2. What is an optical migraine? As opposed to a real migraine, an optical migraine also involves an aura that comes before a migraine attack, but there is the absence of pain. This is rarer than the migraine that comes with severe pain. It is also know as acephalgic migraine or visual or ocular migraine. It is a migraine aura unaccompanied by headache. The visual disturbances that are experienced are flashing lights that look like zigzag or "fortress-like" lights. These auras usually begin as small visual marches crossing the field of vision that slowly fades away. Attacks like these last for several minutes to almost an hour. If it will come with a headache, the pain will follow in an hour. An optical migraine can also be experienced as a blind spot in the field of vision. 3. How sure am I that I am experiencing an optical migraine? Migraines are usually diagnosed if the same symptoms are experiences over and over in many years. It is optical migraine if the same aura is experienced. In case there is a change in the visual pattern, it might be something more serious. A doctor should be consulted in this case. 4. What could be the cause of these migraines? The cause for migraine is not yet confirmed, it has remained unknown. However, there have been theories that these headaches are caused by allergies, temporary edema of the brain and even endocrine disturbances. One thing is for sure, it is due to disturbance in the blood circulation in the brain. It has been proven that the pain is associated with the narrowing of blood vessels in the brain followed by dilation. 5. What could be more serious causes of headaches if they are not migraines? Not all headaches are migraines and not all visual disturbances are caused by migraines. There could be more serious causes that may force you to consult a doctor. Visual changes can also be caused by partial seizures, a retina in the eye could have been detached, a "mini-stroke" or a transient ischemic attack, multiple sclerosis or even a brain tumor. 6. Who is more likely to get an optical migraine? Optical migraines are usually experienced by more women than men at a ratio of 3:1. This is an illness that is usually inherited. 7 Things You Should Know About Optical Migraines this is a rare migraine and scares one when it happens. i have them and my son has inherited them from me. mine occur as arches of light developing in my eye....the arches will progress until they fill the entire range of vision rendering one blind for as long as it lasts. when one starts you have a few minutes to try to get somewhere....and lay down in a dark room. the arches do not stop when you close your eyes... the irony is ....its nearly the same as a detacted retina's symptoms. so you need to have it check if when it begins.