Visual Migraine – A Migraine Without a Headache
Also known by many names (ophthalmic migraine, eye migraine, optic migraine, etc.), visual migraines are possibly the least felt of all the migraine classes because though it is called a migraine, it is actually lacking one particular thing – a headache. Yes, this is aptly called “the migraine without headache.”
You may be asking, if you don’t experience a headache when you have a visual migraine, then why bother with it at all? Especially since a normal ocular migraine will last only a couple of minutes and vision problems should magically disappear after this.
Well, there are a few reasons why:
– Visual migraine sufferers usually experience visual symptoms – seeing zigzag or fuzzy lines in their peripheral or central vision, blurring, flashing light sensations, and sometimes it interferes with your vision. And only one eye is affected. (If both eyes are affected, be sure to have your doctor check your eyesight as it may be a completely different problem.)
– Some people often mistake it as a symptom for an upcoming heart attack or a massive stroke. So if you do experience some eye fuzziness, it shouldn’t be taken lightly unless it has already been ruled out by your doctor or health care provider as such.
– Sometimes (though it is very rare), a sufferer does experience a headache. But it normally lasts for about 20 minutes to an hour, tops.
Some people are more susceptible to migraines than others. There are 4 types of people who are most likely to have them at some point in their lives (although not all people really have migraine histories):
– Women, in general.
– Both men and women under the age of 40.
– Anyone with a family history of extreme headaches and migraines.
– Anyone with a history of depression, epilepsy and sickle disease.
A full examination of the eye is extremely important to rule out any other causes of these symptoms. On some rare occasions, it can cause retinal and blood vessel damage, as the migraine itself is caused by the reduction of blood into blood vessels (supplying blood to the retina) due to a restrictive narrowing and tightening of the blood vessels.