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Visual Auras, Hallucinations, and Illusions 

Visual Auras, Hallucinations, and Illusions
Chapter:
Visual Auras, Hallucinations, and Illusions
Author(s):

Matthew J. Thurtell

, and Robert L. Tomsak

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190603953.003.0014
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date: 05 June 2020

Visual hallucinations are perceptions that occur in the absence of a corresponding external visual stimulus, whereas visual illusions are misinterpretations of an external visual stimulus. Migraine visual aura is a common cause of transient visual hallucinations. Similar symptoms can occur in patients who have occipital lesions or as a manifestation of occipital seizures. In this chapter, we begin by reviewing the common causes of visual hallucinations and illusions. We next review the clinical features of migraine visual aura and discuss the approach to the patient who has aura without a subsequent migraine headache. We then review features that help to distinguish aura from retinal migraine and occipital seizures. Lastly, we discuss the management approach for migraine with aura.

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