A migraine attack can occur with or without aura. The aura is usually noticeable before the onset of the headache. These symptoms are similar to those of a neurological disease. Typical are, for example, visual disturbances - often the affected person's field of vision is limited or they see flashes of light in front of the eyes. So far, there is no therapy for the aura itself. However, the actual migraine attack can often be mitigated by rapid intervention.
Cause still unclear
About 15 to 30 percent of all migraine sufferers suffer from migraine with aura. This means that they not only have attack-like headaches, but also other symptoms such as vision or speech problems can occur.
The exact causes of a migraine have not yet been finally clarified. However, as many family members are often affected, it is believed that genetic factors play a role. Even with migraine with aura, the cause is not yet known beyond doubt. It is clear that in the affected areas certain areas in the brain are poorly supplied with blood. In addition, however, other causes are conceivable.
Symptoms of a migraine with aura
An aura often occurs before the actual migraine attack - it is, so to speak, a harbinger of the headache attack. Less often, the symptoms along with the headache noticeable. Typically, the symptoms develop within five to ten minutes and resolve after approximately one hour.
Characteristically, patients suffer from neurological disorders such as:
- blurred vision
- Disruption of the sensory system (emotional disorders, paralysis)
- Disturbance of balance (balance disorders)
- Disruption of the language
Since such symptoms can also occur in the context of a stroke, they should - especially when first occurring - necessarily be medically clarified.
Blurred vision as a typical symptom
Most commonly, migraine with aura causes more or less pronounced visual disturbances: some sufferers see light flashes or dazzling colors in front of their eyes, while others see part of the visual field. Some patients also complain of seeing double vision. In particularly bad cases, one eye may temporarily go blind.
In general, visual disturbances distinguish between positive and negative symptoms. While in the former, an additional stimulus appears - for example, a flickering, jagged figure - falls in the latter part of the visual field (blind spot). Such a blind spot often does not stay in one place, but travels across the field of vision.
Migraine with aura: what to do?
There is no scientifically sound treatment for the migraine aura. Thus, neither migraine nor analgesics can interrupt the aura. Some studies indicate that nasal sprays with ketamine can stop the symptoms that appear. Even without treatment, however, the aura usually resolves itself within a short time.
If you experience typical aura symptoms, you can reduce the following headache attack by reacting quickly:
- Take painkillers or medications for nausea in time.
- Retreat to a quiet, darkened place and relax or try to sleep.
- Attention: However, wait until the aura is over with the use of strong medications such as triptans.
Against the following headache help exactly the same active ingredients as in a normal migraine also. More information on medicines and tips on migraine treatment can be found here.