Medical Definition of Migraine aura

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Migraine aura: A sensory phenomenon that may occur before a migraine. Visual auras may include flashing lights, geometric patterns, or distorted vision. Some people may have aural auras that involve hearing sounds (usually buzzing) that are not actually present, olfactory auras that involve smelling odors that are not actually present, or tactile auras that appear as premonitory physical sensations. Auras are caused by unusual activity in the brain. The auras experienced by migraine sufferers are similar to those associated with epilepsy.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018