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Diagnosis of Migraine & Headache Types

Week Long Aura (Please Help)

  • By ChronicallyHopeful

    Hi everyone. I’m 29 years old and new to the boards. I typically get migraines occasionally. For me, the ‘norm’ is see a speck that turns into full blown brightness on one side. It gets bigger, I see the zig zag lines, it travels from one side to the other, I get a headache and it’s done.. HOWEVER, lately I have been dealing with basically an 8 day aura. I see brightness in my left peripherial vision. It gets bigger maybe 4-5 times a day (though everything ALWAYS seems too bright). My opthalmologist says everything is fine with my eyes. My neurologist is going to send me for an MRI and EEG. Monday night it seemed like this occasional aura was going to turn into a full blown one, but then it didn’t. Yesterday I DID had a headache almost all day and the aura only happened twice. I hope it’s going the right way but I feel so miserable, I don’t even know. Has anyone else had an aura like this? That lasted over a week?? I appreciate any advice.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi ChronicallyHopeful,

    Welcome to the Migraine.com discussion forum – we’re glad you found us!

    I’m sorry you’ve been experiencing extended visual aura, that can be very frustrating. I’ve not had this, but know people with migraine disease who have. Great job getting in contact with the eye doctor and your neurologist – that’s an important first step.

    Extended visual aura while not common does occur. Persistent aura without infarction can be a complication of migraine disease according to the International Headache Society or IHS. Here is information from the IHS’s International Classification of Headache Disorders, the gold standard for diagnosing migraine and headache disorders;

    “1.4.2 Persistent aura without infarction

    Description:
    Aura symptoms persisting for one week or more without evidence of infarction on neuroimaging.

    Diagnostic criteria:
    A. Aura fulfilling criterion B
    B. Occurring in a patient with 1.2 Migraine with aura and typical of previous auras except that one or more aura symptoms persists for ≥1 week
    C. Neuroimaging shows no evidence of infarction
    D. Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.

    Comments:
    Persistent aura symptoms are rare but well documented. They are often bilateral and may last for months or years. The one-week limit in criterion C is based on the opinion of experts and should be formally studied.

    Diagnostic work-up must distinguish 1.4.2 Persistent aura without infarction from 1.4.3 Migrainous infarction, and exclude symptomatic aura due to cerebral infarction of other causes. Attacks lasting more than one hour and less than one week are coded 1.5.2 Probable migraine with aura.”

    I hope this passes quickly. I’m sure others will be along shortly to share their experiences with you.

    Nancy

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