How Ocular Migraines Can Affect Vision

May 18th, 2016
stressed overworked middle aged businesswoman office worker taking off glasses

Migraines are among the most painful conditions that affect otherwise healthy individuals. They may come on suddenly or slowly build in severity. However, most people do not know migraines may impact vision. When this occurs, it is called an ocular migraine. In the following, learn more about and tips to help you prevent or mitigate ocular migraines.

Characteristics of an Ocular Migraine

An ocular migraine occurs in conjunction with the typical “headache-like” migraine. An ocular migraine often includes the presence of visual changes, known as an aura, which may include blind spots, zigzagging lines, changes in light perception and flashing lights. As many as 20% of those who suffer from typical migraines may experience an aura, but it becomes an ocular migraine when the aura lasts for an extended period or recurs within an hour.

Causes of Ocular Migraines

Research and physicians have linked ocular migraines to estrogen, which may account for why they appear more often in women. These migraines also seem to have a genetic component, and a family history of migraines or ocular migraines increases the risk of developing them.

Retinal Migraines vs. Ocular Migraines

A retinal migraine is comparable to an ocular migraine, but while an ocular migraine usually affects both eyes, a retinal migraine affects only one eye. Due to the rarity of retinal migraines, any loss of vision in one eye exclusively warrants medical attention to rule out any other serious medical conditions.

Preventing Ocular Migraines

Unfortunately, researchers have yet to find a treatment for ocular migraines. Those with a personal history of ocular migraines should learn to recognize what triggers their symptoms and avoid such triggers.

If you experience an ocular migraine without a previous history of them, schedule an appointment with your eye care professional. Speaking to a medical professional to get accurate information is vital to ensuring the problem is an ocular migraine and not a more serious condition.

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