Understanding Ocular Migraine

Ocular migraineĀ is a little understood variant of the migraine condition. In fact its not actually identified officially a migraine type by the HIS (International Headache Society), however, there are many medical professionals who use ocular migraine as a reference when describing a migraine type.

When ocular migraine is used it is usually in relation to a migraine that has visual auras or symptoms such as:

  • Migraine with aura
  • Retinal migraine
  • Optic migraine
  • Ophthalmic migraine

Many people who suffer from migraines experience symptoms involving the eye or vision, in fact symptoms involving vision are commonly found in migraine with aura.

The temporary loss of vision can cause distress and result in difficulty performing a normal daily routine, as well as driving or reading.

Visual symptoms that occur in ocular migraines:

  • Temporary changes in vision lasting up to half an hour
  • Temporary vision loss in one eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Seeing zigzags/bright spots/flickering lights/floating lines
  • Problems generally occur in just one eye
  • In very rare cases there could be permanent vision change

Depending on what symptoms you are experiencing and the severity of the visual problem, it is possible you are suffering from migraine with aura or experiencing a retinal migraine.

Causes and Treatment of Ocular Migraine

Similar to the migraine types in general, the root of the cause for ocular migraine is not yet fully understood. There have been many theories put forward but it is generally believed that a temporary blood flow reduction causes spasms in blood vessels which lead to a person suffering from the above symptoms.

Ocular migraines also bear similarities to other migraines in the treatment options. The problems with vision should dissipate once the migraine attack has finished and the best way to deal with the attacks could be to just lie down in a dark room until it has passed. It is important to keep your doctor informed about the symptoms you are experiencing so they can ensure it is a migraine and rule out any other potential medical condition.