Migraines trouble many people, young and old. Migraines are defined not by their severity but by their classical pattern. Ocular migraines typically are initiated by what is called visual phenomena; that is, it occurs before the headache-some strange visual phenomena that lasts for about 20 minutes. During that time, your vision may be affected in one or both eyes. The center vision or part of the side vision may be blank; you also may have flashing, scintillating lights; or there may just be something distorted about your vision.
Following that you may or may not receive a headache, which can be mild, moderate, or severe; may last a short time or persist for several days. Typically, if you are able to vomit, that will terminate the headache.
The theory of what causes the headaches is that swelling occurs in the blood vessels that flow into your brain. Since these vessels surround the optic nerve, the swelling pushes on the optic nerve and either shuts off its transmission or stimulates it to see flashes. As the swelling decreases, it eliminates the visual component but then may lead to a headache.
Dr. Baron suggests that if you are troubled by these repeatedly, it would be best to consult your physician to have them prescribe a medication to abort them.