Migraine Sufferers: Tune out the Visual

GLASGOW, Scotland, April 13 (UPI) — Seeking a dark room at the onset of a migraine headache may help avert headache pain, Scottish researchers suggest.

Researchers at the Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland find even when not suffering a headache, those who suffer migraine headache were more likely to be distracted by visual noise when processing visual cues.


The study, published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual, finds people prone to migraine could identify a light disk about as well as the control group could. However, when the interference — similar to black and white “snow” on television — was added, those who suffer migraines performed significantly worse.

“Our visual environment is generally very busy and full of objects, many of which are important at some times but not at others. Normally, we can attend effortlessly to those items of interest and often do not even notice others,” study lead researcher Doreen Wagner says in a statement.

Wagner suggests visual “noise” overexcites nerve cells in the brain of migraine sufferer — making it harder to see the disk.

“It might be helpful to avoid such ‘noisy’ environments which may impair their performance, scenes overloaded with visual disgracers, for example computer screens and learning tools which have a lot of visual information on them,” Wagner said.

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