Skip to main content
ocular migraine

How to Know if You Are Having a Retinal Migraine

Key symptoms distinguish retinal migraines from migraines with aura.

Retinal migraines are rare, affecting approximately 1 in 200 people. They’re often confused with migraines with aura, though they’re actually very different.

The hallmark symptom of a retinal migraine is vision loss in one eye lasting less than an hour, and often in reoccurring bouts. It’s important to distinguish between vision impairment in one eye one as opposed to one side of your field of vision, because the latter is a symptom associated with auras. Like other migraine types, retinal migraines generally cause head pain. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to lights and sound. It should also be noted that vision loss in one can be a sign of a different, more serious issue; if you experience vision loss in one eye, consult a doctor immediately.

Retinal migraines aren’t fully understood by scientists. It’s thought that the vision impairment may be caused by a spasm of blood vessels around the eye, which cuts off blood flow. For some, retinal migraines may be precipitated by exercise.

If you think you might be suffering from retinal migraines — or if you’re experiencing vision loss in any way — it’s best to contact a doctor.

Couple smiles while cooking in a kitchen

Save on Excedrin

Get printable coupons and special offers to save on Excedrin.

Get coupons

More from Excedrin