What are Ocular Migraines?

There are many stressors to everyday life including headaches. It can be especially difficult when you get a migraine headache. Before you get a migraine headache you may find your vision gets blurry or you see different colored lights or images that look like sparkles. Afterwards you may get a pounding headache and mild upset stomach and light sensitivity. These visual symptoms may not always occur and you may wonder why? It may be easier to explain if you break down the different types of migraine headaches.

The first type is the classical type of migraine where you get the headache, nausea and light sensitivity. The headache can last for a few minutes to a few hours. Most of the time you want to lay down in a dark room and go to sleep.

The second type of migraine is an ocular migraine. This type of migraine is when you get changes in your vision like blurry central or peripheral vision, seeing different colors of light, having flashes of light that people describe as sparkles. You may also get some mild nausea and a dull ache but not the typical debilitating headache from the classical migraine.

The third type of migraine is when you get the ocular migraine as a precursor to a classical migraine. The ocular migraine is almost a “warning” that you will be getting the classical migraine headache. For people who take medication for migraines, they will take the medication at the first sign of the visual symptoms to either limit the effects of the migraine headache or if they are fortunate enough to stop it from occurring all together.

There are different triggers for migraines and they include excessive light, stress, different foods, alcohol, and hormone changes. It is more common for females to have migraine headaches than males and can occur as young as teenage years up to middle aged.

It can be difficult to tell if the visual symptoms are actual changes in your vision or if you have floaters or if there is something else going on. It is best to have you eye care professional take a look to diagnose if you have ocular migraines. Please call for an appointment today (860) 233-2020.