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Anatomy of a Migraine

With or Without Aura

With or Without Aura

While many people think that the terms "aura" and "migraine" go hand in hand, only about a quarter of migraine headache sufferers experience aura, which can last about an hour before a migraine sets in. The other 75 percent can be thankful to not experience frightening symptoms like flashing lights, loss of vision and smelling or hearing things that aren't happening. Even scarier symptoms can mimic or feel like a stroke. In addition to dizziness, aura can cause tingling or numbness in the face, confusion and even loss of speaking ability.

By Daniel Halperin, published March 8, 2011. Daniel is a freelance writer based in New York City.