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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

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Understanding Migraine -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Migraines?

The symptoms of migraines include:

  • A brief period of depression, irritability, anxiety, moodiness, and decreased appetite as much as 24 hours before the onset of a headache
  • Symptoms of an aura an hour or less before head pain starts
  • A severe, throbbing headache, sometimes concentrated on only one side of the head or around one eye lasting between four and 72 hours
  • A headache that worsens with exertion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme sensitivity to light, so painful to the eyes and head that it requires retreat to a darkened room
  • Extreme sensitivity to sound
  • Arm or leg weakness, difficulty speaking, or confusion
  • Severe exhaustion, confusion, or moodiness -- sometimes lasting several days after the headache resolves

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

Understanding Migraines -- Diagnosis and Treatment

There is no specific test to diagnose a migraine headache. If you seek help from your health care provider for recurring headaches, you may be asked to keep a headache diary in which you record information about symptoms leading up to a headache, symptoms of the actual headache, and possible triggers that may have provoked the episode. Your health care provider will want to take a careful history to determine any patterns to your headaches and to learn whether such headaches run in your family....

Read the Understanding Migraines -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

See Your Doctor About Migraines if:

  • You have severe headaches
  • You notice changes in your vision, weakness or paralysis in a body part, or difficulty with balance and walking, especially if these problems do not resolve after the headache is gone
  • You develop a fever or stiff neck
  • You have unintentional weight loss

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on March 19, 2015

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