Expert explains what you need to know about ocular migraines

Triggered by numerous everyday activities, ocular migraines can seem alarming to those experiencing symptoms. However, experts at Specsavers are assuring people that the migraines are usually nothing to worry about.

An ocular migraine (also known as a retinal migraine ) often causes partial or total loss of vision in one eye as well as headaches.

“The same eye is affected almost every time in most cases of retinal migraines. Vision may become dimmed or blurred and some people may also experience flashes of light while others may see mosaic-like blank spots which can expand to cause patches of vision loss.

“Vision loss tends to last between 10 and 20 minutes before gradually returning and headaches can also set in before, during or after an attack,” Kerril Hickey, Specsavers Ireland Chairman and optician, said.

Ocular migraines occur when the blood flow to the eye becomes restricted due to a sudden narrowing of the blood vessels. Once the vessels relax, normal blood flow returns and symptoms clear.

The symptoms of ocular migraines can be triggered by a range of everyday activities including exercise, smoking, and even bending over.

Common causes of ocular migraines include:

Stress

High Blood Pressure

Dehydration

Low Blood Sugar

Excessive Heat

Exercise

Smoking

Bending Over

Mr Hickey assures that while ocular migraines can feel alarming to those experiencing the symptoms, they’re usually nothing to worry about.

If experiencing an ocular migraine, Mr Hickey says: ‘We would recommend resting your eyes until your symptoms pass, and taking painkillers as recommended if you have an accompanying headache. Otherwise, the best thing you can do is to keep track of your attacks to help you avoid exposure to common triggers in the future.

“However, if your eyesight suddenly deteriorates it is important to see your optometrist or doctor for an emergency appointment – particularly if this is the first time it has happened. They will want to make sure other more serious cases of sight loss are ruled out,” Mr Hickey added.

For those concerned about ocular migraines, or who have noticed a recent change in their vision they can book an appointment at www.specsavers.ie, or to find out more about ocular migraines, visit www.specsavers.ie/eye-health/ocular-migraines

 

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