If you experience signs and symptoms of aura followed by typical signs and symptoms of migraine, it's likely you have migraine with aura. Your doctor may diagnose the condition on the basis of your medical history and a physical exam.
But if your aura isn't followed by head pain, or the visual disturbances affect only one eye, your doctor may recommend certain tests to rule out more serious conditions, such as a retinal tear or a transient ischemic attack — a temporary decrease in blood supply to part of your brain — that could be causing your symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend:
- An eye examination. During this exam, your doctor will use an instrument the size of a small flashlight (ophthalmoscope) to project a beam of light into your eye to examine the back of your eyeball (fundoscopy).
- Computerized tomography (CT). This X-ray technique produces detailed images of your internal organs, including your brain.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This diagnostic imaging procedure produces images of your internal organs, including your brain.
Your doctor may also refer you to a doctor who specializes in nervous system disorders (neurologist) to rule out brain conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
June 04, 2013
- Aminoff MJ, et al. Clinical Neurology. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=66. Accessed April 18, 2013.
- Headache: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/headache/detail_headache.htm?css=print. Accessed April 18, 2013.
- Stone K, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=55749542. Accessed April 18, 2013.
- Hauge AW, et al. Trigger factors in migraine with aura. Cephalalgia. 2010;30:346.
- Marnura MJ. Use of dopamine antagonists in treatment of migraine. Current Treatment Options in Neurology. 2012;14:27.
- Salhofer-Polanyi S, et al. Prospective analysis of factors related to migraine aura — the PAMINA study. Headache. 2012;52:1236.
- Botox gets nod for migraine. PubMed Health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2012-05-11-botox-gets-nod-for-migraine/. Accessed April 18, 2013.
- Headache hygiene tips. American Headache Society Committee for Headache Education. http://www.achenet.org/resources/trigger_avoidance_information/. Accessed April 17, 2013.