Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Eye and Vision Care

Eye Migraines

10/05/2010

Question:

For the last 10 days I have suddenly experienced zigzag lines in my field of vision. Because I’m also suffering from glaucoma and ocular myasthenia I was afraid it had something to do with that. But my ophthalmologist has diagnosed it as eye migraines. When I read about eye migraines it is told that it lasts for 1-3 hours. But I have had these zigzag lines 24 hours for 10 days now. So I just want to ask if it is normal for eye migraines to last for so long? And is the problem an ophthalmologist issue or neurologist issue?

Answer:

Your "zig-zag" symptoms do sound like ocular migraines, which are visual sensations without the characteristic severe headache. They are caused by spasms in the tiny blood vessels of your retina. The fact that you are also being treated for glaucoma complicates their treatment, because I'm sure your ophthalmologist has prescribed eye drops that will lower the pressure inside your eye (and therefore, allow your retinal blood vessels to slightly dilate).

Ask your eye doctor if he or she can prescribe any medicine that will stabilize the diameter of your retinal blood vessels (ex: Cafergot). If not, you may need to be referred to a neurologist.

For more information:

Go to the Eye and Vision Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University