Epilepsy – Vertigo may be an aura

EpilepsyVertigo may be an aura

Aura is the perceptual disturbance experienced by some migraine sufferers before a migraine headache, and the telltale sensation experienced by some people with epilepsy before a seizure. It often manifests as the perception of a strange light, an unpleasant smell or confusing thoughts or experiences. Some people experience aura without a subsequent migraine or seizure When occurring, auras allow epileptics time to prevent injury to themselves and/or others. The time between the appearance of the aura and the migraine lasts from a few seconds up to an hour. The Aura can stay with a migraine sufferer for the duration of the migraine, depending on the type of aura this can leave the person disoriented and confused. It is not uncommon for migraine sufferers to experience more than one type of aura during the migraine. Most people who have auras have the same type of aura every time.

An aura sensation can include some or a combination of the following:

Visual changes

  • Bright lights and blobs
  • Zigzag lines
  • Distortions in the size or shape of objects
  • Vibrating visual field
  1.  Scintillating scotoma
  2. Shimmering, pulsating patches, often curved
  • Tunnel vision
  • Scotoma
  1. Blind or dark spots in the field of vision
  2. Curtain-like effect over one eye
  3. Slowly spreading spots
  • Kaleidoscope effects on visual field
  • Total temporary monocular (in one eye) blindness
  • Heightened sensitivity to light

Auditory changes

  • Hearing voices or sounds that do not exist: true auditory halucinations
  • Modification of voices or sounds in the environment
  • Heightened sensitivity to hearing
  • Someone speaking at a level and normal tone sounds like they are shouting loudly


Vertigo can be an aura in rare cases