Symptoms and Signs of Migraine Headache FAQs

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019

Doctor's Notes on Migraine Headache FAQs

Migraines are a type of disabling headache stems from problems with the nerves and blood vessels in the head. Migraine headaches typically last from 4-72 hours and may occur anywhere from several times a week to just once a year. The types of migraine headache include migraine without aura (common migraine), migraine with aura (classic migraine), and status migrainosus (a long-lasting migraine that does not go away by itself).

Symptoms of migraine can vary and they often follow 5 phases: prodrome (warning phase) symptoms include changes in mood (happiness, irritability, sadness) or sensation (funny tastes or smells), fatigue, and muscle tension; visual or auditory disturbances (auras) symptoms include blind spots, seeing geometric patterns, vision on only one side, and less commonly, hearing hallucinations; headache symptoms include throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound; headache termination phase where the pain usually goes away with sleep; and postdrome symptoms which may include not feeling well for some time after the migraine stops, loss of appetite, problems with thinking, and tiredness.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.