Ocular Migraines - Are They Dangerous?
Author: Niall Roche
It can be a very frightening thing to lose vision in one of your eyes without any warning. The powerlessness and fear you feel can be very traumatic and even dangerous depending on what you're doing at the time. This can be caused by what are usually called ocular migraines, if it happens in only one eye. This temporary loss of vision can be accompanied by a headache, adding more panic and pain to losing sight in one eye.
Ocular migraines usually happen when there's a sudden tightening of blood vessels that causes problems with the blood flow to the eye. Most last only five minutes and then your vision goes back to normal. Although frightening, this type of migraine is harmless and usually painless. They don't normally cause permanent damage to the eye or brain and don't usually require any treatment unless they happen frequently.
The normal type of migraine that most people suffer from come with a set of warning signs called migraine auras. These will also distort vision in both eyes and come with symptoms such as flashes of light, blind spots, shimmering spots and then a headache shortly afterwards. These migraines can end in only a few minutes, but can last as long as a few days depending on the person. My personal record for a migraine is 3 days and that was more than enough I can tell you.
Ocular migraines are a trigger of the body's neurological system. Something like hormonal changes, lights, chemicals in foods or medications can cause the body to react. During a migraine, things happen that affect the blood flow to the area of the brain responsible for vision. This is often when ocular migraines take place. If you're doing something that would create issues with the loss of eyesight, then stop. If you're driving, pull over to the side of road until your vision returns.
Even though ocular migraines are usually harmless, sometimes a visit to your doctor might give you some answers on how to treat or prevent the migraines in the first place. However, sometimes it's not easily treated because the processes which trigger these type of migraines aren't always understood. The loss of vision which comes with this type of migraine is not related directly to your eyes.
Instead, the symptoms affecting the eye occur because of the migraine pressure on the visual cortex of the brain located in the back of the skull. Still, consulting your doctor whenever you have unusual vision problems is important, because you could be dealing with another condition completely unrelated to an ocular migraine.
While ocular migraines are not as serious as some forms of migraine, they can still be a frightening experience. Just remember ocular migraines are harmless and will pass quickly - you'll be back to normal in no time.