An aura is a sudden, brief warning that a seizure is about to occur. It may take the form of an unpleasant taste or smell, a tingling in the skin, a funny feeling in the stomach, or a visual distortion. It may also occur as a feeling of déjà vu or jamais vu (not recognizing what should be a familiar experience) or a sudden intense emotion. An aura is actually a focal seizure that may or may not progress to a larger seizure. It may warn of either a focal dyscognitive or generalized seizure. It may be seconds, minutes or hours before the larger seizure. Although auras differ from person to person, someone who experiences an aura usually has the same one. Not everyone will have an aura. But for those who do, it is an opportunity to take precautions to avoid injury. A nearby friend or family member can be told that a seizure is about to happen. They can then help to make sure the person is out of harm’s way. Making note of all symptoms that occur prior to a seizure helps to determine if there is a consistent pattern.
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