Your day is going perfectly. The sun is shining and you are getting all your work done. But then something happens. Your head begins to throb and you even begin to see small black splotches in your vision. What is this?

An aura is a perceptual disturbance experienced by someone with a migraine or headache before it begins. It often manifests as the perception of a strange light, an unpleasant smell or confusing thoughts or experiences. The pain alone is often enough to prevent you from carrying on with your daily activities. Whether you have a headache with or without an aura, there is a solution to your pain.

What are the Symptoms?

Headaches with auras account for less than 20% of all migraines. However, that is only little comfort when you are the one who falls victim to this painful headache. Accompanying a headache might be the visual disturbance of auras, but you might also experience:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Low blood pressure
  • Feeling “hyper”
  • Sensitivity to light, sounds or motion

When an aura is present, it typically begins about 30 minutes or less before the headache begins. These early symptoms are referred to as prodrome and can last for 5 to 20 minutes—it can even continue after the headache subsides.

Treatment for Your Headache

Whether your headache is associated with an aura or no aura, treatment is available. Before treatment can begin, the type and cause of the headache must be determined. For migraines, two treatment options are available: preventive and abortive. Preventive medications seek to avoid the occurrence of a migraine while abortive medications relieve the pain after the onset.

With tension-type headaches, if it is caused by muscle tension in the neck or scalp, a massage may offer some initial pain relief. Over the counter pain medications can also offer effective relief from pain as well. For cluster headaches, over the counter pain relievers typically do not help relieve pain.

Contact Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on headaches and how we can help you find relief from your pain. Remember, you don’t have to live with pain—seek treatment now!