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Ocular Migraine Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Ocular Migraines

In 50% of cases, ocular migraines cause temporary and dramatic visual disturbance. In the other half of cases, ocular migraines can cause lesser vision disturbances such as:

  • Blurring
  • Partial vision loss
  • Scotomas, or a blank spots in your vision
  • Dimming
  • Flashes of light

Ocular migraines are usually brief, lasting less than five minutes. However, they can last up to 30 minutes. Forty-one percent of people have a headache during the vision loss. Twenty-five percent have it before or after.

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Understanding Headache -- Symptoms

If you feel a dull, steady pain that feels like a band tightening around your head, you may have a tension headache. If you feel throbbing that begins on one side and causes nausea or sound/light sensitivity, you may have a migraine. Visual disturbances, such as flickering points of light, may precede a migraine headache. If you feel a non-throbbing pain around one red, watery eye, with nasal congestion on that side of your face, you may have a cluster headache. If you feel a steady pain in the...

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Diagnosing Ocular Migraines

Since ocular migraines are fairly brief, it's likely that you will be diagnosed based on your recollection of symptoms.

The symptoms of ocular migraines are similar to those of other serious disorders, such as eye diseases and stroke. So your doctor will want to do a thorough evaluation. If you have any of the risk factors below, your doctor may run additional tests to rule out more serious conditions:

  • Have no history of migraines
  • Are older than age 50
  • Have cardiovascular disease

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on February 28, 2014

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