Headache,  Migraine

Migraine with aura

You have probably heard it before, that some people get a so-called aura before the migraine starts. What is an aura, and how does it show? How do I know if I have a migraine with aura?

Previously, a migraine with aura was called “classic migraine.” But today, migraine is classified as migraine with or without an aura.
An aura can be visual phenomena, the speech getting worse, loss of feeling, or decreasing skin sensations.

People that have migraines with aura can most often tell if a migraine attack is on its way by different preventions, many times, these “warnings” can be very diffuse.

Commun preventions that a migraine attack is coming;

  • Mood swings
  • A feeling of discomfort in your body
  • Feeling nauseated, stomach ace, as well as lighter stomach pains and gases
  • Swollen hands and feets
  • Yaning, feeling unnaturally tired
  • Getting tensions and muscle pain in the neck
  • Craving for sweets and affected appetite
  • Feeling alert, clear-headed and excited

The most common symptom of an aura is that you experience vision phenomena, such as a growing empty hole in your vision field, blurred or dizzy visual impressions, zigzag patterns, flashes, flickering, or double vision.

You can also get tingling and numbness around your mouth or in one arm. It can, for example, start in one hand and then spread up along the arm. You can have difficulty controlling the body and talking as usual. You may also get a distorted body image.

The symptoms during the aura phase tend to be similar for one person but can vary significantly between different people.

Auran usually comes before the pain

If you have migraine with aura, it is common for the aura phenomenon to occur before the headaches. The aura usually lasts twenty to thirty minutes, sometimes up to one hour. After the auras start to give, the headaches typically come. Sometimes the headaches come after a short interval. Auran can also occur during the headache phase.

There is also migraine with only aura, without any headache. This is becoming more common with increasing age. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish circulatory disorders in the brain, such as stroke, from migraine aura without headaches.

Phases, the course of the migraine

The migraine attack can usually be divided into several more or less distinct phases. However, far from all people experience all these phases.

The four phases;
Headache phase
Resolution and recovery phase

Prodromal phase
The prodromal phase is experienced by approximately 70% of people with migraine. This phase precedes migraine and headaches with associated symptoms and lasts between 2 and 48 hours.

Aura phase
About 10 percent of all people that have migraines state that they have aura symptoms in each attack, while about 30 percent state that aura symptoms are included only in some of the attacks.
The aura symptoms usually initiate the migraine attack, develop gradually over 5 to 20 minutes, and rarely last longer than 1 hour (usually 20-30 minutes). After a quiet interval of just under half an hour, the aura symptoms are gradually relieved by the headache attack.

Headache phase
For just over two-thirds of people with migraines, the headache phase is the first clear sign that an attack is approaching.

After the attack – Resolution and recovery phase
During the later stages of the migraine attack, the individual slowly but surely returns to his normal state. The patient usually feels very tired, easily irritated, and apathetic. If there was a severe attack, you might even feel bruised and end up affected, up for a few days afterward.

When and where should I seek care?

If any of the following applies to you, contact a health care provider:
You think you have migraines.
You have migraines and need to take medication frequently.
You think you have migraines and the medication does not help.


Migraines can sometimes be confused with tension headaches, and it is not uncommon to get both types of headaches.

For the doctor to diagnose migraine, five documented typical attack is required for migraine without aura. In the case of migraine with aura, two documented seizures are sufficient.

With examinations of the nervous system, nasal sinuses, and blood pressure, the doctor can find out if you have migraines. If you have a migraine diary, it is a good idea to include it and make a copy to your doctor. Sometimes blood tests are also taken to check, for example, blood sugar and blood levels. In some occasions, you may also be able to undergo contrast x-rays of the brain, so-called computed tomography or CT, or a magnetic camera examination, but this is rarely necessary in common migraines. Thorough medical history, combined with a normal neurologist status, leads almost always to diagnosis.

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