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Migraine aura changes

As a child, I had quite debilitating migraines on a regular basis. Perhaps monthly in adolescence, settling down to twice a year in early adulthood and the rarely after my twenties. There was always an aura followed by a headache. In later life, I found that if I took a paracetamol as soon as the aura appeared and also ate something to increase my blood sugar, I could avoid the headache, but would still feel drained for the rest of the day.

In 2016 I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation; I can’t remember my last migraine before the diagnosis, but it was many years previously. I was treated by a catheter ablation, which involves a trans-septal puncture of the heart, Which is known to cause auras. A few hours after my ablation in 2017, I had a migraine aura, but it was a different shape to my usual; there was a grey cross in the centre of my vision and two stripes across the bottom and right side of my peripheral vision.and not accompanied by any feelings of illness.

This year, I have had four migraine auras: one in July, two in August and one yesterday. These are a little different from my original auras. Originally, they were quite compressed into a small area just off the centre of my vision, but these are wider and further out.

I only took a tablet for the first one of these recent migraines, but none resulted in a headache.

This is all a little puzzling; has AF or the ablation changed my migraine susceptibility or how I experience them? Is it possible that these are a normal change through life?


John (new poster)

  1. Hi John,

    Welcome to the discussion forum and thank you for sharing your first post!!

    Our migraine attack patterns and symptoms can change over time as we age, mine certainly have, and having migraine with aura may increase our chance of getting atrial fibrillation. The thing is when this happens it's always a good idea to let the doctor know so he can make sure everything checks out OK. Have you been able to mention this to your doctor? If not, I would encourage you to do so.

    Hopefully others will be along shortly to share their experiences with you.

    Wishing you a low pain day,
    Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Moderator/Advocate

    1. Thanks Nancy,

      Over the last 40 years my migraines had reduced to almost nothing, so assumed this was just a change over time.

      Migraine auras are a known side effect of the trans-septal puncture (which normally heals quite quickly) so I guess this is AF-related. My ablation was part of a medical trial, so I am being monitored more than usual; I should shortly be receiving an appointment with the cardiologist for November.

      I will wait to see what the cardiologist has to say. I am not sure my GP would be able to do much to be honest.

  2. Hi JohnMiosh,

    Thank you for the reply. Please keep me updated!


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