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Migraine Symptoms Explained

Migraine Symptoms Explained

Common Migraine Headache Symptoms

A migraine can be difficult to manage, with symptoms that shift over hours or even days. They usually go through the following stages:

  • Prodrome phase (before the migraine)
  • Aura phase
  • Acute or attack phase
  • Resolution phase
  • Postdrome phase (after the migraine)

Common symptoms of a migraine

The most common symptom of a migraine is a severe headache on one side of the brain.

The pain is usually moderate to a severe throbbing sensation that worsens with movement and hinders you from performing normal activities.

The discomfort may occur on both sides of your head and affect your face or neck in some circumstances.

A migraine headache has symptoms that are distinct from those of non-migraine headaches. Tingling feelings, flashing lights, strange sounds, and blurred or lost eyesight are examples of uncommon symptoms that might be frightening. You might feel sick and vomit, or you might become light-sensitive and spend days in a dark room. You might be able to forecast when a migraine is coming if you know your symptoms.

Migraines can strike at any age, but teenagers are more likely to have them. In your 30s, you’ll have more of them, and as you become older, you’ll have fewer.

Discuss your symptoms with your doctor, especially if you get headaches 15 or more days each month (chronic migraine). Some symptoms are similar to those of more serious illnesses that require immediate attention.

Additional symptoms

Other signs and symptoms of a migraine include:

  • Sick feeling
  • Being sick
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound, which is why many migraine sufferers prefer to rest in a dark, quiet environment.

Other symptoms that some people experience on occasion include:

  • Sweating
  • Concentration issues
  • Feeling extremely hot or extremely cold
  • Abdomen (tummy) pain
  • Diarrhoea

These extra symptoms are not experienced by everyone who has a migraine, and some people may have them without having a headache.

A migraine’s symptoms normally persist between 4 and 3 days, though you may feel exhausted for up to a week later.

Migraine symptoms appear in stages, though you may not experience all of them.

The Phases of Migraine

Migraine Symptoms Explained - Phase 1

First Phase

Prodrome

You may notice the following things a day or two before you experience a migraine:

  • Mood changes
  • Food cravings
  • Brain fog
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Aches & stiffness
  • Speech difficulties
  • Language problems

Migraine Symptoms Explained - Phase 2

Second Phase

Aura

One-third of people with migraine experience Aura symptoms.

  • Vision Impairments
  • Vision loss
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

Migraine Symptoms Explained - Phase 3

Third Phase

Acute

Also called the headache phase. Not everyone will experience a headache.

  • Headache
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Giddiness
  • Insomnia
  • Nasal congestion
  • Mood changes
  • Sensitivity to light, sound and smell
  • Neck pain

MIGRAINE SYMPTOMS EXPLAINED Phase 4

Fourth Phase

Resolution

At this stage, most migraine acute symptoms have faded, but some stop as suddenly as they started:

  • A sudden end to the attack symptoms
  • Urgent need to sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Euphoria or suddenly feeling good.

Migraine Symptoms Explained - Phase 5

Fifth Phase

Postdrome

This is the final stage. It lasts for around 24 hours after the headache has passed. You might think:

  • Elated
  • drained and washed out
  • Confused
  • Moody
  • Dizzy
  • Light and sound sensitivity

Migraine Symptoms Explained - Phase 6

Sixth Phase

Interictal

This is the phase between migraine attacks and the calm.

  • No attack symptoms
  • Relief
  • Comfort
  • Calmness
  • Solace
  • Ease
  • Reassurance
  • Relax

The frequency and severity of your migraines may alter over time. These steps may not always be present in attacks. You may also develop a migraine aura without experiencing a headache. Because many of the symptoms seen in the early stages of migraines can also be observed in more dangerous disorders like stroke or seizures, seek medical attention right away if you notice any new symptoms or ones that have never been assessed by your doctor.

A migraine headache has symptoms that are distinct from those of non-migraine headaches. Tingling feelings, flashing lights, strange sounds, and blurred or lost eyesight are examples of uncommon symptoms that might be frightening. You might feel sick and vomit, or you might become light-sensitive and spend days in a dark room. You might be able to forecast when a migraine is coming if you know your symptoms.

Migraines can strike at any age, but teenagers are more likely to have them. In your 30s, you’ll have more of them, and as you become older, you’ll have fewer.

Discuss your symptoms with your doctor, especially if you get headaches 15 or more days each month (chronic migraine). Some symptoms are similar to those of more serious illnesses that require immediate attention.

Migraine symptoms appear in stages, though you may not experience all of them.

When to call a doctor

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor:

  • After the age of 50, you begin to experience headaches for the first time.
  • When you’re active, straining, coughing, or having sex, you get headaches.
  • You have the following issues, which do not improve once the headache is gone:
    • Alterations in your vision
    • You can’t move a body part because it’s weak
    • Walking and balance problems
  • You get a fever or have a stiff neck.
  • You lose weight without making an effort.
  • After an injury, headaches begin.
  • Your headaches are more severe or have a different pattern than usual.
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