Symptoms of Migraine


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General information about symptoms of Migraine: The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible symptoms of Migraine. This symptom information has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of symptoms of Migraine. Furthermore, symptoms of Migraine may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms and whether they are indeed symptoms of Migraine.

List of symptoms of Migraine: The list of symptoms mentioned in various sources for Migraine includes:

Symptoms of Migraine: sensitivity to light is a standard symptom of the two most prevalent types of migraine-caused headache: classic and common.

The major difference between the two types is the appearance of neurological symptoms 10 to 30 minutes before a classic migraine attack. These symptoms are called an aura. The person may see flashing lights or zigzag lines, or may temporarily lose vision. Other classic symptoms include speech difficulty, weakness of an arm or leg, tingling of the face or hands, and confusion.

The pain of a classic migraine headache may be described as intense, throbbing, or pounding and is felt in the forehead, temple, ear, jaw, or around the eye. Classic migraine starts on one side of the head but may eventually spread to the other side. An attack lasts 1 to 2 pain-wracked days.

Common migraine—a term that reflects the disorder's greater occurrence in the general population—is not preceded by an aura. But some people experience a variety of vague symptoms beforehand, including mental fuzziness, mood changes, fatigue, and unusual retention of fluids. During the headache phase of a common migraine, a person may have diarrhea and increased urination, as well as nausea and vomiting. Common migraine pain can last 3 or 4 days.

Both classic and common migraine can strike as often as several times a week, or as rarely as once every few years. Both types can occur at any time. Some people, however, experience migraines at predictable times—for example, near the days of menstruation or every Saturday morning after a stressful week of work.1

Children with migraine often have nausea and excessive vomiting. Some children have periodic vomiting, but no headache—the so-called abdominal migraine. Research scientists have found that these children usually develop headaches when they are older.1

Migraine symptoms occur in various combinations and include pain, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. The pain of migraine is often described as an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head. Some individuals can predict the onset of a migraine with tell-tale signs that include visual disturbances. This is called a migraine "aura."2

migraine headaches are a severe, throbbing pain over one or both temples, or behind one eye or ear, and are often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. A migraine often starts on waking up in the morning, but can occur later in the day and can last hours to one or two days. In individuals with a form of migraine called classic migraine, visual symptoms described as bluriness, dazzling zigzag lines, blind spots or sensitivity to light occur just before and sometimes during the headache. While fatigue and stress can sometimes bring on both tension and migraine headaches, bright lights, noise and alcohol are specific factors that can trigger a migraine.3

More symptoms of Migraine: In addition to the above information, to get a full picture of the possible symptoms of this condition and its related conditions, it may be necessary to examine symptoms that may be caused by complications of Migraine, underlying causes of Migraine, associated conditions for Migraine, risk factors for Migraine, or other related conditions.

Medical articles on symptoms: These general reference articles may be of interest:



Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Headache - Hope Through Research: NINDS
2. excerpt from Migraine Update: NINDS
3. excerpt from MIGRAINE HEADACHES: NWHIC

Last revision: June 2, 2003

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