Although migraines are typically thought to manifest in the form of headaches, ocular migraines also exist. Also known as retinal migraines, ocular migraines take the form of temporary visual disturbances, and can blur the vision in either one or both eyes depending on the severity. Fortunately, ocular migraines are usually harmless, and will resolve themselves without treatment in about 20 to 30 minutes. However, if you experience ocular migraines frequently, there may be an underlying cause which requires treatment.
Ocular Migraine Symptoms
Ocular migraines typically present a variety of visual symptoms. One major indicator is a blind spot in your vision that becomes increasingly larger. This is called a scotoma, which may also result in a partial loss of vision temporarily. If the symptoms worsen, you may also see flashing or flickering lights, also known as scintillations. This can cause the blind spot to move across your field of vision, blurring your eyesight.
This episode may only last a few minutes, and can be signalled by a migraine prodrome. A migraine prodrome is usually subtle, and can cause mood swings, spontaneous cravings, or fatigue. This will typically occur days or even weeks before the onset of an ocular migraine. If you feel you experience migraine prodromes frequently, it may be time to seek medical treatment.
Ocular Migraine Treatment
Fortunately, ocular migraines are generally harmless. They usually resolve on their own and will not require further treatment. However, if your symptoms worsen, preventive treatments for headache migraines such as tricyclic antidepressants and anti-seizure medications may be beneficial. Aspirin and beta blockers may also be helpful for the pain associated with ocular migraines.
Behavioral changes, such as relaxation techniques and stress reduction, may help to lessen the severity of ocular migraines. Regardless, it is important to be examined by an eye care professional to best determine the state of your eye health and your recommended course of treatment. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghosheh today, and feel free to contact us with any eye health questions and concerns.