Migraine auras are a visual phenomenon that occurs minutes before a migraine attack strikes. What do Ocular Migraine Auras look like?
The symptoms of migraine aura include visual distortions, stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, slurred speech, and loss of spatial awareness and time perception. Auras precede a migraine by minutes, giving sufferers little time to prepare for the attack. Also see: 10 Unusual Chronic Pain Relief Tactics for the Bedridden
Stroke or Migraine?
Recently, TV news anchor Serene Branson made headlines when she suffered a migraine aura on the air, while reporting on the Grammy Awards. You Tube views clicked in by the thousands to watch the 10-second video clip of Serene slurring and speaking “gibberish,” symptoms that many onlookers and television viewers confused with the symptoms of stroke. In the following caption, Serene Branson tells Good Morning America what was going through her mind during the live TV Red Carpet segment.
Strange but True: Migraines can Give You a British Accent
Migraines with Eye Swelling
Migraine sufferers often experience severe eye pain during a migraine attack. For many, the agony is excruciating, described as sharp throbbing pain behind one eye socket. The pain can last for hours, during which time migraine victims are unable to do much else than lie in a dark quiet room. Migraine aura with swelling behind the eye can look like this:
Related: “What are Ice Pick Headaches, and should I be worried?”
Migraine auras can create different types of visual hallucinations; many descriptions vary by patients. Sometimes, the symptoms of aura strike without head pain. Migraine attacks that do not include headaches are called “silent migraines.” Below are some examples of the many different variations in auras witnessed by chronic migraine sufferers.
Do any of these resemble your experiences with auras?
Below- one of the most common type of migraine auras involve seeing a growing arc-shaped hallucination.
Do your migraine auras begin with sparkling “firefly” images that lead to rainbow-like zigzagging flecks of light?
Below is a simulation of what a migraine with aura would look like in a work environment.
This video shows what a migraine attack can look like behind the wheel. The driver portrayed in this caption witnesses an array of colorful light patterns while driving his car.
The following video depicts another example of migraines with aura on the road, this time showing us what “tunnel vision” auras look like.
Go Ask Alice: Migraine Auras in Wonderland
Ocular migraines are similar to migraines with aura, with one noticeable exception: while ocular migraines strike only one eye, migraine auras can affect vision in both eyes simultaneously. Optical migraines occur when the eyes do not receive enough blood flow, a symptom that results from constricting blood vessels. A headache may or may not accompany an ophthalmic migraine.
Below is a demonstration of what an ocular migraine may look like:
Migraine sufferers often use art therapy to ease their anxieties about migraines. “Migraine art” allows patients to describe their agony in a way that is visual, giving onlookers a chance to feel their pain. By expressing themselves through paintings, photography, videography, and poetry, migraineurs put a face on an otherwise invisible disease. By raising migraine awareness, migraine patients and researchers hope to end the stigma surrounding migraines, and accumulate funds towards migraine education and the pursuit of a cure.
Below is a short montage of migraine art submissions.
Migraine Auras, Explained
Migraine auras can be frightening, especially if you have never experienced one before. Migraine auras may cause feelings of panic, depression, hopelessness, or dizziness. Many fear that they are suffering a stroke or brain tumor. The best way to combat migraine anxiety is to know the facts. Below is a short video describing the science behind migraines with aura.
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