Migraine Headache Symptoms

By Nellie Day

  • Overview

    Migraine Headache Symptoms
    Migraine sufferers often find that their everyday lives are disrupted every time they experience an attack. This is because the symptoms that occur before and during a migraine can become so excruciating that they are unable to remain in places with bright lights, noise and heat. Though many sufferers find that they can relieve their symptoms through medication or proper diet, sleep and exercise, some find that they cannot and must give into their migraines until they pass.
  • Head Pain

    The majority of migraine attacks are associated with headaches. As such, physical head pain is a common symptom of migraine sufferers. The intensity and location of the head pain can vary, however. The pain can be a steady, dull pain or a strong, painful pounding or throbbing. Head pains are usually located in the temples, forehead, back of the head or eye region. It can be either unilateral, meaning that it occurs on one side of the head, or bilateral, occurring on both sides.
  • Onset Symptoms

    According to MedicineNet.com, approximately 40 percent to 60 percent of migraine attacks bring some type of warning signal, or symptom, before they occur. The most common symptoms that signal the onset of a migraine attack include sleeplessness, irritability or an unusual desire for sweet or salty foods.


  • Auras

    Certain vision abnormalities can also warn someone of an oncoming migraine attack. These usually include brightly colored lights flashing across one's spectrum and blind spots, or dark holes, in one's vision. One may also feel a tingling sensation in the hands and feet, as well as difficulty speaking or communicating.
  • Migraine Attack Symptoms

    Aside from head pain that ranges from moderate to severe, migraines can also result in many other displeasurable symptoms. These include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise. These symptoms, as well as the physical head pain, may worsen with physical activity or excessive noise or light. Some symptoms may become so severe that they can halt a person's daily activities, causing her to lay down in a quiet, cool, dark room until the migraine passes.
  • Time Frame

    The symptoms that arise before the onset of a migraine can begin as early as 2 days before a migraine occurs. Auras usually occur about 15 minutes to half an hour before the migraine is triggered. An actual migraine attack typically lasts between 4 and 72 hours.
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