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An ocular migraine occurs when blood flow to the eye is constricted by the tightening of surrounding blood vessels. This can cause temporary vision loss and distortion, and a type of pain that feels similar to a headache. The symptoms usually go away after 5 minutes and the sufferer can then resume daily activities.

However, some sufferers fear that their pain is due to something like an ischaemic attack, which is caused by restricted blood flow and oxygen to the brain. With other ailments that have such similar symptoms, is there really such a thing as an ocular migraine stroke?

While this ailment is very painful and inconvenient, thankfully, it is not as life-threatening. To clarify, there are a few notable differences in symptoms between having a cerebrovascular accident and having an ocular migraine.

When you’re having an ischaemic or related, there can be a distinct change in the five senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste, and feel). You can experience sudden memory loss and confusion, or even be unable to recognize the faces of people you know. The sufferer can also have slurred speech and be unable to walk in a straight line. If any of these symptoms start happening, you need to seek medical attention immediately and if possible, you should start looking for treatment.

Ocular Migraine Stroke: Risks and Symptoms

Those who are used to having frequent migraines know the symptoms of an oncoming attack as an “aura”. The aura is the signal to the sufferer that a migraine will be attacking shortly. For some, the aura includes seeing spots or blotches in your field of vision. This change in vision can be wrongly interpreted as cerebrovascular accident symptoms, as it’s common to experience the same vision impairment when this happens, among other symptoms.

However, since everyone is so different it is difficult to say what a standard aura feels like. Most can agree that if your aura lasts longer than an hour without the migraine landing, then that could possibly be a symptom of an ischaemic or similar attack and you should seek medical guidance.

Essentially, the symptoms you might associate with having a cerebrovascular accident might just be due to a specific kind of headache that is experienced in the eyes, and can be a lot less serious. However, as always, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a potential ocular migraine stroke.

Understanding Your Symptoms

The best way to know if what you are experiencing is actually a cerebrovascular accident is to be familiar with what your migraines are typically like. You can do this by keeping a migraine log describing the aura, symptoms, and length of each migraine you have and any triggers that might have caused it.

When you are familiar with the routine of this particular kind of pain, the smallest difference can be a sign that something more serious is happening. Be aware of the aura and symptoms you consistently have. If a new symptom that feels like an ocular migraine stroke starts happening, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor.

What can happen sometimes is that you have this pain for the first time and don’t know what it is. If this is the case, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

Consulting a Medical Professional

If you are familiar with these kinds of symptoms, and experience them on a regular basis, it’s important go to your doctor when you are experiencing new symptoms that are out of the ordinary. In this case, they will likely want to run some tests.

When this happens, doctors and specialists run tests on your brain and functioning to confirm that your migraine was in fact just that, and not anything more serious. The bottom line is that you want to be cautious but you also don’t want to panic and think you’re experiencing something life-threatening when you aren’t.

By looking at the brain, a medical professional can take a look at scans and other kinds of imaging, and through this, they can see if there is damage. In this way, they’ll be able to tell exactly what kind of ailment you are really experiencing.

As we often recommend to readers, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with pain and brain-related symptoms and therapy, and consult a doctor if you’re feeling symptoms that make you feel uncomfortable.


The next time you feel like you might be having either an ocular migraine stroke, thanks to what you’ve learnt in this article, you’ll now be able to know the differences between the kinds of pain that we discussed. Because of this, you’ll now know when to seek medical treatment and when you can tell if it’s just another presentation of your regular symptoms.

Remember, if you notice a change for the worse in your migraines, or you start to experience symptoms that you don’t normally have, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

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