How Migraine Auras Affect Vision


Aura is a term doctors use to describe symptoms that sometimes precede or accompany migraine headaches. Although the symptoms are temporary—usually lasting for about 10 to 30 minutes—the visual disturbances that auras cause can affect your vision in multiple ways. But understanding more about migraine auras and the vision changes they can cause may help make the experience less frustrating.

Visual Aura Symptoms

While not everyone experiences auras in the same way, a visual aura affects both eyes and may cause you to see blind spots, flashes of light, zigzagging lines, or things that look real but aren't there. Blind spots can get bigger and move across your field of vision. Blurred or dimmed vision can occur with aura as well.

Symptoms vary among individuals. Some people report that visual changes occur in the central visual field. Others say that visual distortions associated with aura start in their peripheral vision. Still other individuals report seeing rainbow colors.

Ocular Migraine Aura

While not serious, ocular migraines—or eye migraines—can affect your ability to drive, read, or perform other activities that require sharp vision until the aura passes. However, you may not experience aura with every migraine. And sometimes an aura occurs, but a migraine headache doesn't follow.

Visual symptoms associated with an ocular migraine aura generally are painless and cause no permanent problems with eyesight. But see an eye doctor about any unusual vision symptoms, especially if they linger.

Retinal Migraine Aura

A rare condition referred to as retinal migraine can also occur in individuals who suffer other migraine symptoms. Similar to an ocular migraine, the visual symptoms of a retinal migraine may occur before or along with a migraine headache.

The cause of retinal migraine is unknown, but may be related to changes of blood flow in the brain—particularly the area of the brain responsible for vision. Changes can occur when blood vessels suddenly tighten.

Unlike an ocular migraine that affects both eyes, a retinal migraine affects only one eye. Symptoms may include tunnel vision, partial vision loss, or complete blindness in the eye. Generally, visual symptoms occur on the same side as the migraine headache.

When to Worry

While an aura normally is a temporary condition, vision loss in only one eye can be a symptom of a more serious problem. Visual impairment from retinal migraine may last only minutes, but sometimes vision loss in the affected eye can be prolonged or permanent. If that happens, it's important to see your optometrist or other eye care specialist to rule out other possible causes such as stroke or eye disease. Learn more by contacting services like Sheinkopf And Tomasik Eye Associate.


21 March 2017

Taking Your Child To The Optometrist

When it comes to parenting, taking care of your kids can feel like a daily guessing game. You might wonder why your child is acting so fussy, only to figure out a few days later that they are suffering from a cold. Unfortunately, the symptoms of poor vision can be even more difficult to notice, which is why taking your child to an optometrist is so crucial. This blog is all about noticing the signs of eye problems and taking your child to the eye doctor right away. By paying attention and being proactive about eye problems, you can keep your child healthy and happy.