Common Migraine Headache Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Migraine?

Migraine symptoms include:

  • Prodromal Symptoms: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: typically visual symptoms like flashing lights, zig-zag or wavy lines starting 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
  • Severe exhaustion, confusion, or moodiness -- sometimes lasting several days after the headache resolves


See Your Doctor About Migraine Headaches if:

  • You have severe headaches
  • Your headaches begin for the first time after age 50
  • Headaches begin with exertion, straining, coughing or sexual activity
  • 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 Lawrence C. Newman, MD on August 18, 2017



National Headache Foundation.

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