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Aura and Seizures - Topic Overview

Aura is the term used to describe symptoms that may occur before a seizure. An aura may include:

  • Visual changes. Examples include:
    • Bright lights.
    • Zigzag lines.
    • Slowly spreading spots.
    • Distortions in the size or shape of objects.
    • Blind or dark spots in the field of vision.
  • Hearing voices or sounds (auditory hallucinations).
  • Strange smells (olfactory hallucinations).
  • Feelings of numbness or tingling on one side of your face or body.
  • Feeling separated from your body.
  • Anxiety or fear.
  • Nausea.

An aura is often the first sign that you are going to have a seizure. You may have an aura from several seconds up to 60 minutes before a seizure. Most people who have auras have the same type of aura every time they have a seizure.

Recommended Related to Epilepsy

Birth Control for Women With Epilepsy

If you are a woman who has epilepsy, there are some important things you should know before using birth control or planning a pregnancy. Any birth control that is safe for women, in general, is safe for women with epilepsy. However, having epilepsy -- and some treatments for the condition -- can make some forms of birth control less effective. Also, because anti-seizure medications for epilepsy can increase the risk of birth defects, it's important to plan pregnancy carefully.

Read the Birth Control for Women With Epilepsy article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 28, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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