What Are Migraines?
Migraine headaches can cause many different symptoms, but are characteristically associated with pain in the head. Before the onset of a migraine attack, many people notice blurring of vision, flashing lights, see “stars,” or even can have unusual smell sensations. The vision disturbances that occur prior to the onset of the head pains are referred to as the aura. This can be followed by a pounding pain on the sides or front of the head, often with a pulsating sensation. Once migraine headaches begin, there can be sensitivity to bright lights. This sensitivity is referred to as photophobia.
Migraine Symptom Consequences
Oftentimes, if treatments for the migraine headache are initiated when the aura is noticed or at the beginning of the headache they can be effective at stopping the migraine attack. Repeated migraine headaches can lead to fatigue and impair the functions required for daily activities.
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Kasper, Dennis, et al. Harrison's Manual of Medicine. 16th ed. McGraw-Hill, 2005.