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Eye and Vision Care

Blurred Peripheral Vision (One Sided)

08/11/2010

Question:

I had an episode of blurred peripheral vision on left side with residual of head pain (same side) lasting only 15 min. What could cause something like that? All returned to normal state after episode.

Answer:

It is hard to say for sure what may have caused the temporary blur, but it is most likely an ophthalmic migraine followed by a migraine.

Migraines are headaches caused by a vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels) followed by a vasodilation (widening of the vessels). The narrowing causes reduced blood flow and if it affects the eye, it can cause a temporary change in vision (peripheral blur or central blur). Many times this is the only finding and a headache does not follow.

When a vessel dilates, particularly those that surround the brain, it presses on the meninges (outer covering of the brain) and the meninges are very sensitive to pain. The dilated vessel pressing on the meninges can cause pain (headache).

These changes can occur quickly and be over, but sometimes it can persist.

If this continues to occur or becomes more frequent, please see an eye care professional.

If you notice persistent, flashes please also see an eye care specialist as this may be a vision-threatening condition.

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Response by:

Aaron  Zimmerman, OD, MS Aaron Zimmerman, OD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University