A migraine aura is a warning sign of an oncoming migraine headache. An aura develops gradually. It often begins within 30 minutes before a migraine headache starts. But it can also occur during the headache for some people. It causes short-term symptoms like visual disturbances and physical sensations.
Not everyone who suffers from migraines develops an aura. For those who do, common symptoms of a migraine aura include:
- Visual changes. For example:
- Zigzag or wavy lines
- Flashes or sparks of bright or colored lights
- Slowly spreading spots
- Distortions in the shape or size of objects
- Blind or dark spots in the field of vision
- Numbness or a "pins-and-needles" sensation in one hand or the other.
Other, less common symptoms of a migraine aura can occur, including:
- Tingling or numbness around the mouth and nose or in the arms or shoulders.
- Temporary weakness on one side of the body.
- Brief inability to put words in the proper order, or difficulty finding the right words.
Current as of: August 25, 2022
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine