Ocular Migraine

What is an ocular migraine?

An ocular migraine is a temporary problem with your vision that is usually, but not always, painless. You may lose some of your vision for a few minutes. You may see colors, zigzags of light, and bright spots or lines that float slowly across your field of vision. Ocular migraines are almost always harmless, but need to be checked urgently and thoroughly to rule out other, more dangerous reasons for the visual disturbances.

How does it occur?

Usually an ocular migraine is not a problem with your eyes. It is probably caused by temporary changes in blood vessel flow in your brain.

These changes may be caused by:

  • reactions to certain chemicals or foods
  • emotional or physical stress.
  • If others in your family have ocular migraines, you may be more likely to have them also.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of ocular migraines vary from person to person, and may include:

  • seeing zigzagging lines or patterns, especially at the outer edges of your vision
  • seeing shimmering or colored lights
  • loss of vision in one spot or off to one side; some people describe a feeling like looking through binoculars
  • With typical migraines, but uncommonly with ocular migraines, you can have severe pain following these symptoms. You may also have nausea or vomiting.

How is it treated?

Ocular migraines usually require no treatment, other than rest until the symptoms pass. However, it is very important to be examined thoroughly if you think you are having one. Dr. Bellotte at West Boca Eye Center will want to make sure that you have only an ocular migraine and not a more serious blood flow problem. Our state-of-the-art technology will aid in this diagnosis.