer to your question, you might do some internet research on Trigeminal Neuralgia. The trigeminal nerve is rooted at the center of the brain and branches out, exiting the skull at different points, one of which is under the eyebrow ridge. IF when experiencing eye pain you find yourself pressing your thumb into the roof of your eye socket, in an upwards direction towards your eyebrow, you are pressing on one of these exit points and TN is the likely culprit.

The trigeminal nerve is often involved in migraine pain, so you can see the association here. The eye pain is a symptom of the trigemial nerve being irritated, and a clue that a migraine is soon to arrive.

If you can stop the nerve irritation at the earliest onset of pain, you might be able to avoid the migraine. There are many ways of doing this. I use an OTC med called excedrin available here in the US. Each dose consists of Acetaminophin (250mg), asprin (250mg) and caffeine (65mg).

Some use ice packs on the forehead to numb the nerve. Some, (like me) use hot showers to ease cramped muscles and soothe this nerve. I eat something too to eliminate a low blood sugar trigger, just in case.

We all try different things until we find what works for us.

Wishing you a pain free day!



thornysoul Click to EMail thornysoulClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Nov-27-02, 05:14 AM (CMT)
5. "RE: photophobia"
I checked out TN like you suggested but I dont think it applies - the pain is right on the surface of my eye and then goes inwards. I have noticed that it pulses especially at the acupressure points but then there's an exit wound type of pain at the back of my head and its feels like half my head has been blown off and what's left is hollow and painful/ Weird huh? I wish I could paint. The painting on the openning page to this site is beautiful and so startling - it really does feel like that!! Thank you for replying (all of you!) and feel free to email me if you ever need to talk. thornysoul@aol.com

Rose Click to EMail RoseClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Nov-27-02, 06:56 AM (CMT)
6. "RE: photophobia"
Hi Thornysoul, sorry to hear you are getting the typical MD runaround! Few things are more frustrating than waiting months to see a doctor only to have them say it's stress!! I have worked in the ophthalmology field for over 12 years and I hear photophobia in every headache complaint. Either before or especially during a migraine attack. Do you see flashes or heat waves or other visual disturbances or does light make your eyes burn? Some of us (I don't) - have auras before a migraine and some (few) see auras and never get a headache. If your eyes burn, I would recommend some sort of artificial tear drop that can be used as often as you need. They are not medicated and can relieve some photophobia. If you wear contact lenses - make sure the drops are approved for using with your contacts in. You can find these drops without a doctors prescription, at least here in the U.S.
Also, do your eyes water (especially in the wind or sun?) are they red? Are both eyes affected or just one? Sorry for all the questions!! I'm not even sure now if I answered your question! LOL
I need another cup of coffee Take care and keep us posted okay?
P.S. I watch BBC channell all the time! I love Changing Rooms and think Handy Andy is a cutie!!!
Love, Rose

thornysoul Click to EMail thornysoulClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Nov-27-02, 09:51 AM (CMT)
7. "RE: photophobia"
Handy Andy is the reason I pay my license fee! Anyway, to your questions, yes my eyes burn but apparently I produce enough tears no dry eye. I dont cry often though and sometimes my eyes leak for no reason. My eyes dont go red (no conjungtivitis) but the eyelids do get puffy sometimes. Mainly its the burning. I have tried artificial tears but they fall straight out of my eyes. The burning seems deeper also than just dry eyes. I get stabbing pains either on the left or right sides right on the acupressure points between your eye and ear. sometimes it comes from the top of my head and reaches down each side. Other times I get entry and exit wound type pain with a small stabbing pain on one side and a big ache on the opposite side/back of my head. These happen a couple of times a day at the moment and I have a nagging neck ache that wont go away (I know its not meningitis though cos its been like this for months) I slur my words occasionally and lose my balance. I also get vertigo when I stand up too fast. No auras, but then I may not be noticing something subtle. Sorry for all the detail but once you start...!!! )))


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