What You Need to Know About Retinal Migraines

blue eyeA migraine is much more than just a headache and can manifest in different forms in different people. One relatively rare type of migraine condition is retinal migraine. Retinal migraines are a subset of ocular migraines. Where an ocular migraine affects your eyes, the retinal type only affects one eye. When you suffer from this type of migraine, you experience partial or full blindness in one of your eyes, along with other changes in vision. Let’s take a look at the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for retinal migraines:


Retinal migraines cause changes in vision, the most common being flashes of light (scintillations), partial loss of sight, and total blindness. These changes in vision usually occur for anywhere between a few minutes to an hour, with the headache and other migraine symptoms following soon after. In some people, these visual disturbances can last much longer, including through the headache phase.


Not much is known about migraines and their symptoms. One possible explanation for the visual disturbances in retinal migraines is vasospasm, which is a condition where the vessels supplying blood the retina narrow. Migraines are often brought on by specific triggers like stress, staring at screen for long periods, driving long distances, hormonal fluctuations, and even certain types of food and drink. Pay attention to what you are doing before a migraine hits and create a migraine profile to help you deal with triggers.

Diagnosis and Treatment

While there is no specific test for retinal migraines, your doctor can evaluate your reported symptoms and medical history to reach a diagnosis. They will often have to rule out other diseases that can cause visual disturbances first.

There are a few different ways to treat migraines, including preventative measures. Make an appointment with First Coast Pain to receive treatment, including BOTOX for migraines near Jacksonville, FL. You can make your appointment online or call us at 904.800.7246.