Migraines affect many of us and can interfere with our daily lives. This is especially true for ocular migraines, which can impair our vision. Ocular migraines are distinguished by their affects on our sight, and the term refers to several subtypes of migraines. But what exactly is an ocular migraine and what can you do when you have one?
Ocular Migraine Symptoms
Ocular migraines are migraines that specifically affect our vision, sometimes causing loss of vision in one eye, blurriness or blurry spots, tunnel vision, or cause ‘stars’ or strange patterns in our sight. Sometimes these symptoms can occur without the painful sensation of a migraine headache, or they can onset beforehand and are followed later by a headache. The visual symptoms of ocular migraines don’t usually last very long but can be inhibiting none the less.
Triggers for Ocular Migraines
While it’s hard to determine exactly what causes ocular migraines, there are many things that can be triggers. Eye strain is something many of us deal with on a regular basis, be it from spending excess time at a computer screen, long hours of driving, or being under florescent lights for extended periods. Eye strain can trigger ocular migraines, but some people may be triggered by things like strong scents such as chemicals or smoke. Even things we eat can sometimes trigger ocular migraines.
What Happens During an Ocular Migraine
Doctors aren’t always sure what exactly is happening in the brain during an ocular migraine, but it often has to do with abnormal electrical activity in the brain, or spasms/issues with the blood vessels at the back of our eyes, the retina. This is most likely why the visual affects of ocular migraines are short lived but disorienting none the less.
Treating an Ocular Migraine
Because ocular migraines are short lived (usually only lasting up to an hour) in their symptoms, the best thing you can do is to rest your vision immediately. This may mean pulling over if you are driving, resting your eyes if you are working, or moving away from a trigger (flashing light, computer screen, etc.). For those who suffer from ocular migraines frequently, there may be medications that can aid in the prevention of frequent migraines. If you do suffer from migraines in general, seeking medical guidance is important, as there could be other things going awry in your health. If things like blue light are common triggers for your migraines, or if you want to help protect your eyes from strain, you can schedule an appointment with a Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor today to talk about what you can do. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule your next appointment online.