Migraine with Aura

What is a Migraine with Aura?

Many individuals who suffer from migraine headaches experience a migraine with aura. This type of headache is the same as a regular migraine except individuals have warning signs that a headache is near.

These warning signs produce various symptoms that can impact a person’s vision, speech and other body functions. It is believed that the causes of a migraine with aura are related to the malfunction of chemicals called dopamine and serotonin that are in the brain. Many individuals who have migraines with aura have other family members that also suffer from these severe headaches.

What are the Symptoms of a Migraine with Aura?

Individuals will normally experience several symptoms days or hours before an actual headache with aura.

Symptoms include

Yawning and tiredness, frequent urination, stiffness in the neck and hunger cravings.

Symptoms of a headache with aura may include a weak feeling in the body, tingling sensations, difficulties talking and hallucinating. Many aura symptoms affect a person’s eyesight and they may have blind spots or loss of vision. Some individuals often see lights flashing or wavy lines in front of their eyes. Headache symptoms include extreme head pain, being very hot or extremely cold, a sick stomach and dizzy spells.

How is a Migraine with Aura Treated?

The best treatment for a headache with aura is to rest in a silent room that is dark. A cold cloth placed on the head where there is pain may provide some relief. Many individuals take drugstore pain medications or a doctor can also prescribe a stronger pain reliever if necessary.

Other medications that are often prescribed to shrink the blood vessels include sumatriptan and rizatriptan. Some medications that are commonly prescribed for other medical conditions can also help treat migraines. These include blood pressure medications, such as atenolol and timolol. Antidepressant medications, such as nortriptyline and amitriptyline, that are commonly used to prevent seizures, are also prescribed for headaches with aura.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
September 21, 2016
Last Updated:
August 31, 2017