What Is Aura and How to Relieve Cluster Headaches with Aura
As if the pain and discomfort of a headache alone weren’t enough, some types of headaches are accompanied by an aura. While this condition is most commonly associated with an aura migraine, auras can occur with cluster headaches too. Headaches can occur with or without an aura, and auras can be very disturbing and unsettling when they strike.
Here is some information about what is an aura and the headaches aura connection as it relates to cluster headaches. This article will also discuss the warning signs of an aura when auras typically occur, and how to find relief for aura migraines and aura cluster headaches.
What Is Aura?
An aura involves having sensory and visual disturbances that may include blind spots and geometric shapes. A person may see flashing lights, twinkling stars, or lines that appear and move across the space in front of the eyes. It is also possible to have a temporary loss in vision due to an aura. In addition to the visual sensations, a person experiencing an aura may also have difficulty speaking, feel numbness in the body, and notice muscle weakness.
Aura Warning Signs
An aura is a warning sign of an oncoming headache, and most auras last between five minutes and one hour. However, auras themselves may come on suddenly with little or no warning. Some people may notice tingling before a visual aura happens or notice a yellowish colored light form before more complex patterns present themselves and begin to move before the eyes.
When Auras Usually Occur
For most people, an aura occurs before the onset of other headache symptoms. An aura is most common within about an hour before head pain and other symptoms, such as nausea and light sensitivity, strike. These types of hallucinations or illusions can occur in both adults and, and nausea and vomiting are common following these sensory experiences.
The Headaches Aura Connection for Cluster Headaches
A cluster headache with aura can feel similar to an aura migraine, with overlapping symptoms and sensations. Research studies have found few clinical differences in people who have cluster headaches with and without aura. However, people who have cluster headaches with aura may experience greater frontal pain, and cluster headache sufferers with aura most commonly experience visual symptoms more than anything else.
Relief for Aura Migraines and Aura Cluster Headaches
A big part of preventing aura migraines and aura cluster headaches is avoiding triggers, such as strong smells, alcohol, and cigarettes. For cluster headache sufferers, acute treatment options include oxygen therapy, injections, nasal sprays, and over-the-counter medications like Vanquish. Meanwhile, preventative treatments include prescriptions of lithium, verapamil, corticosteroids, and methysergide.
To make the aura itself go away, there are no specific treatments, but over-the-counter and prescription medications can make auras more manageable. Meanwhile, reducing daily stress levels and exercising regularly can help auras occur less frequently and be less intense. It may also help to go into a dark room and gently massage the temples, practice deep breathing exercises, and drink water to relieve the symptoms of an aura.
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