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When most people think of a migraine, the first thing that comes to mind is a painful, throbbing headache. However, there are different types of migraines, including one that causes visual distortion, known as an ocular migraine. These vision-related migraines are temporary and painless but can be distressing. Here, the eye experts at King LASIK discuss symptoms and prevention tips for ocular migraines.

What are Ocular Migraines

Ocular Migraine Defined

Eye doctors often compare the symptoms of ocular migraines to looking through a cracked window. A person sees a small, enlarging blind spot in one or both of the eyes, surrounded by bright, flashing zig-zag lines. The visual symptoms of an ocular migraine usually go away within 20 to 30 minutes, and can sometimes be followed by a headache. Other people may experience mood changes, food cravings or tiredness days or weeks after the migraine.

Studies have shown ocular migraines, like other migraines, are caused by changes in blood flow to the brain. However, it’s not clear what causes those changes in blood flow. Researchers believe a number of factors can lead to ocular migraines, including genetics, stress, cigarette smoke, lack of sleep and strong odors. Foods such as aged cheeses, caffeinated drinks, chocolate and wine can also trigger ocular migraines.

Treatment and Prevention

Because ocular migraines are for the most part harmless and temporary, they usually require no treatment. But if you do experience an ocular migraine, stop what you are doing and relax your vision until it returns to normal.

If you have ocular migraines often, it’s a good idea to keep a journal of your diet or activities to see if you can identify any foods, activities or habits as migraine triggers. If an ocular migraine lasts longer than 24 hours or if you have more than two migraines in one month, an experienced eye doctor may suggest preventive medical treatment. To find out your options, or to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with one of our trusted eye surgeons at King LASIK, please call (877) 551-2020.