Common Migraine Headache Symptoms

Articles On Migraine Symptoms

A migraine is a type of headache with symptoms that can differ from those of non-migraine headaches. These may include unusual symptoms that can be scary, like tingling sensations, flashing lights, weird sounds, and blurred or lost vision. In some cases, you might get nauseated and throw up, or become sensitive to light and hole up in a dark room for days. If you know your symptoms, you may be able to predict when a migraine is on the way.

Migraines can start at any age, but they’re more likely to start when you’re a teenager. You tend to get more of them in your 30s and then fewer as you get older.

Talk with your doctor about what you’re feeling, especially if you have headaches on 15 or more days per month (chronic migraine). Some symptoms can mirror those of more serious conditions that need care right away.

What Are the Symptoms?

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Migraine symptoms happen in certain stages, though you might not have them all.


A day or two before you get a migraine, you might notice:

  • A brief period of depression
  • Crankiness
  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness
  • Less of an appetite
  • Constipation
  • Food cravings
  • Stiff neck
  • Yawning a lot
  • You’re thirstier and pee more


These symptoms can show up shortly before or during a headache. They usually start slowly and build. They normally last 20 minutes to an hour. You might notice:

  • Visual symptoms like flashing lights or zigzag or wavy lines. They often start around an hour or less before the headache hits.
  • Loss of vision
  • Pins and needles feeling in an arm or leg
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of your body
  • Trouble talking
  • Hearing sounds that aren’t there
  • Movements you can’t control

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This is the headache itself. Most of the time:

  • It’s usually a severe throbbing or pulsing pain.
  • It affects one side of your head or one eye.
  • It can last from 4 to 72 hours.
  • You’re extra-sensitive to light; so much so that you may need to retreat to a darkened room.
  • You’re also sensitive to smells, sounds, and touch.
  • You might feel sick to your stomach or throw up.
  • You could get lightheaded or faint.
  • Your vision might get blurry.


This is the last phase. It usually lasts about 24 hours after the headache ends. You might feel:

  • Elated
  • Drained and washed out
  • Confused
  • Moody
  • Dizzy
  • Sensitive to light and sound

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