What you need to know:
- Pain in the right eye that may be accompanied by a temporary right-side weakness could indicate a type of headache called a migraine, which is sometimes also accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light
I am 33 years old. For the past six months, when I am about to start my period, I get pain in my right eye and weakness in the right arm. Aren’t these signs of a stroke? Anna
Pain in the right eye that may be accompanied by a temporary right-side weakness could indicate a type of headache called a migraine, which is sometimes also accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.
Your symptoms are likely not a result of a stroke, which is due to interruption of food and oxygen-laden blood supply to part of the brain resulting in brain death and serious longstanding symptoms. In case of a stroke, one may, among other symptoms, get sudden but eventually longstanding numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body.
Migraines are different in everyone but are more common in women than in men and may be caused by hormonal changes that lead to a woman’s period (menstrual or hormonal migraine).
Premenstrual syndrome refers to a group of symptoms, including a headache that a woman may experience up to 14 days before a period, which symptoms usually stop after the period starts.
Menstrual migraines, which affect many women in their reproductive age are more common in women in their late 20s or early 30s.
Migraine with brainstem aura has symptoms that can be confused with those of a stroke, such as slurred speech, dizziness, unsteadiness, and numbness on one side. Hemiplegic migraine is much more serious than this, sometimes resulting in a temporary paralysis on one side of the body.
There is no cure for menstrual migraines and the usual migraine treatments including over-the-counter drugs can cause peptic ulcers if taken often although for many, they can help. People should avoid self-prescription including taking contraceptive pills to stop ovulation because the internet says so in preference to seeing as doctor as soon as possible for help.
Identifying and avoiding migraine triggers is useful in treating migraine headaches but for menstrual migraines, this may be difficult because one requires to stop their period through using contraceptive pills which many detest.
However, there may be other additional factors starting or worsening symptoms such as stress, which can be managed through relaxation and resting with your eyes closed. One should also have a regular eating schedule, exercise and take a lot of fluids.
Once the headache starts, put a cool compress or ice pack on your neck and forehead, take an over-the-counter painkiller and visit a doctor for further management.