Ocular migraine causes blindness or loss of vision temporarily for about one hour; either following or during headache. Sometimes, experts introduce such episodes as ophthalmic, monocular or retinal migraine. Only one of every 200 migraine sufferers experiences this problem. More often, ocular migraines are occurred because of other problems causing same symptoms and these problems are ruled out by the healthcare experts while diagnosing. So, you should also prepare for describing the exact symptoms you are experiencing to your doctor so that one can understand whether you exactly have ocular migraine or not.
Symptoms of Ocular Migraines
The International Headache Society calls ocular migraine as “retinal migraine” and describes its symptoms as under –
- Loss of vision in any one eye that causes blindness, blind spots in field of vision, and flashing of lights.
- Prolong headache for over four hours to three days that affect any one side, feels painful or moderate or get worse when one feels active.
- Unusual sound or light sensitivity
One of the major ocular migraine symptoms is that loss of vision is occurred in only one eye. A lot of patients find it hard to differentiate between blindness and flashing light in only one side in their field of vision. One other problem is blind spots and flashing lights in vision, which is called aura. Around 20% of migraine sufferers experience this type of problem.
Causes of Ocular Migraines
Experts don’t know exactly what the causes of ocular migraines are. According to some experts, this migraine is associated with -
- Changes in retina that fall around nerve cells.
- Spasms in retina’s blood vessels.
People who are suffering from ocular migraine are more likely to suffer from permanent loss of vision. Experts still can’t find that whether conventional migraine treatments like anti-seizure medicines or tricyclic antidepressants work great or not. So, it is better to consult your doctor.
How is Ocular Migraine Diagnosed?
When it comes to diagnose this problem, doctors ask patients about their symptoms and check their eyes. They also try to find out link between the problems patients are suffering from and these effects –
- Amaurosis Fugax: Lack of blood circulation in retina causes temporary blindness. Blockage in artery can cause this symptom.
- Spasm in artery which helps in blood circulation to the retina.
- Huge cell arteritis which is the huge cause of blood vessel inflammation leads to loss of vision or temporary blindness.
- Other problems like autoimmune diseases related to blood vessel.
- Conditions like polycythemia and sickle cell disease that causes abnormal clotting of blood.
How is Ocular Migraine Treated?
In order to assure the ideal medications for the prevention and treatment of ocular migraine, a little research has been made. However, these drugs are highly recommended by the doctors –
- Topiramate or divalproex sodium for the treatment of epilepsy
- Tri-cyclic antidepressants like nortriptyline or amitriptyline
These are some of the medications that are known to treat ocular migraine</b>.