Migraines with Aura
About migraines with aura
Almost 30 percent of migraine patients experience sensory disturbances (aura) between one hour and thirty minutes before the characteristic headaches begin.
This type of migraine is referred to as migraine with aura or classic migraine. Classic migraines differ from ocular migraines in that in ocular migraines only one eye is affected.
There are different types of migraine-related aura, also known as warning signs:
- Visual disturbances: floating zigzag patterns, sparkly or dark spots, tunnel vision, momentary loss of sight etc.
- Sensual aura: numbness, tingling sensation on either or both hands, needle sensation on legs or hands, temporarily impaired hearing
- Speech: slurry speech, mumbling, inability to pronounce some words
You may also experience some difficulty thinking straight during the aura attack.
Usually, the auras disappear as spontaneously as they occur and then the headache begins. In some instances, however, you might not have a migraine after the aura.
Auras generally have a crippling effect on the your sensory system. This may impair your ability to perform your duties or hobbies satisfactorily. You might also end up in danger if you get an aura when driving, operating machinery, swimming, or other similar activities.
It is therefore important to not only understand auras so that you can try to predict or manage them.
Causes of auras
The connection between auras and migraines has been clear for many decades. Researchers have therefore been trying to understand the cause of auras for as long as they have been studying migraines.
The initial theory was that auras are caused by decreased flow of blood into the brain as blood vessels constrict. Recent research however, disputes this theory but some experts still cling on to it.
Current research shows that there is increased activity in the part of the brain that controls sight and other senses when an aura occurs. This hyperactivity of the nervous system is believed to cause of auras.
What triggers migraines with auras?
Classic migraine attacks are mainly triggered by the same factors that trigger other types of migraines such as:
- Psychological or emotional stress
- Change in stress levels, upward or downward
- Physical strain
- Inadequate sleep
- Physical illnesses
- Extremely bright light especially if it is flashy
- Changes in environment including season changes
- Alcohol or drugs that affect the brain directly
- Strong odors or scents
- Loud sounds
Generally, you should consider anything that could cause emotional, physical, or psychological stress as a potential trigger.
Hypnosis for migraines with aura
Hypnotherapy has been proven to help patients cope with migraine pain both in research and practice. Hypnotherapy trains you how to get yourself to a relaxed state of during the migraine attack and this has been shown to greatly reduce the intensity and length of the attack.
The technique is even more useful for migraines with aura compared to other types of migraines.
This is because the auras serve as a warning sign that the migraine is about to happen. You then apply the techniques you have been taught to manage the senses that have been affected by the aura as well as prepare yourself for the headache even before it starts.
How the hypnosis works
Under the guidance of the hypnotherapist, you will learn how to use hypnosis and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques to access your subconscious mind.
With adequate therapy, you will be able to not only predict the aura but also get yourself in a relaxed state of mind before even the migraine begins.
Further therapy will train you how to avoid getting stressed as you recover from the migraine. Stress has been proven to be a major hindrance to the healing process and therefore eliminating accelerates the healing process.