A sub-type of the common migraine is called the ocular migraine. This version is known for triggering visual disturbances, like zig-zaggy flashing lines, temporary visual loss, blind spots, or seeing stars. These visual disturbances are called auras. The American Migraine Foundation describes 2 types of ocular migraine:
Retinal migraine: Symptoms can include reduced vision, flashing lights and even temporary blindness. The headache arrives either during or after the visual disturbance. Nausea and painful head throbbing often accompany the headache, which typically affects one side of the head. Retinal migraines can last a few hours or days. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you suspect you’re having retinal migraines. Prolonged and even permanent vision loss in one eye appears to occur more commonly in people who have retinal migraines than in cases of the visual aura experienced by those with a conventional migraine (see next item). Obviously, a retinal migraine is a more serious condition than one with a conventional visual aura.
Migraine with conventional visual aura also triggers flashing lights, blind spots, star bursts and other visual disturbances. These auras, which often predict an impending headache, are likely a result of abnormal electrical activity in the outer surface of the brain, called the cortex. The aura can happen with a headache or just by itself. Either way, it doesn’t last very long—usually several minutes to an hour will pass and the squiggly lines or flashing stars go away, only to come back another day. Migraine with aura can also interfere with speech and motor skills. It warrants a conversation with a healthcare professional.
Sources: American Migraine Foundation; Migraine.com