What is an Ocular Migraine?

Ocular MigraineNot all visual disturbances can be easily explained. We understand how stressful and frightening it can be to experience unexpected, and seemingly random, symptoms such as the appearance of “heat waves” across your vision. Whether these symptoms last only a few minutes in a one-time event, or they occur every so often, they bring you immediately back to the awareness that your vision is one of the most important aspects of your health and wellness. If you experience unusual visual effects at any time, get answers. Getting an “all clear” from your eye doctor can let you move forward with peace of mind. You may even find out that your symptoms are nothing more than an ocular migraine.

Migraine or the Eyes: How to Tell the Difference
Most people know that a standard migraine will have some effect on the eyes. Many people, when struck by a migraine, have to find a dark, quiet area in which to ride out their symptoms. An ocular migraine is, fortunately, not quite so dramatic. This type of migraine tends to produce more visual symptoms than pain. And, also fortunately, an ocular migraine is not a serious condition that should require ongoing care. What scientists know about this condition is that it stems from disrupted blood flow to the visual cortex in the brain.

Have you had an Ocular Migraine?
If you have had certain visual disturbances, you want to know why. The most accurate way to find out is to see your eye doctor. Below are a few of the common symptoms of an ocular migraine. However, because they may be associated with other conditions, a thorough examination should be scheduled.

  • An ocular migraine may affect one eye or both.
  • Symptoms can last for 5 minutes, or for much longer.
  • Before they get better, symptoms may get worse.
  • Symptoms may include a blank area in central vision, or loss of peripheral vision. Patients may also notice waviness, like heat waves in their visual field. Another common symptom is the appearance of a shimmering or pulsating jagged line.
  • A slight headache may occur as visual symptoms fade.

What Could Cause an Ocular Migraine!
Sometimes, an underlying cause cannot be found. However, research suggests that the following could trigger this type of migraine:

  • Stress
  • Medication
  • Hormonal fluctuations, even from birth control
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Food additives or certain types of foods and beverages

Protect your visual health with routine exams performed by your experienced ophthalmologist. Call Central Florida Eye Institute at (352)-237-8400.

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