Ocular migraine symptoms and causes

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Also called ophthalmic or eye migraines, ocular migraines are common and usually painless. They may cause various visual problems such as visual disturbance and the appearance of a small, enlarging blind spot in your central vision. Inside the spot, there are flicking lights or a shimmering zigzag line. During the procession of ocular migraines, the spot enlarges and may move across your visual field. This process lasts from several minutes to 30 minutes.

Factors that contribute to ocular migraines

Certain triggers such as hormonal changes, flashing lights or chemicals in foods or medications can cause the body’s neurological responses, bringing migraines. Ocular migraines are associated with blood flow changes in the brain, so that their procession is usually accompanied by changes in visual cortex or occipital lobe of the brain in the back skull. In fact, these visual symptoms accompanying painless ocular migraines just result from the migraine activity in the visual cortex.

Who are at a higher risk of ocular migraines?

Good news is that this frightening ocular condition is typically harmless. And visual disturbance lasts mostly under five minutes. Permanent vision loss is very rare. But some groups of people have a relatively higher risk of suffering ocular migraines. They include women, people under forty and people with a family history of migraines or other headaches. Moreover, some other diseases may contribute to migraine occurrence, e.g. lupus, sickle cell disease, epilepsy and depression.

Medications are needed in case of recurring migraines

People’s vision and visual acuity will be significantly affected during the process of ocular migraines, so that they may be forced to stop their current work and stay still until the ocular migraine resolves. People who have experienced ocular migraines may ask about the way to treat or prevent them. Normal ocular migraines require no treatment. But once you suffer from visual disturbances frequently, medications even in extended period are needed to reduce their recurrence. And you should also know that unusual vision symptoms can also be caused by detached retina, which requires serious treatments.