Visual migraine is also known by several other names such as migraine aura without headaches, ophthalmic migraine, optical migraine, typical aura with headaches, ocular migraine or eye migraine. This is one of those migraines where you do not experience any headache.
In fact, a person who has this condition can have an attack and pass through it without even being aware that it was one. Perhaps that’s the reason it’s known as a ‘silent migraine’ too.
Visual migraines generally affect only one eye and are accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms: temporary blindness in one eye, blurred vision, and seeing zigzag lines or flickering lights.
The other visual migraine symptoms are nausea and vomiting, fatigue, photosensitivity and phonosensitivity. In extremely rare cases there might also be a headache.
What causes visual migraine? There are several theories that try to explain the occurrence of these attacks. It could be that there are spasms in the blood vessels that are located behind the eye, triggering a migraine attack. Another theory states that some arteries that lead to the brain get affected causing migraines of this kind to appear.
Certain kinds of people are more susceptible to this form of migraine than others. For instance, men and women under 40 are prone to visual migraines. Also, women are more likely to have this condition than men. Finally, a person who has a history of depression, sickle disease, and epilepsy has higher chances of developing a visual migraine.
When it comes to migraines of the visual kind, the common triggers that apply to other forms of migraine also apply here. These include stress, salty foods, cheeses, caffeine, mono sodium glutamate, and chocolates. Avoid these foods if you suspect that you are developing the condition of migraines, whether visual or otherwise.
In order to begin treatment for this condition, the doctor has to start by ruling out all the other possible causes for your visual disturbances. Some medical conditions that can cause visual migraine symptoms are a detached retina (a condition where the retina pulls gets detached from the tissues that support it), ophthalmic surgeries, and an injury to the eye or face. Once all other causes have been ruled out, the doctor will prescribe a treatment based on the severity of the migraine attack.