A migraine aura is a warning sign of an oncoming migraine headache. An aura develops gradually, usually within 30 minutes before a migraine headache starts, and consists of visual disturbances and physical sensations.
Not everyone who suffers from migraines develops an aura. For those who do, common symptoms of a migraine aura include:
Visual changes. For example:
Zigzag or wavy lines
Flashes or sparks of bright or colored lights
Slowly spreading spots
Distortions in the shape or size of objects
Blind or dark spots in the field of vision
Numbness or a "pins-and-needles" sensation in one hand or the other.
Other, less common symptoms of a migraine aura can occur, including:
Tingling or numbness around the mouth and nose or in the arms or shoulders.
Temporary weakness on one side of the body.
Brief inability to put words in the proper order, or difficulty finding the right words.
Current as of: March 28, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine