Ayurvedic Treatment for Retinal Migraine

Retinal migraine (ocular migraine) is a rare type of migraine that involves an aura, with visually predominant hallucinations. It is a condition with brief attacks of temporary blindness or visual disturbances like flashing lights in one eye. In most cases, the vision becomes normal after a short while, and the signs are harmless. Some people get a retinal migraine every few months, although the frequency can vary. Retinal migraine is a separate condition different from headache-type migraine or migraine with aura, which usually affects the vision of both eyes.

Signs and symptoms of Retinal Migraine

  • Seeing twinkling lights, also known as scintillations
  • Areas of lessened vision are also called a scotoma
  • Temporary loss of vision, or blindness
  • Any of the above happenings repeatedly
  • Headache before during or after the vision attack

Causes of Retinal Migraine

The cause of retinal migraines remains mostly unknown. A spasm of the blood supply to the retina at the time of migraine is observed.

It may be triggered by:

  • stress
  • smoking
  • high blood pressure
  • oral contraceptive pill
  • excess exercise
  • high altitude
  • dehydration
  • low blood sugar
  • excessive heat

Retinal migraine is more common in:

  • women
  • people aged under 40
  • personal or family history of migraine or other headaches
  • people with an underlying disease – such as lupus, hardening of the arteries, sickle cell anaemia, epilepsy, antiphospholipid syndrome, and giant cell arteritis

Pathophysiology of Retinal Migraine

Retinal migraine develops when the constriction or sudden narrowing of the blood vessels to the eye happens, reducing the blood flow to the eye. After the relaxation, blood flow is resumed and vision restored. In most cases, no abnormalities are found within the eye and permanent damage to the eye is uncommon.

Diagnosis of Retinal Migraine

No specific test is there to diagnose retinal migraine.

History taking

Physical examination


CT scan

 Treatments of Retinal Migraine

Measures for pain relief like in any other headaches and reducing exposure to triggers. Medicines used are the following:

  • aspirin
  • beta-blocker
  • calcium channel blocker
  • tricyclic antidepressant
  • anti-epileptics

Prognosis of Retinal Migraine

Mostly the attacks are short and self-relieving

Complications of Retinal Migraine

  • Retinal damage
  • Vision loss

Ayurvedic Concept of Retinal Migraine

                There is not a single disease name explained in Ayurveda for retinal migraine. But Ayurveda explains the eyes as the seat of Pitta and associated with headaches like suryavarta and anantavata, ardhavabhedaka etc. So, a vitiation of Vaata and Pitta can lead to this disease.

Ayurvedic Nidana of Retinal Migraine

        Dry food intake & excessive food intake

Wind from the east side

Causative factors for the vitiation of Vaata & Pitta

Irregular sleep or lack of sleep

Taking bath in cold water immediately after heat/sun exposure

Ayurvedic Purvaaroopa of Retinal Migraine

        Not mentioned

Ayurvedic Samprapti of Retinal Migraine

        Not mentioned

Ayurvedic Lakshana of Retinal Migraine

        Seeing bright lights and visual hallucinations with or without the headache

Ayurvedic Divisions of Retinal Migraine

            Not mentioned

Ayurvedic Prognosis of Retinal Migraine


Ayurvedic  Treatment (Chikithsa) of Retinal Migraine


Lepanam with Soolahara dravyas



Intake of jeernaghrutam



Uttamammtrasnehapanam with Chatu:sneham








Commonly used Ayurvedic medicines for Retinal Migraine

        Varanadi kashayam

            Pathyakshadhatryadi kashayam

Nimbamruthadi Erandam

Anu Tailam

Varanadi Ksheera Ghrutham

Ksheerabala Tailam

Balahatadi Tailam

Balaguluchyadi Tailam

Dhanwantharam Gulika

Sirasoolari vajrarasam

            Rasnadi choornam

Brands available

AVS Kottakal

AVP Coimbatore

SNA oushadhasala

Vaidyaratnam oushadhasala

Home remedies for Retinal Migraine

There is no cure for migraines at home but some measures can be helpful to lessen the suffering due to migraines.

  • using flexible cold packs or masks
  • staying in a quiet, darkened room
  • sleeping, when necessary
  • herbal extracts, like jatipatri, karpoora and turmeric
  • acupuncture
  • neck exercises

A migraine episode is often a response to a trigger. To figure out the culprit, a person might try keeping a diary and recording what they did, ate, and drank before an episode.

It may be particularly helpful to avoid:

  • low blood sugar
  • physical overexertion
  • stress
  • certain foods, such as chocolate and any that contain tyramine
  • certain medications, like some birth control pills
  • bright lights and flickering screens

The following strategies can also help reduce the frequency of migraines:

  • getting enough rest and sleep
  • reducing stress  
  • drinking plenty of water
  • improving posture
  • avoiding dietary triggers, such as caffeine, alcohol, and cheese
  • exercising daily

Diet for Retinal Migraine

  • To be avoided

Heavy meals and difficult to digest foods – cause indigestion.

Junk foods- cause disturbance in digestion and reduces the bioavailability of the medicine

Carbonated drinks – makes the stomach more acidic and disturbed digestion

Refrigerated and frozen foods – causes weak and sluggish digestion by weakening Agni (digestive fire)

Milk and milk products – increase Kapha, obstruct channels and obesity

Curd – causes vidaaha and thereby many other diseases

  • To be added

Light meals and easily digestible foods

Green gram, soups, honey

Freshly cooked and warm food processed with cumin seeds, ginger, black pepper, ajwain etc


Protect yourself from the cold climate.

Better to avoid exposure to excessive sunlight wind rain or dust.

Maintain a regular food and sleep schedule.

Avoid holding or forcing the urges like urine, faeces, cough, sneeze etc.

Avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

Yoga for Retinal Migraine

Regular stretching and mild cardio exercises are advised. Also, specific yogacharya including naadisuddhi pranayama, bhujangaasana, pavanamuktasana is recommended.

Regular exercise helps improve the bioavailability of the medicine and food ingested and leads to positive health.

 Yoga can maintain harmony within the body and with the surrounding system.


Nadisudhi pranayama


Simple exercises for lungs and heart health

All the exercises and physical exertions must be decided and done under the supervision of a medical expert only.

Research articles on Retinal Migraine


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