by: Lindsay Weitzel, PhD, Migraine Strategist and Migraine Science Writer I recently had the immense pleasure of meeting Priya Rama, migraine artist and migraine overcomer extraordinaire. Priya “transforms pain into beauty” by painting the images she sees in her mind’s eye while experiencing her migraine. I have...

Q. I experience migraine with aura and thus take my medication as soon as I see the aura, not knowing how severe (or not) the migraine will be. My pain varies greatly. I even had half migraines with very little pain. Is there a way to tell how strong the pain will be based on the aura to help predict how much medication I should take, not to overdo it?

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?

Migraine headaches are more common in patients with a small hole in the heart called a patent foramen ovale (PFO), and some research has indicated that closing the hole helps alleviate migraine. However, a recent study evaluating PFO closure in patients with migraine with aura showed mixed results. In the study of 107 patients (sign-in required) with migraine with aura who had not responded to previous treatment, PFO closure did not reduce the total number of migraine headaches within 1 year compared with medical intervention. However, the incidence of migraine with aura was decreased by the procedure.