Q: I am 20 years old, and I had a weird incident in August. I was sleeping, and I woke up with blurred vision. I had a terrible headache and felt like I was about to vomit. It lasted about 2 to 3 hours. I went to the doctor, and he didn’t find anything. Two days later I had the same thing happen. I went to a different doctor and again, nothing. Do you think it’s a migraine with aura?

A: A visual aura usually consists of seeing zigzag or squiggly lines or loss of partial or complete vision. The symptoms may last about 30 minutes and then fade away as the headache begins. Blurry vision and sensitivity to light are commonly seen in migraine and are not necessarily indicative of an aura. It is sometimes difficult to determine whether the typical visual changes that accompany a migraine are actually considered true visual auras. Only about 20 to 25% of migraine patients have migraine with aura, which is the less common form of migraine. Since you are waking up with the blurry vision and headache with severe nausea, you may actually be experiencing a migraine without aura with the common associated symptom of blurry vision during the headache episode.

George R. Nissan, DO
Baylor Headache Center
Dallas, TX