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Migraine Aura


Updated June 11, 2014

Head ache.
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Many times, migraine headaches are preceded by some sort of visual disturbance known as an aura. They usually occur anywhere minutes to hours before the pain of a migraine starts. These symptoms typically last for anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes. The aura may occur without actual pain, and in these cases it is known as a migraine equivalent.

Visual changes can occur in one or both eyes. They can include one or more of the following:

  • Zigzag lines
  • Flashing lights
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Temporary blind spots (scotomas)
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
A migraine may not be accompanied by a classic aura, but a number of other symptoms may signal the onset of a migraine headache.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Increased urination
  • Increased sweating
  • Swelling of the face
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue


Kantor, Daniel. Migraine with Aura. U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. Updated 11/21/2006. Retrieved: September 7, 2008. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000721.htm

Olesen, J. “Understanding the Biologic Basis of Migraine.” NEJM. 22 Dec, 1994.

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  5. What Are Migraine Auras? - Headache Definition

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