Q: I suffer from migraine headaches and occasionally experience vision changes with my headaches. Is this something to be concerned about?
A: Many migraine patients experience a visual aura that often precedes the headache symptoms. This aura can manifest in a variety of visual changes, including overall blurred vision, spots of blurred vision, areas of missing vision, colored spots, and moving peripheral colors like a marquee. A migraine aura will typically last 30-60 minutes and can be present in one or both eyes. Because of the tendency for these symptoms to come before the actual migraine headache, many patients use the aura as an indication to take their migraine medication. Some people experience a visual aura without the headache; this condition is known as an acephalic or ophthalmic migraine.
Many of the symptoms of a migraine aura are similar to symptoms of more dangerous eye or brain conditions (i.e. retinal tear/detachment or brain lesion), so it is important to see an eye care professional to have these symptoms evaluated and the appropriate tests run to rule out other potential problems. It is also important to have migraine symptoms evaluated by your primary care physician or a neurologist to ensure that the proper treatment regiment is in place and that other serious conditions are ruled out.
Feel free to contact Riverbend Eyecare at 317-9747 if you have any questions.