What is an Ocular Migraine?

December 17, 2015



If you’ve never heard of an ocular migraine, you may assume by the name alone that it must be a headache that affects the eyes. If so, you would be correct. In fact, some people who have experienced one (without knowing what they are) thought they might be suffering from a stroke due to the vision impairment that comes with the headache.

Once the migraine affects the vision, portions of the eyesight will be blurred during a very short or prolonged period of time. Generally, the impairment lasts as long as an hour before, during, or even after the head pain. It can take place in one or both eyes at the same time.

People who experience these headaches can know pretty quickly when it’s happening. For example, they might be reading a book, and all of the sudden, they can’t see all of the words on the page. Wavy, squiggly lines can block the vision. Some have reported seeing flashes of light, spots, or stars. Even once the vision problem has cleared up, the headache can remain for some time.

People who frequently suffer from migraine headaches oftenhave specific precursors or pre-symptoms that occur before the head pain begins. This ocular disturbance is another example of those. As with any migraine, the level of intensity, the amount of pain, and the varieties of vision impairments can vary from person to person.

It’s a rare form of migraine that is believed to affect one out of every 200 migraine sufferers. Ocular migraines can also be hereditary. So, if you know someone in your family who has talked about having one, it’s possible you might experience it as well.

It’s important to understand, however, that blurred vision problems aren’t always the result of a migraine headache. You’ll want to talk to a medical professional about your symptoms. If you are suffering from ocular migraines, a doctor can discuss a variety of treatment options as well. There are medications, as well as relaxation methods that can help you deal with the issues associated with the headache.

If your migraines are chronic, whether they are accompanied by vision problems or not, the Migraine Treatment Centers of America may be able to help. Give us a call anytime at 855-980-7530.


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