Ocular Migraines usually 1 or 2 times a year, suddenly 5 in a week?

Health Professional

Full Question:

I began having ocular migraines in my late 20's. I am 68 now, and have experienced them only once or twice a year since then. Suddenly this past week I have had five. These are hereditary, on my mother's side, and one of my daughter's has them too. Just curious as to what might be causing them to become this frequent?

Thanks, Sherry.

Full Answer:

Dear Sherry;

Migraine symptoms and patterns can change over time. Sometimes you can figure out why; other times, there doesn't seem to be a reason. One thing to look at is what triggered your Migraines. Maybe there was something new in your environment that triggered the increased Migraines. Maybe you ate something you don't usually eat, and it was a Migraine trigger.

One thing that's certain is that you need to see your doctor to be sure nothing else is going on. Whenever patterns or symptoms change, that's the wise action to take.

As for "ocular" Migraines, we can't be sure what form of Migraine you're talking about. It could be Migraine with aura, retinal Migraine, or another form of Migraine. To simplify matters and make it easier for people to get information and treatment, doctors usually go by the gold standard for diagnosis, the International Headache Society's International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd Edition (ICHD-II). Although people often ask about "ocular" Migraines, there's no such diagnoses under ICHD-3. We do see it used, but doctors use it differently, so it really doesn't tell anyone what type of Migraine you actually have. You can read more about this in   About Ask the Clinician:

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