What is the aura you sometimes get wi... - National Migraine...

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What is the aura you sometimes get with a migraine?


Hello everyone.

I've suffered from migraines since I was 13 but only normally get the auras, tiredness, sensitivity to light and I get easily irritated by noise/hecticness.

Does anyone know why we get the auras or what causes them? I've never really discussed my migraines with the GP as I have other health conditions that seem to take president lol!

8 Replies

I asked my doc about the auras, he just said that some sufferers get them, and others dont.

Mine is like zig zag multicoloured flashing lights, and have had this from both sides, but is more common to my left eye.

My sense of smell gets really acute and my right eye and nostril water, then everything seems to get surreal and distorted. Mine are vestibular migraines.

H There

I've suffered for 45 years, I was told yonks ago that its disturbance to the optical nerve regarding the blood flow. Migraine is basically where the blood is moving too fast to the head, hence nausia tingling hands and feet etc.... I have all the variations of aura, blind spots and zig zags flashin lights.... Me and my sisters and my mum are all sufferes and occasionally get them at the same time.....

hope this helps or at least gives you something to investigate.....


I get some migraines like yours - just the dizziness, ringing in the ears, a sense that something isn't quite right, flashing lights, hallucinations and all the rest. I was diagnosed with "migraine without headache".

I also get the headaches too - these happen less often but the aura is usually much worse than it normally is and my speech goes funny too & my fingers appear to be too big for my hands.

I went to the GP eventually, complaining about the dizziness, having ignored it for ages because of a load of other problems. I think it's worth mentioning it, especially if you feel you need more help with managing the symptoms.


Hi there

I hate auras, I always get so scared, even though I get them so often and have had them for decades!

Double vision, blind spots, zig zags, alice in wonderland (feeling big in a small world) fireworks, colours/black and white,cinematographic (seeing the world in frames), snow, distortion, tinnitus, noise and light sensitive and it goes on. They seem to vary more as I've got older, but always starts with a blind spot for me.

If you want to understand migraine aura more, then this site is probably the most informative on this stage:


HarryPotterWho in reply to Hidden

I get the cinematographic thing all the time... usually when in the car or watching fast movement. Is yours only during a migraine? I have the snow and all as well 24/7.

Hi there. The aura is the defining aspect of what seperates a 'classic' migraine from any other sub type!

I know it is scary but to put a positive spin on it at least you get a fair old warning of when you are going to get an attack and can reach for your Imigran/paracetemol etc in good time.

'Aura' is not always visual either though, it can be numbness or tingling in your face, arms, hands and legs and can often be a few hours or even days before an attack.

I have suffered both non-visual aura days before and every attack I get when I notice my vision becoming 'patchy' and just off-centre there is a small zig-zag which spreads to the periphery of my vision, making me totally 'blind' for a while. It is like looking through those kaleidoscopes that children used to have!

yes the aura in the migraine is a blessing in disguise because to me it's a warning which I appreciate that way you can grab your medication in a hurry ahead of time. I also get tunnel vision an actual tunnel-like look with dancing lights all around it before the migraine.

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