Ocular Migraines are a disturbance of your vision that often includes a headache on one side. Alternative terms include ophthalmic migraines, retinal migraines and eye migraines. It is a rare occurrence, affecting 1 out of every 200 people that suffer from migraines. While researchers are uncertain what causes an ocular migraine, it’s often due to other factors than the standard migraine causes. In order for a health care professional to diagnose ocular migraines, they must rule out other conditions that cause the same symptoms.
4. Temporary Blindness
Ocular migraines will cause blindness that lasts for an hour or less. Known as an “episode”, it is usually followed by a migraine. A migraine without the temporary blindness is knows as a “migraine without aura” which is the name replacement from the common migraine.
While they are mostly an issue with your vision, you may also experience problems with the other senses. For example, disturbance of hearing, speaking or smell may occur along with possible numbness in the face, arms or legs. A general weakness may also be a symptom involved.
3. Associated With Migraines
While health professionals and researchers are not certain on what causes ocular migraines, it’s believed to have similar causes as migraine headaches. Migraines are said to have a genetic basis with 70 % of people that suffer from it having a family history of migraines.
Experts in the field of migraines know that they are triggered by an activation process of a mechanism set deeply in the brain. It releases inflammatory substances around your nerves and vessels of the brain. Studies have shown that change in the blood flow of the brain occur in both ocular migraines and visual auras. There is no known reason why these changes occur that has been founded.
2. Vision Loss In One Eye
One of the symptoms that can pinpoint ocular migraines is the loss of vision in just one eye. People that suffer from these episodes may have a difficult time identifying a difference between flashing lights and blindness in one or both eyes.
A normal migraine with an aura can also involve flashing light and blind spots. Normally, those affected with these symptoms with a normal migraine will affect both eyes.
1. Seeing Spots
One of the symptoms of an ocular migraine is seeing small blind spots also known as scotoma. It will occur in your central vision and involve flashing, flickering lights known as scintillations. Wavy lines or zig-zags can also surround the blind spot which will normally get bigger, crowding your vision more and more.
The spots you see are known as floaters which are clumps of cells inside the vitreous which is the clear fluid that fills the inside of your eye. These objects may appear to be in front of your eye but they are actually floating within it. This symptom can last just a few minutes, up to 30 minutes.