Ocular Migraine: Everything You Need to Know


If a typical migraine occurs with headaches, ocular migraines cause visual disturbances or aura with or without headaches. Ocular migraines are painful and disabling, but there are techniques to prevent and reduce the symptoms. This article looks at ocular migraines providing all information you want to know about them.

What Are Ocular Migraines?

Ocular migraines are defined by the medical fraternity as migraine causing visual symptoms with or without other migraine symptoms like headaches. The American migraine foundation confirms 25 to 30 percent of people with migraines experience aura, but fewer than 20 percent of these people experience it with every migraine episode. Ocular migraines not causing the aura are defined as common migraine. Silent or acephalgic migraines are the references given to ocular migraines without headache or pain by doctors. Silent migraines are rare but can occur more frequently as people age. People are using ocular migraine and retinal migraine interchangeably despite the two conditions not being similar and needing extra care.

Symptoms of Ocular Migraines

Symptoms of ocular migraines can differ among individuals. However, they will include:

Patients may see brief flashes of stars, patterns, or zigzag lines.

A blind or bright spot starting in the center of the vision to cover nearly 50 percent of the visual field is also experienced by patients affected by ocular migraines.

People suffering from ocular migraines may have slurred speech, impaired motor skills, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting, and intense pulsating or throbbing pain on both sides of the head, et cetera.

Visual symptoms from an ocular migraine can assume scary and disabling proportions making the patient believe they must visit the nearest emergency room for attention. However, seeing the ER near me doesn’t prove beneficial because the visual symptoms are often short-lived.

Some people may suffer from non-visual symptoms causing intense pain lasting for several hours to a few days and needing treatment from an ER or urgent care for ocular migraine.

What Are the Causes for Ocular Migraines?

Researchers have yet to determine what precisely causes migraine headaches or episodes to occur. Various theories exist, claiming that inflammation in the brain causes blood vessels to swell and pressurize the nerves to cause pain. In addition, migraine aura may develop due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain’s outer surface spreading like a wave over the visible portion. Genes are also associated with migraines, with the migraine research foundation stating 90 percent of people with migraines have a family history of the condition.

Hormonal changes are also associated with migraine episodes among women, and some people are more likely to have a migraine episode from specific triggers. Migraine triggers are different among everyone, but some of the common triggers include driving long distances, skipping meals, dehydration, too much or too little sleep, hormonal and weather changes, alcohol, monosodium glutamate, excessive heat, high altitude, et cetera.

Associated Risks

Painful symptoms are associated with ocular migraines causing fright in some people. However, the episodes are relatively short-lived and do not need attention from emergency rooms. On the other hand, people affected by a retinal migraine experience similar symptoms like ocular migraines but undoubtedly need to visit an emergency room for migraine because it can lead to irreversible vision loss. Some medications that distinguish retinal migraines from ocular migraines are symptoms affecting merely one eye, severe vision loss, temporary blindness, and seeing twinkling lights.

People neglecting treatment for retinal migraines from ocular migraine emergency care can become more sensitive to the symptoms every time they occur. The process leads to chronic migraine episodes or headaches.

Migraines with aura also increase the risk of strokes in women, especially among those taking estrogen-based medicines or smoking. The ocular migraine symptoms make straightforward tasks like driving, walking, reading, working, and caring for young children challenging. People experiencing ocular migraine symptoms should either stop what they are doing until the symptoms have passed or seek migraine treatment near me to find a solution to the problem affecting them.

When Does Ocular Migraine Need Medical Attention?

Headaches are familiar among everyone occasionally, but migraines are different and need appropriate treatment from medical professionals. People experiencing frequent symptoms of ocular migraines must seek help from medical professionals as soon as possible or visit Express ERs to receive remedies for the condition.

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