Ocular migraines are temporary visual changes that can affect one or both eyes. Ocular migraines are usually the result of “migraine activity” in the visual cortex.


To date, the cause of their appearance is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a spasm in the blood vessels of the retina or due to changes in the nerve cells in the retina. A personal or family history of migraine is also considered.


People who experience ocular migraines may experience visual symptoms for 10 to 30 minutes before the onset of a migraine. The symptoms are in the form of:

  • The appearance of a “blind spot” that gradually increases
  • Accompanied by seemingly flickering lights or
  • Surrounded by wavy or zigzag lines
  • Some people even describe psychedelic images.

People with migraines may experience a visual aura 10 to 30 minutes before the onset of the migraine. Symptoms of migraine are:

  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or face;
  • Dizziness;
  • Impaired sense of touch, taste or smell;
  • Blind or blurred point in the field of view.

Treatment and prevention of ocular migraine

Although seemingly frightening, ocular migraines are usually harmless and subside without therapy. They last from a few minutes to half an hour. If you drive or work and experience ocular migraines, it is best to sit down, rest, and wait for the symptoms to go away. Also, in cases of more frequent visual symptoms, it is advisable to see an ophthalmologist with dilated pupils to check the fundus. The purpose of this examination is to rule out other changes in the retina accompanied by flashing, which may be a sign of retinal detachment. If ocular migraine is the result of stress, it is recommended that you eat healthy at regular times, do stress-reduction exercises and get good sleep.