When a migraine sets in you can expect to be put out of commission with pain and agony for up to 72 hours. Most migraine patients experience attacks of throbbing pain accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, but what many people don’t realize is that there’s another type of migraine that is associated with visual disturbance. For those that have experienced visual symptoms, they are often surprised to find out that their temporary condition is actually a migraine and not something else. So, if you have been experiencing visual disturbances, read on to see if you may be having ocular migraines.


Visual Disturbance

When you experience an ocular migraine, you will notice a visual disturbance in either one or both eyes. Usually the disturbance occurs for a brief period and is not accompanied by any headache or pain. It can often be frightening as some patients experience zig zag patterns, black outs, blind spots, flashing lights, and tingling in the surrounding muscles in your neck and shoulder area.


Problems With Coordination

Ocular migraines can also cause problems with coordination and perception. Some people have trouble speaking, intense vertigo, and even loss of consciousness during the disturbance.


Short Term Effects

The condition is usually short term, lasting between a few minutes, up to half an hour. If you do experience any symptoms you shouldn’t panic. Ocular migraines are not considered serious and do not permanently affect your visual capabilities.


Difficult to Diagnose

Often ocular migraines are difficult to diagnose because they are not associated with pain and headache. Many people believe the visual disturbances are often a symptom of something worse like a stroke or tumour. To help your doctor better diagnose your condition, write down all of your symptoms, time of day, current weather conditions, and also your stress level. Depending on your results, your doctor may recommend that you see an eye specialist, have a CT scan or blood tests to help better diagnose the cause.


Common Triggers

Migraines affect everyone differently, but some better-known triggers include: change of weather pressure, estrogen fluctuations, caffeine, foods containing nitrates and tyramine, MSG, artificial sweeteners, strong odours, loud sounds, flashing lights, stress, and lack of sleep.


Treatment Options

In most cases, treatment is not necessary when occurrences are often minor or sporadic. However, some doctors prescribe medications to relax blood vessels for those experiencing more frequent or intensified symptoms.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing ocular migraines, talk to your doctor and eye care specialist today who can help diagnose the issue and prescribe a recommended treatment.