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Migraine Headache FAQs (cont.)

What are the symptoms of migraine headaches?

Symptoms are different for different people and are sometimes different from migraine to migraine. The following 5 phases have been noted:

  • Prodrome (a period of warning symptoms): Many symptoms can precede a migraine headache. These include changes in mood (happiness, irritability, sadness) or sensation (funny tastes or smells). Many people experience fatigue and muscle tension before a migraine headache.

  • Visual or auditory disturbances (auras): Some people develop scotomas (blind spots), see geometric patterns, experience hemianopsia (vision on onlyone side), or, less commonly,have auditory (hearing) hallucinations.

  • Headache: Although migraine pain usually appears on one side of the head, 30-40% of migraineurs have them on both sides. Throbbing pain may occur. Over 80% of migraineurs feel nauseated, and many vomit. About 70% of people become photophobic (sensitive to light) and phonophobic (sensitive to sound). This phase may last 4-72 hours.

  • Headache termination: Even if untreated, the pain usually goes away with sleep.

  • Postdrome: Migraineurs may not feel well for some time after the migraine stops. They might not be able to eat right away. Problems with thinking and tiredness are common.

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Migraine Headache »

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