Are Migraine Auras Dangerous to Your Health?
Migraines are traumatic enough without the auras that sometimes come with them. And while the auras can add a freakish experience to an already painful one, are migraine auras dangerous? The short answer is, not usually. Generally speaking, migraine auras are pretty harmless.
What Should I Know About Migraine Auras?
In and of themselves, auras aren’t going to kill you. They are really only dangerous if they impair your vision so much that you fall or otherwise hurt yourself because you can’t see well. Symptoms of aura may not accompany every migraine, and if they do, they usually disappear in an hour or less.
If you experience auras that last longer than one hour, get drastically worse, or come with additional symptoms outside of your migraine attack, speak with your doctor to address any changes in your condition.
Migraine auras may be confused with conditions such as eye problems or stroke, so it’s important to be informed so you can decide whether to get medical attention.
What is Migraine Aura?
Migraine auras are sensory disturbances that usually occur in conjunction with a migraine attack. The auras typically appear just before, during, or after the pain sets in. But occasionally, they may occasionally occur without the headache.
Migraine auras may include visual phenomena, but there could be non-visual effects, too. We’ll cover the signs and symptoms in just a minute. But Axon Optics user Brogan describes his migraine aura experience this way:
“It is like watching an old TV with bad reception that has added fuzzy pixelation on the whole screen, except it’s my brain providing the signal to my eyes causing me to have added light pixelations to my vision. I also occasionally get a brutal migraine with aura that triggers for various reasons, sometimes seemingly nothing. I purchased these glasses with the hopes that it would aid my vision daily and hopefully result in aiding in the effort of preventing the migraine with aura from triggering. I now wear these glasses 24/7.”
What Causes Migraine With Auras?
At one point, researchers thought aura was caused by constriction of tiny blood vessels that deliver oxygenated blood to specific areas of the brain. However, aura may actually be linked to fleeting changes in the activity level of specific nerve cells.
As far as direct triggers go, migraines with or without aura can be caused by a number of things, including:
- Light sensitivity
- Anxiety or stress
- Poor sleep or changing sleep patterns
- Excess sugar
- Cold foods such as ice cream
- Dairy foods
- Food additives like MSG or nitrates
- Irregular eating schedule
- Some medications, such as birth control pills
- Bright lights or loud noises
- Strong odors
- Weather or altitude changes
How to Prevent Migraine Auras
The steps you would take to prevent migraine auras are the same as the steps you would take to prevent migraines.
- Wear migraine glasses to filter out the types of light that tend to trigger migraines
- Keep a diary of your eating habits and activities to help you recognize and avoid migraine triggers
- Get plenty of sleep on a predictable schedule
- Avoid processed or smoked foods with chemical additives
- Avoid alcohol and excess sugar
- Don’t skip meals
- Get regular exercise
- Regulate your stress level
Chances are, if you can avoid migraine triggers and take preventative measures like wearing migraine glasses, you’ll experience fewer migraines along with fewer auras.
As you do so, hopefully you have an experience similar to our friend Brogan, as he explains further:
“I’ll occasionally take my glasses off at work with the thought “let’s see how things are without these,” and instantly tell a drastic difference. I feel uncomfortable without them and like my eyes are constantly strained as they try to fight through enhanced fuzzy lighting and it’s unpleasant. I then quickly put my glasses back on and am able to feel more comfortable again… like an extra fuzzy bright layer of my vision that my brain perceives is removed or at least lessened. No, the glasses don’t fix my brain, so I still have some vision issues, but it definitely helps. It’s a nightmare to think of being without them, and not sure how I went so long without them before. I am very pleased with my purchase.”
Signs and Symptoms of Migraine With Auras
Those who have migraine aura may experience a range of symptoms, including:
- Visual disturbances like bright spots, stars, sparks, flashes of light, or blind spots
(Note: Another type of visual disturbance, visual snow, is not technically associated with a visual aura that can accompany migraine, many patients who experience visual snow also suffer from migraines. You can read more about it here.)
- Temporary loss of vision or vision changes, such as tunnel vision
- Moving patterns in the field of vision, such as wavy or zigzag lines
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Facial weakness or numbness
- Muscle weakness, numbness, or tingling on one side of the body
- Burning or pins and needles sensations in the extremities
- Uncontrolled jerking movements
- Difficulty speaking clearly or putting words together
- Mental confusion
- Depression, irritability or restlessness
- Hearing noises or music
- Ringing in the ears
Some migraine aura symptoms may mimic the symptoms of a stroke. But keep in mind that with migraine aura, the symptoms tend to come on gradually, then slowly increase or spread.
With a stroke, the symptoms are usually much more sudden. It’s important to know the warning signs of a stroke, so you know when to get help. Remembering they acronym F.A.S.T. may help if you think you or someone you know might be having a stroke:
- FACE – Smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- ARMS – Is there one arm that drifts downward when raised overhead?
- SPEECH – Is it slurred?
- TIME – Time is of the essence. If you observe any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1
“I ordered frames with prescription lenses the order was completed quickly. These glasses are a migraine gamechanger for me. I work 16+ hours a day on a computer coding and would have headaches almost daily. I have suffered migraines for over 30 years with light and sound sensitivity. The lenses cut the light sensitivity and light triggers down significantly. I have not had a migraine with aura since receiving and wearing them. Do I still have migraines yes, but not near as often while working. The frames, while still big for my smaller face, are very stylish.. These glasses are GAMECHANGER!!”
Many Axon Optics customers report not only a reduction in migraines by wearing our glasses, auras, too. Trying our glasses is risk-free with a 60-day money-back guarantee.