Healthy Living

What is a Migraine with Aura?

What is a Migraine with Aura?

A migraine is one of the most severe headaches, and the pain often affects an individual's daily activities. A migraine headache is broadly classified into migraine without aura and migraine with aura. Migraine with aura is a less common type of headache when compared to the other migraine. Aura is the name given to the symptoms that one gets before the start of the headache. These symptoms appear as a warning of the impending pain and is often referred to as prodrome.

The actual cause of this condition is still not known. Experts are of the opinion that serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters, play a very important role in migraines. When the regulation of brain functioning by these chemicals is impaired, it may lead to a migraine headache. The immune system may then overreact and open, and constrict the blood vessels to the brain. This leads to severe headaches. Genetics is one major risk factors in developing a migraine with aura, followed by obesity and being overweight. Some foods, ingredients in food products, and the environment may also trigger this migraine headache. This type of migraine often starts in childhood and then continues through adolescence. It is more common among boys when compared to girls. But among adults, women are more affected than men. A migraine headache may reduce with age and is not seen after 50-years-old. Although the condition is very painful, it is not very serious.

The most characteristic feature of any type of migraine is the headache. The pain is felt on one or both sides of the temple. Many people explain the pain to be a steady, throbbing and may last for up to two days.

Some of the other symptoms seen along with this headache include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Yawning
  • Irritability
  • Dark circles around the eyes

Just before the start of the throbbing pain, an individual might experience:

  • Blind spots
  • Flickering vision or zig zag lines that float across the field of vision
  • Prickling feeling on the skin
  • Weakness
  • Loss of vision in half of the visual field

Treatment options for a migraine with aura focuses on relieving the symptoms and also preventing future attacks.

Some of the simple tips to alleviate the symptoms include:

  • Using cold compresses on the area of pain
  • Medications to relieve pain
  • Stay in a quiet, dark room