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Ocular Migraines

An ocular migraine may or may not be a cause for alarm. What some people refer to as an ocular migraine is actually just an aura that accompanies a regular migraine headache. Oftentimes these visual disturbances will come before the onset of a migraine and act as an indication that one of these debilitating headaches is on its way. The onset of these types of ocular migraines may be a clear indication that it’s time to take your migraine medication to help diminish the pain that generally follows.

Ocular Migraines as Part of a Migraine Headache

Ocular migraines that come before or with a migraine headache may only include visual difficulties. They may also include numbness, nausea, and other indications of a migraine headache.

Symptoms of these types of ocular migraines include:

  • Blind spots
  • Flashes of light
  • Zigzag patterns in your field of vision
  • Shimmering spots or stars in your visual field

These symptoms may be a minor inconvenience, but are not generally considered serious.

Retinal Migraine

In some instances, ocular migraine is a misnomer for what is actually a retinal migraine. Retinal migraines involve short bursts of diminished vision or complete blindness. This may precede or accompany a headache, but unlike ocular migraines is not always related to the headache itself. Another difference between the two types of ocular migraines is that retinal migraines will only affect one eye at a time.

If you experience a retinal migraine, it is important that you see an eye doctor as soon as possible. This may be an indication of a much larger problem including a stroke, blood clot, pituitary tumor, or a detached retina. If these problems are detected early enough, treatment can be provided that will remove the source of your retinal migraines and help free you from future occurrences.

If you suffer from ocular migraines, please use our eye doctor locator to find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area today.

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