A classic migraine usually results in intense headaches and sensitivity to light and noise. But there are cases where the condition also comes with vision loss. Depending on the symptoms, this can either be an ocular or visual migraine. They sound the same, but the two actually have a few differences. The trusted optometrist in the area, Eyes on Norbeck, discusses them here.
An ocular migraine refers to a rare condition that causes temporary vision loss, or even blindness, in one eye. This happens when there is reduced blood flow in the eye, or blood vessel spasms in the retina (the sensory membrane lining the back of the eyes). An ocular migraine generally lasts for an hour, with the vision gradually returning as it subsides.
A person may recognize they have an ocular migraine if there is a blind spot in the central vision of the eye. As the migraine progresses, this blind spot grows larger until it completely blocks the field of vision. While an ocular migraine usually resolves itself within an hour, a comprehensive eye exam from a trusted optometrist like Eyes on Norbeck may be required if it starts happening more frequently.
A visual migraine may seem similar to an ocular migraine, except that vision loss happens in both eyes. The migraine may start to subside in about 30 minutes–much shorter than an ocular migraine. The symptoms are different, as well. A visual migraine comes with a blind spot that gradually moves across the field of vision or a blind spot that flickers on and off at the center of the vision. Sometimes, a ring of lights creates that same blind spot, which is the reason a visual migraine is also called a ‘migraine with aura’. As with an ocular migraine, a visual migraine should prompt a visit to the eye doctor if it’s happening more often.
Both ocular and visual migraines may be caused by a family history of migraines or common triggers that may include bright lights, dehydration, weather changes, cigarette smoke, and strong odors. Prescription medications and lifestyle changes are usually recommended to deal with ocular and visual migraines. Your trusted optometrist will be able to tell you more about these solutions.
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From safe and effective prescription eyeglasses to advanced eyecare treatments, Eyes on Norbeck has got you covered. With our quality eye health solutions, we will make sure you can enjoy a lifetime of clear, healthy, and comfortable vision. Schedule your eye exam today by calling us at (301) 238-7199 or filling out this contact form. We proudly serve the areas in and around Potomac, MD.