Details about Migraine Headache Symptoms -


Migraine is a neurologic disease, whose most common symptom is an intense and disabling headache. Migraine is the most prevalent type of vascular headache. Migraine headaches are mostly characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, hypersensitivity to light (photophobia) and hypersensitivity to sound that is phonophobia. The word "migraine" comes from Greek construction "hemikranion" which means pain affecting one side of the head. Migraines are caused due to changes in brain and surrounding blood vessels and typically last from 4-72 hours. These tend to differ in frequency from daily to fewer than 1 per year. As a matter of fact Migraine affects about 15% of the world population today.

Different types of migraine headaches are
a. Common migraine which accounts for around 80% of migraines. There is no aura before any common migraine.
b. People with classic migraines generally experience an aura before their headaches. Most often, this aura is a visual disturbance like outlines of lights or jagged light images. Classic migraines - these are usually much more severe than common migraines.
c. Status migrainosus - it is a migraine that does not go away by itself.


Migraine Headache Symptoms
The symptoms of migraine tend to differ from person to person and each migraine is different from the other. Five phases can often be identified with a migraine. These are -

Prodrome - A number of warnings can come before a migraine. These can consist of a change in mood for example, feeling high, irritable, or depressed. Or there could be a subtle change of sensation like a funny taste or smell. Fatigue and muscle tension are some other common symptoms.

Aura - a migraine may or may not be accompanied or preceded with aura. This is commonly a visual disturbance that is followed by the headache phase. Some migraineurs may develop blind spots called scotomas, or see geometric patterns or flashing, colorful lights. They may even lose vision on one side which is called hemianopsia.

Headache - though migraine pain mostly appears on one side of the head, 30-40% of migraines are found to occur on both sides. Throbbing pain may also be present. More than 80% of migraineurs tend to feel nauseated, and some may vomit. About 70% have been found to become sensitive to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia). This phase can last for anywhere between 4 to 72 hours. Even if left untreated, the headache usually goes away with sleep.
Postdrome - Other signs of the migraine like inability to eat, problems with concentration or fatigue may linger after the pain has disappeared and are called posydrome.

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