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(reply to Anonymous)

Hi, Anon, and welcome to EmpowHer! Thank you so much for your question.

It sounds as though you experienced a Migraine Aura. Some people get these before their migraine headaches; in fact, my friend knows when she gets one of these that she will have a migraine soon and needs to take her medicine right away. Generally they last between 5-60 minutes.

Here's an explanation of a migraine aura from about.com:

"The aura is the most familiar of the phases. Aura follows the prodrome and usually lasts less than an hour. The symptoms and effects of the aura vary widely. Some can be quite terrifying, especially when experienced for the first time. Some of the visual distortions can be exotic and bizarre. It's interesting to note that migraine aura symptoms are thought to have influenced some famous pieces of art and literary works. One of the better know is Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. While most people probably think of aura as being strictly visual, auras can have a wide range of symptoms, including:

•visual symptoms: flashing lights, wavy lines, spots, partial loss of sight, blurry vision
•olfactory hallucinations (smelling odors that aren't there)
•tingling or numbness of the face or extremities on the side where the headache develops.
•difficult finding words and/or speaking
•partial paralysis
•auditory hallucinations
•decrease in or loss of hearing
•reduced sensation
•hypersensitivity to feel and touch."

And the Mayo Clinic has an animation that goes through the stages of a migraine, including the aura:


There's actually an organization called the Migraine Aura Foundation that's based in Germany. An interesting page on their site is where people have created videos to try to simulate their auras:


I'm sure sorry you had such a tough time. Glad you're seeing a doctor; will you come back and update us?

September 29, 2009 - 9:29am


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