Whether you suffer from migraines with aura or chronic migraine headaches, there’s nothing more dreadful than being caught in a migraine attack unawares. By recognizing the migraine headache symptoms early on, you give yourself a chance to take your migraine medication and hopefully nip this one in the bud, or at least tone the headache down a notch.
Here are 20 symptoms associated with migraine attacks, beginning with the most obvious:
1. Pounding headache– Many non-migraineurs mistakenly think that migraines are just really strong headaches that happen more often than standard everyday headaches. Nothing could be further from the truth! While tense muscles cause stress headaches, migraine headaches are neurologically-based, and much more difficult to treat.
A common headache may last for hours, but a migraine attack can last for days, with little time to recover between episodes.
When a migraine attack strikes, it is usually accompanied by a host of other debilitating symptoms like nausea, feebleness, dizziness, vomiting, and sometimes paralysis.
2. Sharp pain in the eyes, in addition to neck and shoulder pain
3. Tinnitus (ear ringing)
4. Painful tingling and numbness (pins and needles)
5. Aura- bright, colorful lights, sometimes in a crescent shape, sometimes flickering or oscillating
6. Impaired vision, including double vision, blurriness, voids, or blind spots
7. Sensory overload- hypersensitivity to bright lights, strong scents, and loud noises
8. Olfactory hallucination, the sensation of smelling unusual scents which aren’t present, like burnt paper, smoke, or rot
9. Alice in Wonderland syndrome- distorted sense of spatial awareness and passage of time, in addition to vertigo
10. Runny nose and watery eyes
11. Immense fatigue, constant yawning, and exhaustion that is not relieved with sleep
12. Hot flashes
13. Sudden speech slurring, similar to stroke symptoms
14. Temporary partial paralysis, also similar to stroke
15. Exertion headache resulting from light exercise , coughing, or sneezing
16. Moodiness, similar to bipolar disorder- shifting between elation and deep depression
17. Strong food cravings
18. Increased need to urinate
19. Severe stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting
20. Prolonged hangover following migraine, often requiring several days of recuperation
Please tell us…
Have you experienced any symptoms not included in this article?
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Read more about migraine symptoms
When Migraine Aura with Aphasia leaves you Lost for Words
Migraine Headaches- Top 7 FAQ’s
Migraine Aura and Hot Flashes- Treat that Hot Head ASAP
What’s that Smell? Migraine Sensitivity and Olfactory Auras
Imagined smells can precede migraines
Olfactory aura symptoms- Migraine Aura Foundation
Migraine Research Foundation- FAQ
Migraine fact sheet: womenshealth.gov
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