Migraine Headaches, Vision Effects (cont.)
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Migraines and Vision Effects Symptoms
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Migraine headaches typically occur on one side of the head and cause throbbing pain, but the features often vary. Migraineurs (people who get migraine headaches) often experience a bilateral event, meaning that the pain can be felt anywhere around the head or neck.
Early symptoms are experienced by a majority of migraineurs. Forewarning of a migraine may occur hours to days before a headache event. Although the specific symptoms vary, they tend to remain the same for a given individual over time. These warning symptoms may include the following:
Aura is experienced by of some migraineurs. Aura is defined as focused symptoms that grow over 5-15 minutes and generally last about an hour. In most cases, the migraine headache follows the aura. However, the two events can happen at the same time, or the aura may develop after the headache starts. With aura, visual symptoms are most common and include the following:
Motor symptoms like hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body) and aphasia (poor or absent understanding and/or production of speech, writing, or signs) may occur but much less frequently.
Some people have auras only, without headaches. Treatment is usually unnecessary once the diagnosis is recognized and the migraineur reassured about it. If the aura always occurs on the same side, the risk of brain tumor or other abnormality is greater than in persons with routine headaches.
Typical headache characteristics are as follows:
Physical examination findings
Upon examination, the doctor may discover the following:
The following physical examination findings are considered particularly worrisome, suggesting that the problem is not migraine but a potentially more serious condition:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/22/2016
Ronald Braswell, MD
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James H Halsey, MD
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Migraines and Headaches Resources
- What's Triggering Your Migraines?
- Personalized Tips for Managing Migraine
- A Visual Guide to Migraines