Ocular migraine – what is it and how to treat it?

Ocular migraine is a pretty rare condition that causes temporary vision loss or blindness in one eye, it is caused by reduced blood flow of vessels behind the eye or the retina. Ocular migraines can occur with a following headache or be painless. It is a pretty common thing to confuse ocular migraines with visual migraines. Visual migraines also cause vision discomfort and problems but they affect both eyes and are shorter, as they go away after around 20 minutes.


One of the main symptoms of ocular migraines is vision difficulties that affect only one eye, such as migraine with an aura or a sudden change in vision. It may be just a few minutes long or go up to 30. It may prove to be quite hard to detect that only one of your eyes is affected and is having trouble as the blindness may be only in one of the eyes, but affect both. If you are not sure you can try to cover one eye and then the other in order to check which eye is experiencing symptoms. 


Another symptom of the condition is experiencing a headache that lasts from 4 to 72 hours, it usually affects one side of your head, feels like it’s pulsating or throbbing and worse when you start moving around. You may also experience sensitivity to strong lights and sounds, vomiting and nausea.

What causes it?

The exact cause of the condition is difficult to identify. Experts link the problem to changes that spread across the nerve cells and retina and spams in the blood vessels in the retina. Another cause may be of the same nature, when it comes to the causes of headaches. Migraine headaches often have a genetic basis. Most of the people who suffer from them have a family member who experienced the condition. Studies show changes in the blood flow to the brain during the occurrence of ocular migraines, but what exactly causes those changes is till unclear. There are also some triggers that can contribute to causing a migraine such as: caffeine, cigarettes, strong perfumes, certain foods such as chocolate, smoked meat, aged cheese and bright lights. Another great factor is constant lack of sleep and stress.

How to treat it?

As mentioned earlier, the discomfort and problems that occur with ocular migraines usually pass within an hour. If the problem appears while you are performing tasks that require you to have clear vision then stop what you are doing and relax until it passes. Especially if you are driving stop your vehicle as soon and safe as possible and wait for your vision to get back to normal.
Visit a professional in order to get your eyes properly checked and your doctor will help you and prescribe you medicines for treating and preventing any future occurrences. Try to remember what were you doing and ate, around the time the condition appeared, as in this way you may be able to find out more easily what exactly triggers your migraines. Many times the migraines can be stress-related, so a healthy way to prevent this from happening is eating a balanced and healthy diet, getting enough sleep and relaxing once in a while.

Eye conditions