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How to identify migraine with symptoms of migraine?

Migraines have become more common than they were once believed to be. From children to adults, from men to women, nobody seems to be spared from its toll. Despite its frequent occurrence, migraine is still not properly identified by many; may be due to lack of awareness regarding its symptoms. Hence, here is a brief discussion on the symptoms of migraine that will help you to identify if your or your loved one’s headache type is migraine.


Before the symptoms are discussed, it must be mentioned that not every sufferer has the same type of migraine and even the extent of pain is not the same for everyone. Hence, the symptoms may also vary from person to person. But, the most common ones are discussed here for an easy diagnosis. The symptoms of migraine vary in different stages of this pain. Here is how it goes.


Warning stage or premonitory stage:

This is a stage that warns you about the onset of an attack. The usual symptoms would include –

  • Stiffness in neck
  • Craving for sweet foods
  • Feeling more thirsty than usual
  • Tiredness
  • Changes in mood like feeling depressed or euphoric
  • Constipation.

This stage may last for about 1 to 24 hours.



The auras are one of the most unique characteristics or symptoms of migraine. These are sensory, verbal and motor nervous system disorders that may last for about 5 to 60 minutes, before or during a migraine attack. It is not a compulsory symptom for every migraine sufferer, but if auras are experienced, under all possible chances your headache type might be migraine. The symptoms of aura are –

  • Seeing zigzag lines before eyes
  • Seeing blind spots
  • Seeing flashes of light
  • Difficulty in speaking and hearing
  • Convulsions
  • Prickling sensations in arms and legs
  • Temporary loss of vision.


Usually, adults have auras before an attack, but children get auras during an attack, while experiencing the headache itself. There are also chances that the aura symptoms are experienced without the headache itself.


The attack:

This is the phase of the actual migraine attack. Migraine attacks may last for 4 hours to 72 hours. It is, at times, absolutely disabling and disrupts even daily activities. The symptoms of migraine attack are –

  • Severe, throbbing and pulsating pain
  • Pain is unilateral in adults (pain that is concentrated in only one side of head)
  • In children, migraine is bilateral (pain travels to both sides of head)
  • Sensitivity to light, sound and smell
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Many adults also get bilateral migraines; but this pain isn’t felt at the back of head. It may also worsen with movement.


Postdrome stage:

This is the stage, when the pain subsides. At this phase, one will feel drained, weak, dizzy and the pain ‘hangover’ may last for a few hours to a few days. Appetite will come back and you will feel very hungry. The state of confusion and mood swings will persist. The symptoms of migraine at this stage largely match with those in the first stage.


If your pain type or headache symptoms match with these symptoms, seeing a doctor at once is a must as a doctor will prescribe the right medicines and treatment methods.

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