Can Migraine Attacks Cause You To Hallucinate?

Migraines are not merely headaches but a serious neurological condition that leads to intense throbbing and may affect your quality of life, according to theĀ Cleveland Clinic. In fact, there are around 150 different kinds of headaches. The most common being primary and secondary. Migraines are considered primary headaches and may not require imaging diagnosis. Secondary headaches, however, indicate other health issues.

A 2022 study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that migraines affect approximately 10% of the U.S. population. Most of these adults are aged between 20 to 50 years. Moreover, scientists have found that migraines affect more women (17.1%) than men (5.6%). Migraines often get triggered when you are exposed to loud noises or heavy lighting, warns the National Health Service (NHS). As a result, you may find yourself feeling sick or nauseous when having a migraine. The symptoms of migraines include lack of focus, feeling warm or cold, and abdominal issues, such as diarrhea and stomach ache.

Can you hallucinate because of migraines?

Although it's extremely rare, some people may experience hallucinations during a migraine attack, reports Migraine Again. According to theĀ Cleveland Clinic, hallucinations are caused by sleep deprivation or hormonal imbalances in the brain that impact your sensory functions, such as sound, taste, touch, or sight. For instance, when hallucinating, you may feel objects moving, hear weird sounds, or taste things funny. Additionally, Migraine Again also reveals that some people may experience Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. During this syndrome, it may feel like the person isn't entirely in the body. They may notice objects changing in size or hear exaggerated sounds.

Keep in mind, migraines can cause sensory disruptions that may cause visual patterns, light, or various types of auras, such as jagged or zig-zag lines, bright spots, or temporary loss of vision (per Healthline). This happens because migraines damage the nerve cells, leading to visual cortex stimulation in the brain. There have also been instances of olfactory (smell) hallucinations in people with migraines triggered by food allergies, as per a 2014 study published in Neurology. In this case, scientists discovered a woman with severe migraine symptoms that had a gluten allergy, which led to visual and olfactory hallucinations.