Migraines & Headaches
Do They Affect Your Vision?
Ocular migraines cause vision loss or blindness lasting less than an hour, along with or following a migraine headache. Experts sometimes call these episodes "retinal," "ophthalmic," or "monocular" (meaning one eye) migraines.
This problem is rare. It affects about one out of every 200 people who have migraines. Some research suggests that in many cases, symptoms of ocular migraine are actually due to other problems.
Ocular Migraine Symptoms
According to the International Headache Society's definition of this condition, which it calls retinal migraine, symptoms include:
- Flashing lights
- Blind spots in your field of vision
- Blindness in the eye
Headache that lasts from four to 72 hours. The headache tends to:
- Affect one side of your head
- Feel moderately or very painful
- Pulsate in intensity
- Feel worse when you're physically active
Ocular Migraine Causes
Experts aren't sure what causes ocular migraines. Some feel that the problem is related to:
Spasms in blood vessels in the retina, the delicate lining in the back of the eye
Changes that spread across the nerve cells in the retina
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