Seeing Black Spots with Headache, Why and How to Help?

You may experience headaches due to many underlying problems. Most headaches do not indicate anything serious, but in some rare cases, they do indicate life-threatening conditions. It is natural to feel concerned after seeing black spots with your headache, but you should not panic. You need to consider what other symptoms you are experiencing and talk to your doctor for further evaluation.

Seeing Black Spots with Headache, Why?

Fatigue, lack of nutrition, and dehydration can all restrict the flow of blood to the brain, which in turn can cause headaches and visual problems. This usually happens while exercising, which actually indicates that your body is losing water. You should increase your intake of water – consider drinking 1-3 cups of water before exercise and continue to have it during exercise.

You may also feel better if you eat a smaller meal a couple of hours before you exercise. Also, take plenty of rest and improve the quality of your sleep. However, if you do not feel better after taking these steps, it is possible that your headache and visual problems are due to migraine aura or classic migraine. In this case, you need to see your doctor because only they can make a correct diagnosis.

What Is Migraine Aura?

Classic migraine refers to a headache that comes with sensory disturbances called aura, and this perfectly explains why you are seeing black spots with headache. 

What causes classic migraine is not clear yet, but some experts believe that you experience these visual hallucinations when a chemical or electrical wave moves across the part of your brain responsible for the processing of visual signals. However, bright lights, stress, too much or too little sleep, medications, and menstruation can trigger migraine aura.

The most common visual symptoms of migraine aura include the following:

  • You notice blind spots, sometimes outlined by geometric designs.
  • You see zigzag lines in your field of vision.
  • You see shimmering starts or spots.
  • You see flashes of light.
  • You notice a change in vision.

It is important to mention that these types of visual issues usually start in the center of your field of vision and then move outward. You may also have other sensory disturbances such as muscle weakness, difficulty with language, and feelings of numbness. You should talk to your doctor immediately if you notice any symptoms of migraine aura.

How Is Migraine Aura Treated?

There is no treatment available for seeing black spots with headache, but you can try ways to treat your migraine. Treatments and medications usually used to manage migraine are similar to treatment for migraine aura. Here are some options:

Pain-Relieving Medications

You can find medications to relieve migraine pain, but the timing of taking these medications is important. You should take your medication at the first sign of a migraine attack. The most common medications used for this purpose include the following:

  • Pain Relievers: You can take OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Keep in mind that you may develop medication-overuse headaches when taking these pain relievers for too long. Some of these pain relievers also increase your risk of ulcers and bleeding in the GI tract. 
  • Triptans: Maxalt, Imitrex, and other Triptan medications fall under the category of prescription drugs. They may help because they can block the pathways of pain in your brain. They help relieve a number of symptoms associated with migraine attacks. You can use them as shots, pills, or nasal sprays. Avoid using them if you are at risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Ergots: This family of drugs may help treat migraine pain and usually works well when you take it immediately after you experience any migraine symptoms. If your migraine attacks last longer than 48 hours, Ergots may prove beneficial. It may cause some side effects though, such as nausea, vomiting, and medication-overuse headaches. If your migraine with aura lasts a long time, you should avoid ergot medications because they can restrict the flow of blood to your brain.
  • Opioid Medication: You may have to take narcotic opioid medications in case you cannot take ergots or triptans. They are not always recommended because their use can lead to addiction.
  • Anti-Nausea Drugs: You can take these drugs in case your classic migraine also causes vomiting and nausea. Some common anti-nausea drugs are prochlorperazine, metoclopramide, and chlorpromazine.
  • Glucocorticoids: Dexamethasone and prednisone are examples of glucocorticoids and are often used with other medications to help control your symptoms. It is important to avoid using a glucocorticoid frequently because of certain side effects.

Stress Management and Lifestyle Change

When seeing black spots with headache, you should consider making some lifestyle changes to manage your condition better. Here are some recommendations:

  • Consider cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This technique helps you understand how to manage stressful situations in a better way. By limiting stress, you can help reduce the frequency of your migraine attacks. Sometimes, it is used in combination with another strategy called learn to cope (LTC), which involves exposing yourself to certain headache triggers. This controlled exposure makes you less sensitive to those triggers.
  • Be sure to get enough rest. You should take steps to promote a good night's sleep. It is important to avoid sleeping too much because this can also trigger a migraine attack. Just sleep enough and follow a set routine.
  • Learn to relax your nerves when you notice early symptoms of a migraine attack. Your symptoms will become worse if you panic. It is better to go to a quiet room and take some rest. You may feel better by placing an ice pack at the back of your neck.

Preventive Medications

If you have to deal with frequent migraine aura, you may consider taking some preventive medications, including antidepressants, blood-pressure lowering medications, Botox injections, and anti-seizure drugs. Your doctor will help find the one more suitable for you. You have to take those medications regularly to have fewer migraines. 

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