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Retinal migraine
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 G43.81

Retinal migraine (sub-category of ocular migraine) is a retinal disease accompanied by migraine headache and typically affects only one eye.



Retinal Migraine involves migraine headache associated with transient monocular visual loss (scotoma) lasting less than 1 hour.[1] During some episodes, the visual loss may occur with no headache and at other times throbbing headache on the same side of the head as the visual loss may occur, accompanied by severe light sensitivity and/or nausea. After each episode, normal vision returns.

It may be difficult to read and dangerous to drive a vehicle while retinal migraine symptoms are present.

Retinal migraine is a different disease than scintillating scotoma which is a visual anomaly caused by spreading depression in the occipital cortex, at the back of the brain, not in the eyes nor any component thereof, such as the retinas.[2]


The medical exam should rule out any underlying causes, such as blood clot, stroke, or detached retina. A normal retina exam is consistent with retinal migraine.[3]


Treatment depends on identifying behavior that triggers migraine such as stress, sleep deprivation, skipped meals, food sensitivities, or specific activities. Medicines used to treat retinal migraines include aspirin, other NSAIDS, and medicines that reduce high blood pressure.[4]


More than half of reported cases of Retinal Migraine subsequently experienced permanent visual loss in that eye from infarcts.[5]

See also

External links


  • "Retinal Migraine", Brian M. Grosberg, Seymour Solomon, and Richard B. Lipton, Current Pain and Headache Reports, vol 9 num 4 (August 2005), pages 268-271.
  1. ^ "Retinal Migraine" by Brian Grosberg et al.
  2. ^ Genetics in Migraine
  3. ^ Retinal (Ocular) Migraines
  4. ^ Retinal (Ocular) Migraines
  5. ^ "Retinal Migraine" by Brian Grosberg et al.

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