In our modern world, many people suffer from migraine headaches, and sadly, too many people think all migraines are alike, but they are not. There are many different types of migraine headaches but ocular migraines is one that often gets forgotten about because it makes up on 15% of all sufferers.
In fact if you are a migraine suffer you could be suffering with ocular migraines and not even know it. An ocular migraine is the type that focuses on that part of the aura where visual symptoms dominate. Sometimes there is never any tangible headache.
About The Ocular Migraine
If you dont understand what a regular migraine headache is and the pain associated with that, you might be confused when you start hearing about ocular migraines because there is no pain. You might even begin to wonder if thats what you have been suffering with.
That is the key difference between traditional migraines and ocular migraines no pain. But what there is instead is distorted images that generally start in the center of your vision and then move to one side or the other.
They usually affect only one eye at a time. As an ocular migraine progresses the images you are see often turn grey or become wavy. You may even temporarily lose complete sight.
To date doctors are unable to agree on just what an ocular migraine is and what causes it. Some believe it is an older persons headache, while others feel they see it more in younger adults.
What all agree on is that losing sight can be very scary even though it is only temporary, its understandable why its hard to believe that.
Ocular Migraine Symptoms
Doctors still do not even agree on the actual symptoms associated with ocular migraines. Some use the term to describe one-sided blind spots in your field of vision, or temporary blindness, that last no more than an hour and is associated with some headache.
Do you suffer from ocular migraines with headache or without headache? Not sure? The easiest answer is that if you have visual disturbances of your aura in either one or both eyes you are likely having an ocular migraine. As well, if you answer yes to these questions you are most certainly dealing with ocular migraines.
1. Do you have holes in your vision field? Places where you see nothing? For example, you look at a flower and center of the flower is missing, or you are watching TV, and the center of the picture is not there. When you close the eye affected with ocular migraine, you can see the entire picture. The eye with the ocular migraine however continues to have a blind spot.
2. When you are looking through your eye, does it look as though you are looking through at various shades of gray rather than color? Lets use our television example is the picture black and white when you look through the affected eye?
3. When you look through the affected eye does it look like you are looking through a window on a rainy day? That smeary glass affect?
Ocular migraines are not just a regular migraine with aura so dont get confused. Although they are similar, the key difference is the visual disturbances, which is a result of visual trouble in the brains occipital cortex. So remember no pain + visual disturbances = ocular migraines.
Image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr