Category Archives: ocular migraines

What are Ocular Migraines?

Headaches come in all sorts of horrible varieties:  tension, stress, sinus, cluster or plain old migraines to name just a few.  But have you heard or experienced an Ocular Migraine?  These are unique types of headaches that can be both alarming as well as disabling.  Let’s look at this rare type of headache and see how it may  impact vision and daily activity.

What exactly is an Ocular Migraine?

About 1 in 200 people (who regularly experience migraines) will experience these rare migraines.  Ocular Migraines cause vision loss or  temporary blindness in one or both eyes usually following a migraine headache.  Experts sometimes call these episodes “retinal,” “ophthalmic,” or “monocular” (meaning one eye) migraines.

Symptoms of an Ocular Migraine:

Many people report seeing flashing lights, dimness of vision, blind spots in the field of sight, or sometimes blindness. In addition, these symptoms are usually accompanied by a migraine headache that lasts about a day or so.  The migraine may impact only one side the head, pulsate or be worse with activity and light.  To add insult to injury, nausea and vomiting may accompany this type of headache.

Causes and Treatment –

Headache specialist are unsure why some people experience these types of migraines while others do not.  It may be related to spasms in the blood vessels in the back of the eye or nerve cells in the retina. It is important to seek immediate advice/treatment from your eye doctor to rule out any other condition that may be causing this eye event.  As far as treatments go, your doctor will probably prescribe medication to ease the pain as well as prevent future occurrences such as drugs used to treat epilepsy or depression.  Please discuss any symptoms involving your migraines with your health care professional and your personal eye doctor.