Can A Migraine Headache Cause Hallucinations?

  • 14 months ago
2 minute read.
Can A Migraine Headache Cause Hallucinations?

Have you ever experienced a migraine headache and noticed unusual visual or sensory symptoms during an attack? While migraines are a common neurological condition that can cause several symptoms, some people may experience more intense visual disturbances that can be mistaken for hallucinations. But can a migraine headache cause hallucinations? Let's take a closer look.

Migraine Aura: Not Quite Hallucinations

One of the most well-known symptoms of migraines is the aura, which can occur before or during a headache. Auras are temporary and reversible neurological symptoms that last less than an hour. They can include a range of visual and sensory disturbances, such as flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots in the vision. Some people may also experience sensory disturbances such as tingling or numbness in the face or hands.

Also check: Can some scents trigger migraine?

While these symptoms can be disruptive and distressing, they are not technically considered true hallucinations. Migraine auras are temporary and reversible neurological symptom that is caused by the brain's response to the headache, whereas hallucinations are often associated with underlying psychiatric or neurological conditions.

Hallucinations vs. Migraine Auras: Understanding The Difference

It's essential to understand the difference between hallucinations and migraine auras.

  • Hallucinations involve seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there and can be difficult to distinguish from reality. They are typically associated with psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or substance abuse.
  • Migraine auras, on the other hand, are neurological symptom that is specific to migraines. They are not associated with any underlying psychiatric or neurological conditions and are generally not a cause for concern. While they can be disruptive and distressing, migraines are temporary and typically resolve once the migraine headache has passed.

Take this quick assessment to check whether the severity of your headache is a sign of a migraine or not.

Coping With Migraine Auras

If you experience migraine auras, there are several steps you can take to manage your symptoms and prevent your headaches from becoming worse. Here are a few tips:

  • Keep Track of Your Symptoms: Keep a journal of your migraine symptoms, including any visual or sensory disturbances you experience. It can help you identify triggers and patterns contributing to your headaches.
  • Seek Medical Attention: If you experience unusual visual or sensory symptoms during a migraine attack, talk to your doctor to rule out other underlying conditions and develop a treatment plan to manage your symptoms.
  • Manage Stress: Stress is a common trigger for migraines, so it's crucial to find ways to manage stress in your life. It could include meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques.
  • Consider Medication: Your doctor may recommend medication to help manage your migraines and prevent them from occurring in the first place.


While migraines can cause a range of symptoms, including visual and sensory disturbances, these symptoms are not technically considered true hallucinations. Understanding the difference between migraine auras and hallucinations is critical for managing and treating migraines effectively. With the right approach, you can learn to manage your migraines and prevent them from interfering with your life.

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