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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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Ocular Migraine Treatment

Since it is brief, the vision loss of ocular migraines is not usually treated. But you may need relief for the headache that accompanies or follows it. The primary treatment for ocular migraines is to reduce exposure to triggers. Calcium-channel blockers are the main drug treatment for ocular migraines. They work by relaxing the blood vessels. One example is Cardene, which can be given as a pill or as a tab you put under the tongue.

Read the Ocular Migraine Treatment article > >

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:

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on February 28, 2014

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