Migraine With Aura | Causes, Symptoms, Complications and Treatments

Migraine With Aura

Migraine With Aura commonly known as the ‘a classic migraine’, it usually commences as a headache progressively with sensory difficulties and disturbances, often referred to as aura, this includes all the neurological disturbances which are initiated prior to the commencement of a headache, it may occur for 5-20 minutes and lapse up to 1hr. An average of 20% of those with migraines suffers from the aura symptoms, which may include visual disturbance such as: Blind spots, Flashing lights, Zig-zag patterns etc. there may be the implication of the vocal cavity resulting to Speech slurring. At times the aura leads to loss of coordination, weakness of the muscle and confusion. Along with these aura signs are the migraines symptoms.


Just as in the case of migraine without aura, the cause of migraine with aura is yet to be fully understood, however, scientist have been able to hypothesize that the mechanism of migraine with aura is like an electrical or chemical signals moving across the brain where optical information is processed (the cortical region), this generally may result to blurring of vision. Some of the factors which predispose to migraine can also cause an aura migraine, this is true for allergic foods, drugs, stress, fear, photophobia, menstruation. It has also been established to be generic, occurring more in women than men.


The most common type of migraines aura symptoms include the temporal visual or neurological disturbances, which are usually established before the initiation of the migraine symptoms which includes severe head pains, photophobia, phonophobia, vomiting and nausea. There is age variation in the occurrence of this type of migraines in individuals, as it may occur without a headache in older people above 50yrs of age.


Most of the visual complications often emerge from the centre of the field of vision and extend outwards. These temporal visual complications in people with migraine aura include:

  • Loss of vision
  • Blind spot
  • Zigzag lines that gradually float across your field of vision
  • Shimmering spots or stars

Some of the accompanying neurological complications are:

Facial numbness which may extend to the fingers, weakness of the muscle, Irregularities with vocal cavities affecting speech, memory loss or changes have also been reported by some people, anxiety, confusion and fear may also set in which may be accompanied with partial paralysis. These aura symptoms are frequently followed by migraine symptoms. The neurological malfunctioning are experienced before a headache which in some cases may be mild or absent


One major complication of which may occur along/after migraine with aura is the high risk of stroke or paralysis in the patients, grown-up females are generally at higher risk when they are found of bad habits such as drugs abuse or smoking

The Phases of Migraine with Aura

The progression of migraine with aura do occur in four phases:

  1. Prodrome
  2. Aura
  3. Headache
  4. Postdrome
phases of migraine


Migraine with aura’s treatment is centred on:

  • The use of appropriate medication at the onset of a headache to break it at this phase, an example of the specific drug active in breaking headache phase is Triptans  
  • At the commencement of the headache attack, certain medications can also be taken to reduce head pain and its severity
  • All risk factors that are known to be associated with migraine must be known and avoided.
  • The use of birth control pills should be drastically minimized in females with migraines