An ocular migraine is a unique type of migraine that affects the vision. It is characterized by a sudden onset of a visual distortion, such as flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots, in one or both eyes. These visual disturbances usually last for 10 to 30 minutes, and they are often followed by a headache.
Experts don’t always agree on the exact cause of ocular migraines. But they are typically thought to be caused by a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain. They tend to be more common in women than men, and they usually begin to appear while people are in their 20s or 30s.
Because of its effect on vision, an ocular migraine can be a very disruptive condition. But with proper precautions and care, most people can manage their symptoms relatively well. However, it is important to note that the symptoms of an ocular migraine can often mimic those of other, more serious conditions. Therefore, you should always consult with your eye doctor any time you experience a change in vision.
Ocular Migraine Symptoms
The symptoms of an ocular migraine can vary from person to person. Some people may only experience mild visual disturbances, while others may have more severe symptoms, along with a headache. The most common symptoms include:
- Flashing lights or zigzag lines in the vision
- Blind spots
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Nausea and vomiting
The visual disturbances typically last for 10 to 30 minutes, but they can sometimes last for up to an hour. The headache, if present, usually begins after the visual disturbances and can last for several hours or even days. Again, if you experience any of the symptoms of an ocular migraine, it is important to see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Ocular Migraine Management
Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to completely prevent an ocular migraine from occurring. In other words, there is no “cure” at this time. However, there are some things that can help reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. These can include:
- Avoiding triggers: Some people find that certain things, such as stress, lack of sleep, or certain foods, can trigger an ocular migraine. Paying attention to these triggers, and doing your best to avoid them, can help to reduce the risk of attacks.
- Migraine medications: typical over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen are often enough to alleviate symptoms. More serious cases can be handled with prescription medications.
- Making lifestyle changes: Certain activities can increase the chance of an ocular migraine occurring. Therefore, certain lifestyle changes can help reduce the number or severity of episodes:
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration
- Cut down on salty foods
- Avoid too much alcohol or caffeine
Visit Family Vision Development Center for Total Vision Care
At Family Vision Development Center, our philosophy of whole body wellness extends beyond the eyes. Our one-on-one approach provides personalized care and individualized treatment options to maintain healthy vision for life. Visit us for regular vision exams in order to properly track any changes in vision. And contact us immediately if you ever have any vision concerns. Our professional team is here to help at 630-862-2020!
Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear. We are dedicated to keeping our patients comfortable and well-informed and we will explain every exam and procedure and answer all of your questions. We accept both scheduled and emergency appointments, and offer convenient financing and insurance options to ensure that high-quality vision care is available and affordable to all of our patients.