The most common symptom of a
migraine headache is a throbbing pain on one side of
your head . You also may have other symptoms before, during, and after a
migraine. Different people have different symptoms.
Symptoms before the migraine begins
A day or two before a migraine starts, you may
- Depressed or cranky.
- Very happy, very
awake, or full of energy.
- Restless or nervous.
- Thirsty or hungry, or you may crave certain foods. Or you
may not feel like eating.
Symptoms of an aura
About 1 out of 5 people has a warning sign of a migraine
aura. It usually starts about 30 minutes
before the headache starts. During an aura, you
- See spots, wavy lines, or flashing
- Have numbness or a "pins-and-needles" feeling in your
hands, arms, or face.
Symptoms when the headache starts
Symptoms can include:
- Throbbing pain on one side of
the head. But you can have pain on both sides.
- Pain behind
one of your eyes .
- Moderate to very bad
pain. The pain may be so bad that you can't do any of your
- Pain that gets
worse with routine physical activity.
- Nausea, vomiting, or
- Pain that gets worse when you're around
light, noise, and sometimes smells.
Less common symptoms include:
- Problems speaking.
- Tingling in
your face, arms, and shoulders.
- Short-term weakness on one side of
If you have these less-common symptoms and have not had
them before, call your doctor right away so that he or she can make sure you
aren't having a
transient ischemic attack (TIA),
stroke, or other serious problem.
Without treatment, a migraine headache
can last from 4 to 72 hours.
Symptoms after the headache
After the headache
stops, you may have muscle aches or feel very
tired. These symptoms may last up to a
day after your migraine ends.
Types of migraines and their
You may have one or more types of migraine headache. Each type has its own features. For
example, some people get migraines with an aura. Some get them without an aura. Some women get menstrual migraines, which happen
before, during, or shortly after their
It can be
hard to tell the
difference between a migraine and another type of headache, such as a tension or sinus headache. You may think that you
have sinus headaches. But it's more likely that they are migraine headaches if
they happen often and interfere with your daily life.
occur along with many other health problems, such as
depression. More serious conditions, such as tumors or
infections, can also cause migraine symptoms. But most headaches are
not caused by serious health problems.