Friday, June 24, 2022
HomeNewsWhat Aura Means In Migraine

What Aura Means In Migraine

Our Free Guide Gives You 5 Tools For Every Day Migraine Prevention

Migraine Headaches : Migraine Aura Symptoms

Holly Hazen is the creator of Migraine Savvy. Her guidance is guaranteed to give you more confidence in your ability to prepare for that next attack and recover faster. Learning resilience and coping skills now will pay off forever!

If you like this article, please share it on your favorite social channels

Migraine With Aura Treatment

When you’re having a migraine with aura, stay in a quiet, dark room. Try putting cold compresses or pressure on the painful areas.

Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen may help. Your doctor can prescribe larger doses of NSAIDs.

Prescription medications called triptans or ditans — such as almotriptan , eletriptan , frovatriptan , lasmiditan , naratriptan , rizatriptan , and sumatriptan — can help. Ergots may also treat migraine pain.

Other medications can ease related symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Some devices are designed to short-circuit a migraine by turning on your brain in a particular way.

SpringTMS and eNeura sTMS use a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation . Place the device on the back of your head for about a minute to release a pulse of magnetic energy.

A vagus nerve stimulator called gammaCore, when placed over the vagus nerve in your neck, releases mild electrical stimulation to relieve pain.

You’ll need a prescription for any of these devices.

Diagnosing Migraine Aura Without Pain

Migraine aura without pain can be hard to diagnose. It can be confused with stroke or seizures. Your doctor will have to rule out other, more common, health conditions before diagnosing you with migraine aura without pain. A migraine diary is an important tool in helping your doctor accurately diagnose silent migraine.1,,2

You May Like: Does Aspartame Cause Migraine Headaches

Migraine With Aura Symptoms

  • 2.5Kshares


  • Article References
  • Video Transcript

    And it often will start little. Just almost like a little flickering or almost kaleidoscopic, and then it will build up and grow. And what some people think is something is wrong with their eye, but really its happening in the brain, and if they cover the eye that they think has it, they can still see the little zig-zaggy lines or spots on the page in the other eye.

    So we know that its coming from the brain. We know also, or we think we know, that it is triggered by cortical spreading depression. When theyve done experiments looking at the brain and the slow waves that travel in the brain, the speed with which that slow wave travels corresponds a lot with the aura and scientists have figured that out.

    The aura frequently will come before the headache and then the person will have a headache. Sometimes its on the opposite side to the visual symptoms, sometimes its on both sides, and then the headache can be indiscernible from a migraine without aura. But an aura is a discreet neurologic event, usually visual.

    There are other types of auras, such as dizziness or vertigo auras, or numbness around the face and hand followed by a headache, but the visual aura is the most common.

    Peripheral movement in the visual field will sometimes even trigger a migraine. Bright lights could trigger a migraine. People with migraine, in general, are very visually sensitive people.

    Aura: Warning Sign Of A Migraineand A Future Stroke

    7 Essential skills for how to stop a migraine aura ...

    Excruciating pain. Nausea. Sensitivity to light. The crushing symptoms of migraine headaches affect 15% of the population and, unfortunately, women are 3 times as likely as men to experience them.

    Migraine headaches alone are bad enough. But add the symptoms related to auras and your risk of a future stroke goes up significantly.


    A migraine headache with aura, known as a classical migraine, affects up to 30% of migraine sufferers. Five to 20 minutes before the onset of the headache, you see flashing lights, sparks, and dark patches. These effects might be accompanied by the feeling of pins and needles, spreading from one part of your body to another.

    In some ways the aura is a good thing. Longtime sufferers recognize the aura as a warning sign of an oncoming migraine. It allows the victim to prepare, taking medication to reduce the severity of the migraine.

    The migraine with aura should also be seen as a warning sign of possible stroke and heart problems.


    First, the good news: In most people, migraines rarely result in a stroke. Evidence says its also unlikely that a stroke will occur during a migraine.

    The not-so-good news: People who suffer migraines are more likely to eventually have some type of heart or vascular problem. A cause-and-effect hasnt been proven. In other words, the migraine with aura doesnt CAUSE the stroke. But the two do occur together.


    Read Also: Nortriptyline Taper Plan

    First And Only Cgrp For Acute And Preventive Treatment

    In May 2021 the FDA expanded approval for Nurtec ODT to include migraine treatment, making it the first medication approved to both treat and prevent migraines. Nurtec ODT comes in pill form and is taken once every other day for prevention and as needed for acute migraine.

    Numerous other types of medications can be used to prevent migraines or treat them once they’ve taken hold.

    • Antihypertensives , such as metoprolol, propranolol, and timolol
    • Antidepressants, such as Elavil and Effexor
    • Anticonvulsants: These include valproate products, divalproex sodium, sodium valproate, and Topamax
    • Botox , an injectable muscle paralytic drug used for chronic migraine prevention

    People who suffer from migraines without aura are more likely than those who have other headache disorders to develop a medication-overuse headache. Be sure to take a migraine drug exactly as directed.

    What Is Aura In The Eye & What Causes An Aura In The Eye

    Aura in the eye, also called as migraine with aura or classic aura refers to a severe headache, which strikes along or after with various sensory disturbances. Here, the disturbances may include blind spots, light flashes, changes in the vision of a patient or tingling in his face or hand.

    Migraine with aura or aura in the eye problem may result in throbbing pain or a sensation of pulse severely on a particular side of your head. In addition, sometimes, the problem accompanies vomiting, nausea and extreme sensitivity towards the sound and the light.

    Migraine attacks may result in a huge pain for about few hours to 1 or 2 day and may become so much severe that pain disables. Aura or any other warning symptom may take place with or before you face with the headache problem. These include tingling, light flashes and blind spots.

    Recommended Reading: Piercings For Migraine

    What Does An Attack Look Like

    There are four distinct phases of a migraine attack: prodrome, aura, headache, postdrome. You dont have to experience all the phases. In fact, only about 20% of people with migraine have an aura. Understanding the phases can help you manage the disease better.

    The prodrome and aura phases usually occur before the headache develops. Prodrome may precede the migraine attack by several hours or even days. Typical prodrome symptoms include extreme tiredness and yawning, irritability or moodiness, difficulty concentrating, and food cravings. About 75% of people with migraine experience a prodromebut often they dont recognize it as the beginning of an attack. Aura is rarer and usually begins just before the headache starts. Most people experience changes in their vision, while others notice tingling, numbness or trouble speaking.

    These symptoms can serve as a warning sign and allow you to take acute medication before the headache begins. Identifying and treating a migraine early can even help prevent further symptoms in some people.

    Are They Treated Differently

    Migraine Aura – Everything You Need To Know About Visual Auras From Migraines

    Not really. Experts aren’t sure what causes auras, so there’s nothing special you can do about them. It’s about treating the migraine symptoms and preventing more attacks.

    To prevent migraines:

    Medications. If other treatments donât work and you have 4 or more migraine days a month, your doctor may suggest preventive medicines. You take these regularly to make headaches less severe or less frequent. They include seizure medicines, blood pressure medicines , and some antidepressants. CGRP inhibitors are a new class of preventive medicine that your doctor may recommend if other medicines donât help.

    Keep a headache diary. It will help you spot things that might trigger your migraines. Diary entries should include things like the date and time of your headache, any foods you had eaten, what you did, and medication you took just before the headache began. It may take 6 to 8 weeks or longer to begin to see patterns and triggers.

    Avoid common food triggers. Use information from your diary and from trial and error to figure out if any of these foods might be causing your migraines:

    The Migraine Association of Ireland: “Migraine Without Aura,” “Migraine With Aura.”



    You May Like: Amitriptyline Hcl For Headaches

    Community Experiences Of Migraine And Aura advocates often write about their experiences with migraine and aura. For those who experience aura, it can be part of a long list of warning signs a migraine attack is coming on. In this video, one advocate illustrates how her field of vision changes during this prodrome phase. Others may face challenges in getting an accurate diagnosis of persistent migraine aura.

    Hormonal Variations In Women

    Fluctuations take place in the level of estrogen may activate the problem of headache in large number of women. Particularly, women with migraine history usually report the problem of aura in the eye immediately during or before their menstrual cycle, as during that time; there is a significant drop in their estrogen levels. Moreover, a few women may have tendencies to develop the problem of aura in the eye either at the time of pregnancy or during the phase of menopause.

    You May Like: Piercing That Gets Rid Of Migraines

    What Are The Symptoms

    Complex migraine symptoms can vary from person to person. However, this migraine type usually has two phases.

    The first phase is an aura episode. The aura is like a precursor to migraine, but it doesnt mean its symptoms are any less severe.

    The aura phase typically begins shortly before migraine occurs. Symptoms of complex migraine aura might include the following:

    • vision changes, including blind spots, bright flashes of light, or double vision
    • changes in your ability to think clearly
    • difficulty speaking or difficulty speaking clearly
    • weakness on one side of your body that ranges from mild to severe

    The most significant aura symptoms usually last about an hour but may have lingering effects for up to a week, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders .

    Following an aura comes migraine. Migraine causes symptoms such as:

    • nausea
    • sensitivity to light and sound
    • throbbing, intense headache pain
    • vomiting

    NORD also emphasizes that migraine can last for several days in some people. But whats important to know about complex migraine symptoms is that they are reversible.

    A person who has complex migraine will ultimately have symptoms that go away. It may take a little longer due to the nature of complex migraine.

    But its important to know that the experience of complex migraine is different from a person who experiences a stroke, which may have lasting effects.

    Migraine With Aura Diagnosis

    Migraine vs. headache: How to tell the difference

    Your doctor will give you a physical exam and check your muscles, reflexes, speech, and senses to test the nerves in your head. Theyâll also ask about your health history, such as:

    Blood tests and imaging, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs, can help rule out other causes like an infection and bleeding.

    Read Also: Side Effects Of Migraine Medication

    What Is Migraine Aura

    Migraine aura is a series of sensory disturbances that often occur shortly before a migraine attack or may sometimes occur during or after the migraine attack.

    Migraine auras are reversible symptoms of the nervous system. They occur in the form of visual and physical disturbances or sensations. These disturbances range from seeing bright dots, sparks, and patterns to muscle weakness, tingling on one side of the body, or inability to speak clearly and usually lasts for about 20-60 minutes.

    Migraine aura does not occur with every migraine attack, and it may not affect every person. Sometimes, aura may occur without a headache. Although migraine pain does not occur, the aura symptoms can still be disruptive to daily activities.

    They may be a result of certain chemical imbalances in the brain that occur during a migraine attack.

    Diagnosing Migraine Without Aura

    Migraine without aura is diagnosed using the persons description of their symptoms. This is why keeping a migraine diary can be so helpful in finding treatments and understanding your own triggers. The International Headache Society says that to be diagnosed with migraine without aura the person should have 5 or more attacks that have the symptoms of a migraine.1

    One key difference between migraines and headaches is that a migraine can include head pain plus other symptoms, while a headache is usually just head pain. Diagnosing any type of migraine including migraine without aura can be hard because of the wide range of symptoms that mimic other conditions, such as stroke or seizures.

    Recommended Reading: Can Ocular Migraines Cause Numbness

    Can I Have A Visual Migraine Without A Headache

    Definitely. It is actually very common to have a visual migraine without any headache. The medical term for this is acephalgic migraine, which literally means migraine symptoms without headache. Except for the absence of a headache, the visual symptoms in acephalgic migraine are identical to the episodes that accompany a classic migraine aura.

    Migraine Aura Without Headache

    What a Migraine Aura is Like

    Experiencing a migraine aura without a headache can be confusing.

    Most people associate migraines with headaches and intense head pains. So, theyre often left unsure when they experience most of the same symptoms without any head pain.

    Though much rarer, migraine aura without headaches are still considered ocular migraines, even though the experience is much different.

    The main similarity between the two conditions are the visual auras. Those that experience a migraine aura see the same bright spots, dark spots, stars, and zigzag lights.

    The difference is that they come and go without any head pain. Most people will experience the visual symptoms for between 5 minutes and 60 minutes before they go away completely.

    Even though the visual symptoms dont occur with a headache, most experts still agree theyre caused by the same changes as a normal ocular migraine.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, two main types of people experience silent migraines.

    First is people that experience ocular migraines like normal. Sometimes the visual aura will result in a headache while other times no head pain will be felt.

    The second is those that only experience ocular migraines without pain. They never experience a headache after the visual aura.

    Remember that the symptoms of migraines change over time. Most people have a far different migraine experience over time as when they first started to get migraines.

    You May Like: Excedrin Migraine For Cramps

    Read Also: Migraine Med With Caffeine

    Types Of Migraine With Aura

    Aura can happen in four types of migraine:

    • Migraine with aura . This is also called a classic migraine.
    • Migraine with brainstem aura. This is when the aura starts in the base of your brain or both sides of your brain.
    • Hemiplegic migraine. In this rare type, aura causes weakness on one side of your body .
    • Retinal migraine. You have vision changes in one eye before the migraine begins.

    Migraine Aura And Stroke

    It has been shown that patients with migraine aura have a slightly increased risk of having a stroke. This is a small risk but can increase further if other risk factors are present such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and being over-weight. So, it is important that patients stop smoking, get their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle and body weight. Another thing that can increase the chances of stroke in these patients is the use of the combined contraceptive pill: this should be avoided by female patients with migraine aura. There are other hormonal options available for contraception. It is important to note that use of oestrogen containing HRT is allowed in patients with migraine and aura.

    Don’t Miss: How Often To Take Excedrin Migraine

    How Do You Diagnose Auras

    Since auras can cause such a broad range of systems, and sometimes donât even give you a headache, itâs no wonder that itâs not easy to get the right diagnosis.

    Thatâs why itâs so important to speak to a doctor who understands migraines and can recognize symptoms that are easy to mistake for other conditions.

    If you think you might have migraines with aura, it can be helpful to keep a headache diary.

    We recommend taking note of:

    • When your migraine started

    What Is A Verbal Aura

    Migraine aura

    This is commonly called Dysphasic Aura or Transient Aphasia. The;National Aphasia Association;defines aphasia as, an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech.; Although aphasia is generally permanent, transient aphasia is temporary and is the type that accompanies migraines. You can read more about this type of Aura in a post that was I published recently.

    Read Also: Why Do Migraines Go Away After Vomiting

    What Causes Migraine With Aura

    It is not known exactly what causes auras.

    Scientists have looked into it and found that it may be caused by a slow wave of altered brain activity called cortical spreading depression. This leads to temporary changes in the chemicals, nerves and blood flow in the brain that affect how it works and could be related to pain.

    Improving understanding of how these changes in the brain can lead to headache will help with the discovery of new drugs that could prevent migraine attacks.


    Popular Articles