How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Captain Your Own Question
Dr. Captain
Dr. Captain, Board Certified Physician
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 767
Experience:  I have specialized in common problems for men, women, children, and the elderly.
Type Your Eye Question Here...
Dr. Captain is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Could you describe a retinal or ocular migraine. I have been

Customer Question

Could you describe a retinal or ocular migraine. I have been told that the flashing lights in one eye that I occasionally get, is an ocular migraine. I do not have any pain, and it lasts a few minutes.
JA: Is the headache episodic or daily? And what about nausea?
Customer: Epispdoc. and not real often. No other symptoms.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: No. I have HTN, which is controlled with meds.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.


Welcome to the chat dialog.

I am a Family Medicine doctor, board certified with active licenses and certification in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Integrative Medicine & Naturopathy, with advanced training in Neurology, Cardiovascular Medicine, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, and Psychiatry. I am also well-trained in Functional Medicine. Perhaps most importantly, I consider myself a patient listener.

I have read your post and I'm happy to describe a retinal or ocular migraine.

Would you prefer this type of summary answer to your question, or would you prefer more back-and-forth, where there will be a series of more questions and more details clarified? There is no difference in charges for your preference.

Either way, I’ll do my best to take the appropriate time to help you.

Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

It seems you're not available at the moment. So, in summary:

Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

per Uptodate, Retinal migraine is a rare condition that is characterized by repeated attacks of monocular scotomata or blindness lasting less than one hour, associated with or followed by headache. The International Headache Society prefers the term retinal migraine, but ocular migraine has been suggested as a more precise term, since both retinal and ciliary circulations may be involved [98]. Occasionally the onset may be abrupt and difficult to distinguish from amaurosis fugax. In one of the largest studies to date that reported 6 new cases and reviewed 40 from the literature, permanent visual loss was eventually present in 20 patients (43 percent). No predictors of irreversible visual loss could be identified, and no consistent pattern of visual loss was observed among these patients. However, permanent visual loss may be less frequent than suggested by these data, since it is likely that cases with such a major complication are more apt to be identified and to be reported (ie, reporting bias).

Permanent visual loss resulting from retinal migraine may be a type of migrainous infarction, leading to the suggestion to consider the use of prophylactic migraine therapy with antiepileptic or tricyclic medications for patients with this condition

Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

What you have is likely an ocular migraine, and can be treated quite easily, if that is, in fact, the diagnosis.

At this point, and in light of all the things you mentioned, it does not sound like a full evaluation is necessary to make sure nothing else more serious may be going on.

I hope this helps and warm regards!