What is migraine with aura?

Updated: Aug 15, 2019
  • Author: William C Robertson, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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Migraine with aura is characterized by visual, sensory or other neurologic symptoms, followed by a severe, throbbing headache. It lasts between 2 and 72 hours. Headaches usually occur 1-2 times per month, but the frequency may vary considerably among individuals.

Of children with migraine, approximately one third have migraine with aura. Approximately 5% of affected children have aura without headache.

The visual disturbance may consist of seeing sparkling lights or colored lines, visual hallucinations, blindness, hemianopia, blurred vision, or micropsia. The aura usually precedes the headache by less than 30 minutes and lasts 5-60 minutes. Other, less common auras consist of sensory symptoms or focal motor deficits (hemiplegia).

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