Migraine aura

Hey everybody. I am 34 and I have been having migraine with aura for 18 years. I recently within the last year had episodes of my vision spinning about halfway around. I’d say about 5 times. I was actually looking for an aura forum to discuss all of this and found a vertigo forum. I had not connected the two until i seen this site.

My auras are horrible. I get the zig zag lines flashing from center to outside vision. I will get the feeling of looking through a fish bowl and my arm will look as if its not where it should be. Sometimes after i get my vision back, one side of my face will tingle and go numb and one of my hands on the same side will go numb. Even inside of my mouth and my tongue will be affected. The numbness moves like the zig zag lines, it moves from the tip of my finger tips up to halfway up my arm. It’s only like a two inch section of tingling and numbness that moves tho. So by the time it gets to my wrists, i can feel my fingertips again. I also have body temperature fluctuations. Like my legs might get cold and at the same time my stomach will be hot and it moves around.

Mine last sometimes 40 minutes (this is just the visual part) if im lucky up to an hour. Recently though I’ve been getting a prolonged recovery. My vision will be clear but if i look at my phone or something it will get choppy and blurry. This makes it between 2 hours to 4 hours to be back functional. So it’s getting to be where it’s really affecting my everyday life. Sometimes i have them back to back and sometimes i can go 2 weeks to a month without one. It varies.

I am not on any medication and i do not see a neurologist. Just thought i’d share my symptoms. I seen a few posts mentioning the 20 minutes and 30 minutes of the aura lasting and wishing i was that lucky lol.

Welcome Justin.

This is not a “migraine” site, per se, although we deal with them as part of the symptom constellation members suffer from (and arguably one of the worst, most disruptive symptoms).

There is definitely an association :+1: . But careful here: bear in mind that migraine as an explanation of vertigo is a hypothesis, and it hasn’t helped that a popular diagnosis is now called “Vestibular Migraine”.

Most people with these symptoms used to be given a diagnosis “Migraine Associated Vertigo” (MAV), but that diagnosis appears to have become less “popular”, despite being imho a safer statement as you can definitely very safely associate migraines with vertigo in a constellation of symptoms. Saying one causes the other is still a scientific stretch. There is no obvious reason for me why use of MAV has fallen out of favour compared to use of the term VM, except that there seems to been some level of cultural contagion of the belief and this seems to have become dogma.

Personally I “believe” the migraines in the case of MAV/VM are caused by issues with the sensory apparatus (for whatever reason), ie most likely the inner ear or something influencing the inner ear. I’ve laid out my reasons for this belief elsewhere and won’t go further into my personal opinion here. I certainly do not have any definitive proof though, I fully admit.

Others have theories about “central sensitisation”, but I don’t see any hard science to distinguish the two.

Here we tolerate different beliefs of what these things are, but to say definitively that migraines cause the condition known as Vestibular Migraine or Migraine Associated Vertigo I think is as yet unproven, so has to remain as a belief (as well as a hypothesis).

We definitely do not want to focus only on migraine here as I believe strongly we should keep an open mind as to what might be the underlying root cause of these conditions, which may be to do with a pathogen, something psychological (like stress, which might cause biochemical fallout), or chemical (like poisoning or hormonal) or down to some biological issue of some kind.

Equally important are the concepts of Endolymphatic Hydrops and middle ear dysfunction, both of which are also known to cause vertigo, dizziness and apparently are associated with … migraines (a simple example is someone with confirmed Menieres disease suffering an unusual number of migraines).

There is also usually a whole slew of ear symptoms that can come with VM or MAV that include tinnitus, mild hearing loss, feeling of fullness, crackling in the ear. I think it’s unreasonable to ignore the obvious here that there is involvement of the ear’s anatomy in the condition. When considering the fact that people have vestibular and aural symptoms and then explaining it all away solely due to issues with another part of the anatomy completely seems a stretch to me!

Finally I would definitely draw attention to the distinction between “diagnosis” and “aetiology”. Those are two very different concepts. The first is applying a label to classify a condition, the latter is explaining the exact mechanism by which a malady occurs: we don’t have a definitive aetiology for Vestibular Migraine, Migraine Associated Vertigo, nor in fact Meniere’s disease! There is also no explanation as to why the symptoms of those conditions are in significant part very similar whilst there being obvious differences too.

Along with everyone else I look forward to more research …

PS there are loads of debates on this in Research, Theories & Controversies👨‍🎓 (access to this Category is reserved for Trust Level 2 - those who’ve made significant contribution to the site) and it’s clear some people have strong opinions on this topic and we tend to put those debates there.


This is very interesting. I was just sharing my symptoms in case someone was trying to relate.

I know this is not a migraine site, but considering the fact that i have also experienced vertigo so many times in the last year I figured this was a more apropiate site after reading a good many topics on here.

I have inner ear problems and i had only associated my vertigo with my ear issues. I was just guessing and never went to the doctor. I didnt ever think there was a possible link between migraines and vertigo tho, so this is interesting. My inner ear is itchy and i make this weird noise to scratch it. Drives my wife nuts. I used to think i had sore throat bouts often then i realized it was my inner ear that was causing the pain and not my throat. My dentist said that my teeth being so far back on my jaw could be causing issues with my inner ear also. I have my wisdom teeth and have very little room for them to be there. I have to use a water pick to keep them clean.

Thanks for the reply


You “inner” ear is deeply embedded in bone so I trust you are not scratching your inner ear :wink:

I wouldn’t advise you do either - it is part of an exquisitely tuned and delicate system that should not be distrubed.

I presume you mean the inside of your outer ear? :slight_smile:

Yeah, there’s linkage between your jaw and the middle ear. This can apparently cause issues when something is not right with the teeth or jaw. Or not and the dentist is just trying to drum up trade :wink:

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Ya, i don’t mean literally scratching with an object… it’s a vibration type thing i do with my tongue and throat. Kind of like i make a suction to the roof of my mouth and when i break the suction but bringing my tongue down it makes a vibration and weird sound. I do it when my inner ear is bothering me. My son does it too. Somebody had to point it out to me that i was doing it lying in bed.

Anyways, it’s hard to describe it because it’s just something i do, but i know the difference of the inside of my outer ear and my inner ear.

Idk if my teeth actually have anything to do with anything but it made me curious when my new dentists asked me if i had ear problems like tinnitus or vertigo.


Ah gotcha, sorry I misread that! :slight_smile:

That habit and the reason why you do that is unusual and probably something you might ask a specialist about?

I think the science should hopefully catch-up over the course of the next 5-10 years. It is truly the best time in history to be alive with the pace of scientific discovery :smiley:

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Hi There

Yes, I have the same as you with the visual auras and blindness for 30 minutes at the time. Ive been suffering full PPPD symptoms for 2 and a half years, with no respite. It’s just so miserable and relentless. Woozy, feeling nauseous, stiff neck and upper back, feeling unsteady, brain fog, anxiety, exhaustion, headaches/migraines, constant strange visual symptoms, full vertigo. I was depressed and overwhelmed and clueless as to how to beat this life changing condition. It’s like walking around in a permanent uncomfortable dream. A revelation for me was I recently took 3 days away from my laptop on a trip to Glasgow and I was amazed when the symptoms started to subside considerably. I use my laptop constantly for work and entertainment and I believe that the duration, blue light and reading and writing so much text has overtaxed the eyes, the visual part of the vestibular system. We are clearly on these devices too much. The tech is ahead of our physiology. Cut your phone and computer out for 3 or 4 days and don’t worry. Anxiety feeds these symptoms! Good luck!

I never had auras until earlier this year (i’ve had vestibular migraine since 2010) and 3 times now i’ve lost my peripheral vision (words on a page disappear when i’m reading and if i hold out my hand and focus on the fingers, my thumb appesrs invisible) and had some very vague flashing. It only lasted 20mins followed by a headache. What you describe sounds very much like an aura. If you are having it impact your life, I definitely recommend seeing your GP and trying medication. Good luck.