Retinal migraine, also known as ophthalmic migraine or ocular migraine, is a rare form of migraine headache characterized by temporary vision loss or disturbances in one eye. It is considered a type of migraine with aura, as it typically occurs before the onset of a migraine headache.


Retinal migraine symptoms may include:

  • Temporary blindness or vision loss in one eye
  • Flashing or shimmering lights
  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Zigzag lines or areas of visual blind spots


Episodes of retinal migraine usually last less than an hour, often ranging from a few minutes to around 30 minutes. Vision returns to normal after the episode resolves.


The exact cause of retinal migraines is unknown, but they are believed to be related to changes in blood flow to the eye and optic nerve. Certain triggers, such as stress, hormonal fluctuations, certain medications, and bright lights, may also contribute to the occurrence of retinal migraines.


There is no specific treatment for retinal migraines. Managing underlying migraine triggers, such as stress reduction, adequate sleep, and a healthy lifestyle, can help prevent episodes. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe medications to prevent or reduce the frequency of migraines.

When to Seek Medical Help

If you experience sudden vision loss or other visual disturbances, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention to rule out any serious underlying conditions that may mimic retinal migraine symptoms.