Ocular Migraine

An ocular migraine, also known as an ophthalmic migraine or retinal migraine, is a painless and temporary disturbance in vision that affects either one or both eyes. Ocular migraines usually resolve, without medication, within 20 to 30 minutes from the start of the occurrence. If the ocular migraine is accompanied by a throbbing headache, then it is classified as a migraine with an aura.

Causes of an Ocular Migraine

A classic migraine and an ocular migraine have causes that are similar. They may include:

  • A family history of migraines
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • Strong odors
  • Stress
  • Sleep deprivation

Symptoms of an Ocular Migraine

Ocular migraines have several visual symptoms which include:

  • A small blind spot that enlarges
  • Bright flashing or flickering lights
  • Wavy or zig-zag lines that surround the blind spot
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nausea
  • Visual loss

Treatment of an Ocular Migraine

Ocular migraines tend to resolve on their own and usually require no treatment. An ocular migraine may be the indication of an underlying condition and a physician should be consulted.