Migraine Headache (cont.)
Migraine Headache Symptoms
Symptoms vary from person to person and from migraine to migraine. Five phases can often be identified:
- Prodrome: A variety of warnings can come before a migraine. These may consist of a change in mood (for example, feeling "high," irritable, or depressed) or a subtle change of sensation (for example, a funny taste or smell). Fatigue and muscle tension are also common.
- Aura: This is commonly a visual or other sensory disturbance that precedes the headache phase. Some migraineurs develop blind spots (called scotomas); see geometric patterns or flashing, colorful lights; or lose vision on one side (hemianopsia).While visual auras are most common, motor and even verbal auras have also been described.
- Headache: Migraine pain usually appears on one side of the head, but some migraines occur on both sides. Throbbing pain may be present. A majority of migraineurs feel nauseated, and some vomit. Most become sensitive to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia). This phase may last 4 to 72 hours.
- Headache termination: Even if untreated, the pain of migraine usually goes away with sleep.
- Postdrome: Other signs of the migraine (for example, inability to eat, problems with concentration, or fatigue) may linger after the pain has disappeared.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/16/2015
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