Aura is the second phase of a Migraine. It can include vision, verbal and Speech symptoms. #Migraine #Aura
Migraine Explained,  Phases of Migraine

Migraine Explained: Aura

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One of the things that makes a Migraine different than an ordinary headache is that a Migraine has phases. Over the next few weeks, I want to take an indepth look at each phase of a Migraine. Today we will be looking at the Aura phase of a Migraine.

What is an Aura?

A Migraine Aura is a set symptoms that include the most common visual symptoms but can also include sensory and language disturbances. According to the American Migraine Foundation, “Up to one-third of people with migraine experience aura as a distinct phase in the progression of their migraine attack.”

What is a Visual Aura?

According to, the visual symptoms are:

  • an electrical or chemical wave that moves across the visual cortex of your brain.
  • The best known visual symptom is called a fortification spectrum because its pattern resembles the walls of a medieval fort. It may start as a small hole of light or sometimes as bright geometrical lines and shapes in your visual field. This visual aura may expand into a sickle- or C-shaped object, with zigzag lines on the leading edge. As it moves, it may appear to grow.
  • May experience bright spots or flashes. Auras are sometimes accompanied by a partial loss of vision referred to as a scotoma.
  • Visual Aura commonly last 10 to 30 minutes.

What is a Sensory Aura?

Sensory symptoms will most likely will happen along with the visual auras. describes it as:

  • Usually begins as a tingling in one limb or a feeling of numbness that travels up your arm
  • Can spread to one side of your face and tongue.
  • Usually lasts a few minutes up to an hour on average.
  • Just over one-tenth of migraine sufferers complain of sensory aura.
  • The most common sensory symptoms include numbness, tingling and other “odd” sensations in the limbs, face or throughout the body.
  • Easy to mistake for other, more serious ailments such as stroke, transient ischemic attack or a partial seizure
  • Weakness on one side of the body may also suggest Hemiplegic Migraine.

What is a Verbal Aura?

This is commonly called Dysphasic Aura or Transient Aphasia. The National Aphasia Association defines aphasia as, “an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech.”  Although aphasia is generally permanent, transient aphasia is temporary and is the type that accompanies migraines. You can read more about this type of Aura in a post that was I published recently.

Transient Aphasia – When the Words Won’t Come

Other Things You May not Know:

  • Usually precedes the migraine episode but can continue during the episode
  • Can also occur without an associated headache, this is called a Silent Migraine.
  • Can happen up to 2 days before a Migraine episode.
  • If it lasts longer than an hour increase your risk for stroke and other serious complications.


An aura is an event that happens after the Prodrome Migraine Phase but it can continue as the migraine progresses. This can include visual, sensory and verbal symptoms that can present in different ways. These are generally a good way to predict a coming migraine so that treatment can begin before the headache phase begins.

If you have migraines and at anytime experience a new symptom, you should seek immediate medical attention. It could indicate something more serious is taking place.

Do not downplay or rationalize any new symptoms.

Read about the other Migraine Phases

There are several signs of a Migraine Aura and they can include visual, verbal and Speech symptoms. #Migraine #Aura
Aura is the second phase of a Migraine. It can include vision, verbal and Speech symptoms. #Migraine #Aura

Disclaimer: This blog post pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and first hand accounts about a serious medical condition.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice.


  • Derbyshireduckie

    Really Interesting. I had my first migraine at 14- 30yrs ago & I had the lights, numb tongue, confused speech, inability to have cohesive thought & vomiting. I’m guessing 30yrs ago these symptoms weren’t that well known as a migraine. when I went to the Dr the nurse asked me what medication I had taken. & I just said “I don’t no what you mean. What is medication” in a slurred stuttery way, to which the nurse said and I quote “don’t be silly, stop putting it on I know you understand me! There’s nothing wrong with you”… my body decided at that exact moment to empty the contents of my stomach alllllllll over the nurse’s shoes! Whoops! Needless to say she went to get the Dr!

    • Amina

      I was extremely tired a month ago. I forced myself to stay awake about 1 hour then couldn’t fight it any longer. I fell asleep at 1 pm when I woke at 3 I had a terrible migraine on the right side. Normally I have an aura but not this time. The migraine lasted 3 days then I had a couple days go by then another migraine hit again with no aura. Since then I have been having vertigo so badly. I went to the doctor and the meds they gave me help with dizziness but not completely. Now a new symptom today…noise sensitivity ☹

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