Ocular migraines are vision disturbances that look like the pictures above. They start as a small bright, blurry spot in one or both eyes and spread like a donut. They are usually painless by themselves and go away in a half hour or less, but they can come in tandem with migraine headaches.
I used to get ocular migraines (without headaches) fairly often. They seemed to be triggered by stress, anxiety and anger. But they could've been unrelated and I just spent a lot of my former life stressed, anxious and angry.
Ocular migraines pretty much went away when I retired and became a nomad. I can't remember the last time I had one. But I had one earlier today. (I would've blogged about it sooner, but I couldn't see clearly enough to write.) I kicked back, put a cool cloth on my head, and tried to think of why it might be happening. Am I stressed, anxious or angry about something? Mmmmm, no. I've been fairly mellow. Oh well.
Fortunately, ocular migraines aren't actually about the eyes, as with cataracts or detached retinas. They're neurological anomalies. Our brains are freaking out a little, which is why they're associated with migraine headaches.
(What amazes me, when I think about it, is that the light coming into our eyes never makes it out of our eyes. The optic nerve isn't a bundle of fiber optic cables sending light to the brain. Our retinas convert the light to electrochemical pulses and our brain makes pictures out of them—pretty much the same way the image you're reading right now was created out of electrical signals.)
If an ocular migraine starts when I'm driving I have to pull over and wait. Now that I'm driving the Rolling Steel Tent, I can climb in the back and take a nap. There are much worse ways to spend a half hour.