Migraine auras are a common yet puzzling phenomenon for many individuals who experience migraines. In this blog, we will explore the concept of migraine auras, their causes, symptoms, and available treatment options.
What Is A Migraine?
Before we begin discussing migraine auras, it is essential to understand what a migraine is. A migraine is a type of headache that can cause intense and disabling pain in one or both sides of the head. This type of headache is often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, sensory disturbances, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraines typically last between four and seventy-two hours, although some people have symptoms that can persist for more than three days (known as status migrainosus), necessitating emergency medical intervention.
What Is A Migraine Aura?
A migraine aura is a set of neurological symptoms that mainly precede a migraine headache. These symptoms usually last for about 20 minutes to an hour. Although these symptoms can be uncomfortable or even debilitating, they are often a blessing in disguise because they serve as a warning sign that a migraine is about to occur.
Only approximately 20% of people with migraines experience auras. Surprisingly, some individuals may only have auras without the accompanying headache (commonly referred to as “silent” migraines).
Causes Of Migraine Auras
While the exact cause of migraine auras is not yet fully understood, they are believed to result from a phenomenon called cortical spreading depression (CSD). CSD is a wave of depolarizing electrical activity that spreads slowly across the brain’s cortex, leading to temporary disruption of neural function.
This disruption is believed to be behind the visual, sensory, and other neurological symptoms that precede a migraine with aura. This abnormal electrical activity can also trigger the release of inflammatory and pain-inducing molecules, sometimes culminating in headache pain.
It is not clear what triggers CSD in some people, but research suggests that certain factors, such as stress, hormonal fluctuations, and neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain, may be partly to blame.
Common Symptoms Of Migraine Auras
Migraine auras can manifest in various ways, depending on which part of the brain is affected. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Visual disturbances are the most frequently reported symptoms of migraine auras. These can include blind spots or scotomas, flashes of light, zigzag lines or fortification spectra, blurry vision, and temporary loss of vision.
Sensory symptoms can also be a part of the migraine aura experience. These might involve tingling or numbness in the face, hands, or feet or sensations of pins and needles spreading through a specific body part.
Speech & Language Difficulties
Some individuals may experience speech and language problems during a migraine aura, such as difficulty finding the right words, slurred speech, and inability to understand spoken or written language.
Though rare, some people might experience motor weakness or even temporary paralysis on one side of the body during a migraine aura.
Treatment Options For Migraines With Aura
There is no specialized treatment for migraines with aura. However, several proven migraine treatments are available that can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches and the associated aura symptoms.
These include preventive and abortive medication, lifestyle modification, stress management, and other alternative or holistic therapies such as acupuncture and biofeedback.
Migraine auras can be distressing and disruptive, but understanding their causes and symptoms can empower individuals to manage their symptoms effectively. While traditional treatment options may provide relief for some, others might still struggle with persistent migraines.
Genesis Ketamine Centers offer an innovative treatment option for individuals who have not found relief through conventional methods. Ketamine infusions have shown promising results in managing chronic migraine pain, and the team at Genesis is committed to creating a personalized treatment plan to help each patient find lasting relief.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive approach to managing your migraines and reducing their frequency and intensity, contact Genesis Ketamine Centers today and learn more about the benefits of ketamine infusions.
If you are interested in learning more about ketamine for migraine treatment in Philidelphia, PA, contact Genesis Ketamine Centers and request your consultation today.