Migraine With Aura


Repeated, periodic attacks that begin with sensory changes such as zigzag lines, blind spots, or flashing lights that block normal vision. These nervous system changes are followed by headache lasting 4-72 hours in addition to nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity or sound sensitivity.

Diagnostic criteria

In order to receive a diagnosis of Migraine with aura, a person must experience at least two attacks in which symptoms meet the following criteria.

One or more aura symptoms 5-60 minutes prior to the onset of headache.

  • Visual – wavy lines, blind spots, or flashing lights in the visual field
  • Sensory – tingling or numbness of skin
  • Aphasia – inability to correctly form words or word loss
  • Motor – unsteady gait, imbalance, or clumsiness

The aura meets at least two of these characteristics:

  • One aura spreads over 15 minutes and/or two different auras occur in succession.
  • Each aura lasts 5-60 minutes.
  • At least one aura occurs on only one side of the body.
  • Within 60 minutes, a headache follows the aura.
  • The headache is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, increased light sensitivity, and/or sound sensitivity.


Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society (IHS) (2013). The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition (beta version). Cephalalgia 2013; 33: 9-807.

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