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epilepsy auras

An 'aura' is the term that some people use to describe the warning they feel before they have a tonic clonic seizure. An epilepsy 'aura' is in fact a focal aware seizure.

Focal aware seizures (FAS) are sometimes called ‘warnings’ or ‘auras’ because, for some people, a FAS develops into another type of seizure. The FAS is therefore sometimes a warning that another seizure will happen (see focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures).

Some people may describe their auras as:

• a ‘rising’ feeling in the stomach or déjà vu (feeling like you’ve ‘been here before’);

• getting an unusual smell or taste;

• a sudden intense feeling of fear or joy;

• a strange feeling like a ‘wave’ going through the head;

• stiffness or twitching in part of the body, (such as an arm or hand);

• a feeling of numbness or tingling;

• a sensation that an arm or leg feels bigger or smaller than it actually is; or

• visual disturbances such as coloured or flashing lights or hallucinations (seeing something that isn’t actually there).

Man lies on the floor unconscious as someone helps him into the recovery position

Find out about other seizure types

Epileptic seizures are caused by a disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain. There are many different types of epileptic seizure.