Signs & Symptoms of Migraines

By John Lindell

  • Overview

    Migraines are extremely bothersome and painful headaches that can become so severe that a person having one will not be able to function normally. Migraine headaches come with a number of varied symptoms. More common in women than they are in men, migraines are believed to be brought about by different triggers which cause the blood vessels to become enlarged and swollen in the outer covering of the brain.
  • Typical Migraines

    The average migraine headache will come with medium to extreme pain that can be on both sides of an individual's head or only on one. The pain will be throbbing in nature and it will get worse when the person attempts to engage in any physical activity. There can be accompanying nausea and sometimes even vomiting. Someone having a migraine will be acutely sensitive to sounds and to light.
  • Time Frame

    If nothing is done to treat a migraine, it can last anywhere from four hours to three full days. Migraines come and go in an unpredictable pattern, with people subject to them many times in a month or perhaps as little as twice a year. Some people will have migraines that come with a symptom known as an aura. These auras normally will start anywhere from 15 minutes to a half-hour before the onset of the actual painful headache and can continue during the migraine.


  • Auras

    The auras associated with migraines can manifest themselves in various forms. One such type of aura appears as flashing lights or sparkling lights that the person will see before a migraine starts. Others will be able to see lines develop in their field of vision that are wavy and distorted. Still others will have the aura symptom that makes what appear to be blind spots show up in their vision that gradually spread. Other aura symptoms and signs include a tingling feeling in an arm or a leg. Some individuals will become weak and have a difficult time speaking as an aura begins prior to a migraine.
  • Other Symptoms

    Hours before a migraine begins, people prone to them can have what seems like feelings of a premonition that it is going to happen. These individuals may become elated for no reason and have great energy a few hours before the actual migraine. They can experience cravings for such things as candy and become thirsty. Fatigue and tiredness are other symptoms some will have before a migraine and other people will get depressed or easily irritated.
  • Children's Migraines

    Children can have migraines but then find that as they grow older the migraines occur less and less. Migraines that children have are usually shorter than those that adults suffer through but the pain can be severe. In most kids migraines will affect both sides of their head. In some instances a child can have a migraine with all of the symptoms except for the pain. These are known as "abdominal migraines" because they bring about nausea and vomiting. The lack of headache pain though makes them very hard to diagnose correctly.
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