Common Migraine Headache Symptoms

Depending on the individual, migraine headaches can begin at any age from childhood to late adulthood. Physicians tend to describe migraine symptoms in four stages which progress in severity starting at the prodrome stage and ranging all the way to the postdrome stage. However, not all migraine sufferers will experience all of these four stages during an attack.

Man suffering from severe migraine headache symptoms

 

Prodrome Stage

In some cases, some people may experience these minor indications of an upcoming migraine attack. These symptoms can include:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Food Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Neck stiffness

Aura Stage

Many people who get migraines regularly never actually experience the aura stage. This stage is often characterized by visual stimuli, but the symptoms can also affect the other senses as well. This type of migraine will develop gradually, building over the course of several minutes, and lasting anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. The symptoms of an aura migraine can include:

  • Loss of vision
  • Pins and needles sensation in the arms or legs
  • Visual manifestations such as bright spots, shapes, or flashes of light
  • Difficulties speaking

In general, people who have hemiplegic migraines or aphasia tend to experience this aura stage.

Migraine Attack

When left untreated, the symptoms of a migraine attack could last for multiple days, and the frequency of these attacks can vary widely from case to case. While some people get migraine headaches quite often, others may only suffer them on rare occasions. A migraine headache attack could produce any of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Throbbing or pulsating pain
  • Pain that is localized to one side of the head
  • Diarrhea
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling dizzy or even fainting
  • Increased sensitivity to light, noises, and even some smells

Postdrome Stage

As the final stage of migraines, the postdrome stage will follow a migraine attack. While not everyone experiences a postdrome, those who do are left feeling very fatigued. However, it has been reported that some people have experienced a strange sense of euphoria during this postdrome stage.

Seeking Medical Attention for Migraine Headaches

It’s not uncommon for migraine headaches to go undiagnosed. This means that they’re often not treated properly. If you have been suffering from the symptoms of migraines on a fairly regular basis, then it may be time to talk to your doctor about it.

Please note: Health care providers will probably ask you about your migraine headache history. This is why many people choose to keep a record of their attacks and what they did to treat their headaches in the past. This migraine journal is extremely helpful when developing a course of treatment specific to your case. You should also visit your doctor if you start to experience migraines more often than usual, or if your symptoms start to become more severe.

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