Early Migraine Signs
Some people get a clue (called a prodrome) that a migraine is imminent. Signs include:
Most common types of migraine are
- Migraine without aura: one sided pain, pulsating, increased pain with activity, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity
- Migraine with aura: same pain symptoms but also with fully reversible auras (described above)
Vision Problems: Retinal Migraine
Often, temporary vision loss or distortion in one eye occurs with retinal migraine, which is rare. Retinal migraines are usually harmless. They last a few minutes, then normal vision returns. However, other serious conditions can cause sudden loss of vision in one eye, so see a doctor immediately if you have vision changes.
Unsteadiness and Vertigo: Migraine With Brainstem Aura
Migraine with Brainstem Aura is an uncommon form of migraine (used to be called basilar type migraine). Some people who get these migraines also have unsteadiness, dizziness, vertigo and difficulty speaking. Be sure to talk with your doctor about it.
Dizziness from migraines may make you feel lightheaded or unsteady. Vertigo makes you feel as if the room is spinning. It's often related to changes in your inner ear.
Muscle Weakness: Hemiplegic Migraine
It's very rare, but some people get a type of migraine that causes severe muscle weakness or paralysis on one side of the body. It's called a hemiplegic migraine. Symptoms are very similar to a stroke but cause no permanent nerve damage.
Still, don't diagnose yourself! If you have symptoms of hemiplegic migraine, get immediate medical help to rule out stroke.
Ongoing Pain: Status Migrainosus
Don't try to endure a seemingly unending migraine. Ongoing pain -- pain that lasts longer than 3 days -- is a trait of status migrainosus. It can be caused by some medications or medication withdrawal.
The pain and nausea from this type of migraine can be so intense that you may need hospital care. So don't suffer long-lasting migraine without help. Seek medical care.
If you have pain and weakness around your eye, you need medical help right away. Rare symptoms like these may be due to ophthalmoplegic migraine -- what's now known as a neuralgia -- or a more serious condition. Ophthalmoplegic migraines often last a week and may cause a droopy eyelid, double vision, and other eye changes.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor right away if you have the following migraine symptoms:
Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency department if you have any of the following: