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What causes optical migraines?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Dec 10, 2021.

Official answer


Optical migraines may be caused by harsh lighting, lengthy screen times, stress, dehydration, food additives, or other events that strain your vision.

Optical migraines are more commonly known as ocular migraines and these can cause vision loss or blindness in one eye for a short time, usually less than an hour. The vision loss usually happens just before or almost as soon as the migraine starts. An ocular migraine is an episode of vision loss in one eye, usually lasting less than one hour, and is associated with a headache. Optical migraines are a subtype of migraine that occur in one eye and causes vision changes.

Optical migraines are more likely to occur in women than men, in those aged 30 to 39, or people with a family history of migraine.

  • Metcalf E. Ocular Migraines July 12, 2020.
  • Ocular migraine. American Optometric Association.

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