Ocular Migraines: Here's Why You're Suddenly Getting Them

Ocular Migraines: Here's Why You're Suddenly Getting Them

Ocular Migraines: Here's Why You're Suddenly Getting Them

Ocular Migraines: Here's Why You're Suddenly Getting Them

Ocular Migraines: Here's Why You're Suddenly Getting Them

Ocular Migraines: Here's Why You're Suddenly Getting Them

Ocular Migraines: Here's Why You're Suddenly Getting Them

Ocular Migraines: Here's Why You're Suddenly Getting Them

Ocular Migraines: Here's Why You're Suddenly Getting Them

Are you aware you can experience a migraine without nausea and head pain? A silent migraine, known as ophthalmic or ocular migraine, causes various vision disturbances rather than pain. These strange vision symptoms can appear in one or both eyes. If you suffer from migraines, you might know them as aura.


 

What Is an Ocular Migraine?



An ocular migraine, sometimes called retinal migraine, is an eye condition that causes short-term vision problems or blindness. The visual symptoms caused by an ocular migraine are hard to ignore and can be frightening. But they are brief and harmless in most cases, and vision returns to normal afterward. 


The term ocular migraine generally refers to a headache accompanied by visual changes. However, people often use it interchangeably to refer to migraine aura, a relatively mild condition, and retinal migraine, which could signal a severe problem. 


 

Symptoms of Ocular Migraines



Ocular migraine is not the same as a headache-type migraine. Also, it is pretty rare. Migraine auras cause various visual sensations or symptoms. They may also cause symptoms such as numbness that precedes or accompanies a migraine. These brief vision symptoms can interfere with activities like driving and reading. They include:

 

  • Shimmering start or spots
     

  • Flashes of light
     

  • Blind spots
     

  • Zigzagging patterns

 


Retinal migraine is a rare and more severe form of ocular migraine. It usually occurs in people with other migraine symptoms. It involves repeated bouts of short-term, diminished vision or blindness accompanying or preceding a headache. 


Unlike migraine auras, retinal migraines affect only one eye. Also, they usually result from other more serious conditions. So, if you start experiencing vision loss in one eye, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor at Raleigh Eye Center as soon as possible. 


 

Why Are You Suddenly Getting Ocular Migraines?

 


Doctors are yet to understand the definitive cause of ocular migraines. Many experts believe changes in the nerves or blood vessels of the eye cause this condition. These changes may occur due to environmental conditions, lifestyle, and genetic factors. So, you must consult your doctor if you are suddenly experiencing ocular migraines to prevent permanent vision loss.


 

Other Risk Factors



Generally, ocular migraines are more common in women and people between 30 and 40 years old. However, certain factors may trigger frequent attacks of ocular migraines in susceptible individuals. These include:

 

  • Emotional stress
     

  • Bright light
     

  • Sleep deprivation or too much sleep
     

  • High blood pressure
     

  • High altitude
     

  • Skipping meals
     

  • Weather changes
     

  • Strong odors
     

  • Hormonal changes in women
     

  • Strenuous physical activity
     

  • Hormonal birth control medication
     

  • Smoking
     

  • Dehydration
     

  • Alcohol abuse, especially red wine


 

Treating and Managing Migraines



Migraines can impact your quality of life. Ocular migraines typically go away after some time, but you should avoid triggers and rest until the visual disturbances stop. Also, you can take prescription or OTC medications to treat recurring migraine attacks. Other drugs that can help manage this condition include antidepressants, anti-epileptics, and beta-blockers. 


In most cases, an ocular migraine does not need treatment. However, you should consult your doctor if you experience such migraines frequently. Your doctor will determine whether you have an underlying condition and prescribe the appropriate medication to reduce the intensity or frequency of your symptoms.



For more on ocular migraines, visit Raleigh Eye Center at our offices in Raleigh, Durham, Reidsville, Henderson, North Carolina, or South Hill, Virginia. Call (919) 876-2427, (919) 899-2427 or (252) 492-8021 to book an appointment today.

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