Migraine Term of the Day: Aura

Patient Expert

When we're looking at Migraine and headache information, whether it's from our doctor, a book, or an online article, we sometimes come across medical terms that can be confusing.

Sometimes, it's easy enough to substitute another word or a short phrase for the medical term. At other times, substituting just doesn't convey quite the same meaning or takes more than a few words.

Some of you have expressed an interest in learning more of the medical terminology that comes up when discussing Migraine disease and other headache disorders. So, I'll be posting a "term of the day," probably a couple of times a week. If there are terms you'd like to have defined, please leave a comment to let me know what it is.

Today's term: Aura.

The aura is the second potential phase of a Migraine with aura attack (previously called Classic Migraine). May present with varying symptoms including:

  • visual aura in which the patient sees flashing lights or zigzag lines, or may temporarily lose vision.
  • auditory aura in which the patient hears unusual sounds
  • olfactory aura in which the patient smells odors that aren't actually present
  • tingling or numbness of the face or extremities on the side where the headache develops
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • hypersensitivity to feel and touch (allodynia)
  • aphasia
  • others

You can read more about aura in Anatomy of a Migraine and _Migraine with Aura - The Basics _.