Written by: Jacci, Published: 28 August 2019
Migraines affect around 1 in every 5 women and 1 in every 15 men.
For those who suffer with migraines, they know that it’s more than ‘just a headache’. They can actually be pretty debilitating, lasting for anything from 2–72 hours.
By definition a migraine is a severe throbbing pain on one side of the head; which may or may not accompany nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to sound or light.
You may have heard the term migraine with aura thrown around? This is when certain visual warning signs, such as flashing lights, will begin before the migraine sets in. It’s more common however to experience migraines without the aura.
Today we are talking about ocular migraines, which can indicate more serious underlying issues.
Ocular migraine affects around one in every 200 people who have migraines.
The term ocular migraine, otherwise known as retinal migraine, is defined by temporary vision loss or blindness in one eye; which can last for up to 30 minutes. This is caused by reduced blood flow in the retina or behind the eye.
Ocular migraines should not be confused with migraine with aura, which affects both eyes with less severe disruption to vision. Loss of vision in one eye can be a sign of a more serious condition. Sudden or recurring vision loss requires medical assistance right away.
Regular eye examinations are important to diagnose ocular migraines and even more important to rule out more dangerous conditions that have similar symptoms.
This is because ocular migraine symptoms are similar to those caused by an eye stroke. It’s vital to seek medical attention quickly if the following symptoms are experienced:
Bear in mind that the same eye is affected every time in almost all cases and it is rare for an episode of vision loss to last longer than an hour.
Ocular migraines are more common in women, people over 40 and those with a family history.
Common causes of ocular migraine include:
Once serious eye diseases have been ruled out, a doctor may prescribe the following medicines to relieve the symptoms of ocular migraine: