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Eye Migraines: These Are The Symptoms And How You Might Be Able To Reduce Them

Eye migraines are also known as ‘migraines without headaches’
This type of migraine is not very well known, even though quite a few people suffer from it on a regular basis. An eye migraine (or ocular migraine) attack usually lasts between five and 30 minutes. Different kind of symptoms relating to the eye can occur, but there’s no headache. These symptoms could be seeing flashing lights or black spots in part of your vision

Eye migraines aren’t dangerous, but they can be very aggravating.

What is an eye migraine?
People who experience this type of migraine for the first time might get a little frightened at first. That’s because it might seem as if something really bad is happening to you and you can’t or can barely see for a while. An eye migraine is thought to be caused by reduced blood flow or spasms of blood vessels in the retina or behind the eye. Permanent loss of vision almost never happens.

Eye migraines can occur in both adults and children/teenagers but it’s more common in women than it is in men. An attack is usually of a temporary nature and doesn’t have any serious consequences for your vision. The migraine usually doesn’t last any longer than 30 minutes. It simply disappears again.


This form of migraine often comes in the form of ophthalmic symptoms, sometimes paired with neurological symptoms, but without headaches. The strange images people with an eye migraine can see are:
  • A growing stain with serrated edges
  • Geometric shapes
  • Vibrating vision (similar to when the asphalt further on down the road looks like a puddle on hot days)
  • White noise in your vision (like on the television)
  • Temporary black vision; black spots spread within a few minutes or reduce your vision
  • Blurred vision
Causes and prevention
An aye migraine can cause anxiety or fear, but it is harmless in most instances. In very few cases, it can lead to permanent damage to the retina or the blood vessels. Permanent loss of vision is very rare. In case you’re in doubt about it all, you can visit your doctor. The doctor will ask questions about the symptoms you’re experiencing and they will do an eye exam. Since the migraine attacks don’t last long, medication or a different type of treatment is rarely useful. Many medicines won’t even have started working yet when the migraine has disappeared again after half an hour. There are a couple of factors that might increase your chance of getting an eye migraine if you already experience them regularly. Try to avoid these:
  • Longterm stress
  • Certain food products like chocolate, cheese, alcohol and artificial sweeteners
  • Prolonged periods of time spent behind a computer or TV
  • High blood pressure
  • Hormonal anti-conception
  • Bending over
  • Being at high altitudes
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Extreme heat
  • Stopping with smoking