Migraine headaches could be the most misunderstood types of headaches known to man. Medical science barely understands them, so expecting the general public fully grasp the finer details of migraine is unrealistic. Making matters worse is something known as migraine aura. Because so many people misunderstand it, there are those who believe it is not real.
This post is designed to set the record straight. Migraine aura is a real thing. It may seem highly suspicious to people who have never suffered migraine headaches, but medical studies have proven its legitimacy. The more we learn about migraine aura, the more we can help people suffering from migraines learn to recognize it early enough to avoid a full-blown migraine attack.
Migraine and Migraine Headaches
Understanding migraine aura begins with understanding the condition known as migraine. The experts at Lone Star Pain Medicine in Weatherford, TX explain that migraine is more than just a type of headache. It is actually a neurological disease. Headaches are just one symptom of the disease.
It’s also important to note that there is more than one type of migraine headache. There are migraines with and without aura. There are hemiplegic migraines, vestibular migraines, silent migraines, and even migraines capable of causing stomach and abdominal pain.
Migraines with aura include this unusual phenomenon most people do not understand. In fact, it has been estimated that up to 30% of people who suffer from regular migraines experience aura. Migraine aura can begin 20 to 60 minutes prior to a full-blown migraine attack.
Migraine Aura Explained
Migraine aura is defined as a set of symptoms that proceed a migraine headache. Migraine sufferers who have become attuned to their own senses can often identify aura in time to prepare for what they know will be an excruciating headache.
The thing about migraine aura is that it is rather individualized. The range of symptoms people can experience is quite extensive. Symptoms include:
●Visual Disturbances – Seeing flashes of light, spots, stars, etc. Some people even lose their site for short periods of time.
●Speech Disturbances – Migraine aura can make it difficult for a person to speak the right words despite knowing what those words are. Other migraine sufferers mumble or exhibit slurred speech.
●Sensory Disturbances – Numbness or tingling in the face, hands, fingers, and other parts of the body is a frequently reported migraine aura symptom.
As previously stated, migraine aura is individual in nature. In other words, multiple migraine sufferers who also experience aura may describe completely different aura symptoms. One patient may only see flashes of light while another experiences blurred vision and numbness in the extremities.
It is also curious that a single migraine suffer can experience different aura symptoms during separate attacks. Visual disturbances might be present during one episode while sensory disturbances manifest themselves in another.
The Causes of Migraine Aura
Like migraine itself, medical science is not exactly sure what causes migraine aura. It is believed that aura symptoms originate in the area of the brain – the cerebral cortex – that controls sensory responses. It has been suggested that a physical anomaly in the cerebral structure might be responsible for migraine aura in some people.
If you know a regular migraine headache suffer who also describes symptoms of migraine aura, believe what that person is telling you. Migraine aura is a real thing. It is not a made-up symptom designed to get attention. Migraine sufferers who also exhibit symptoms of aura know a headache is coming. They have come to understand aura as a warning sign of an impending migraine attack.
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