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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes migraine aura?

I m 82. many years ago I had migraine headaches preceded by an aura. The last 10 years whenever I had the aura, if I took an aspirin immediately the pain didn t occur which led me to believe the aspirin was preventing the pain. However a few months ago I experienced the aura while in church and naturally couldn t take an aspirin but after 5 minutes the aura disappeared without any pain developing. Since then I ve had several aura episodes, did not take any pain medication and there was no pain whatsoever. My question is what is the cause of the aura?
Mon, 16 Jul 2018
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Neurologist 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

You have discovered the world of MIGRAINE HEADACHES but without the pain. The technical term for this type of HEADACHE is ACEPHALGIC MIGRAINE which literally means migraine headache WITHOUT HEAD PAIN. Another more common term is ABORTED MIGRAINE. Now, the rub is this...these headaches CAN and SHOULD be treated as aggressively (with triptan drugs if possible) as their counterparts which are the headaches you were used to having for many years. My advice is that you see a NEUROLOGIST (preferably a headache specialist) for workup and further advice for treatment. These are easy to treat, easy to recognize by description, HOWEVER, the mimicker of this sort of presentation can also be the earliest stages of an intracranial swelling or mass which may need to be intervened on and the earlier the better. That is why I strongly suggest a visit to a neurologist with a specialization in headaches.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
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What causes migraine aura?

Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice. You have discovered the world of MIGRAINE HEADACHES but without the pain. The technical term for this type of HEADACHE is ACEPHALGIC MIGRAINE which literally means migraine headache WITHOUT HEAD PAIN. Another more common term is ABORTED MIGRAINE. Now, the rub is this...these headaches CAN and SHOULD be treated as aggressively (with triptan drugs if possible) as their counterparts which are the headaches you were used to having for many years. My advice is that you see a NEUROLOGIST (preferably a headache specialist) for workup and further advice for treatment. These are easy to treat, easy to recognize by description, HOWEVER, the mimicker of this sort of presentation can also be the earliest stages of an intracranial swelling or mass which may need to be intervened on and the earlier the better. That is why I strongly suggest a visit to a neurologist with a specialization in headaches. Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.