Interictal pattern-induced visual discomfort and Ictal photophobia in episodic migraineurs: An association of interictal and Ictal photophobia

Min Kyung Chu, Hyoung June Im, Chin Sang Chung, Kyungmi Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background.- Pattern-induced visual discomfort and photophobia are frequently observed symptoms in migraineurs. The presumed pathophysiologic mechanisms of pattern glare and photophobia seem to overlap anatomically within the central nervous system. Objective.- To assess the relationship between interictal pattern-induced visual discomfort and ictal photophobia in episodic migraineurs. Methods.- We compared pattern-induced visual discomfort among 3 groups: controls, migraineurs without ictal photophobia (MwoP), and migraineurs with ictal photophobia (MwP). Photophobia was assessed with a validated photophobia questionnaire. Visual discomfort tests were performed using 3 striped patterns with different spatial frequencies. After viewing the patterns for 10 seconds, subjects were asked to report the severity of visual discomfort using 4 scales (none, mild, moderate, and severe) and using a 0-10 visual analog scale (VAS). We compared the proportion of subjects choosing moderate-to-severe discomfort and the median values of VAS scores for each pattern among the 3 groups. Results.- We enrolled 35 controls, 18 MwoP, and 44 MwP, and there were no significant differences in clinical features among the 3 groups. MwP reported a significantly higher proportion of moderate-to-severe discomfort and higher median VAS scores than the controls and MwoP did. The intensity of discomfort increased with higher frequency of visual stimuli. Conclusions.- We conclude that MwP experienced more severe pattern-induced visual discomfort as compared with the controls and MwoP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1461-1467
Number of pages7
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 1



  • migraine
  • photophobia
  • visual cortex
  • visual discomfort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

Cite this