Migraine symptoms -- learn how to spot them

Wondering if you are having a headache or migraine? Here is how you can distinguish between the two.

Symptoms of a migraineMigraines are severe headaches that are extremely tough to deal with, but how would you know if you are suffering from a migraine or just a normal headache? Well, here are the symptoms of a migraine that can help you tell it apart from just another headache.

The symptoms vary

It is important to realise that the symptoms of migraines are extremely subjective they differ from person to person. Moreover, there are actually three phases to a migraine before the onset of the condition called prodrome, during the episode and after the episode (postdrome). Here is what you might experience in all three states.

Also Read

More News

Before a migraine starts

Some people report experiencing depression, irritability, excessive hunger, thirst, feeling of euphoria (in some cases), and restlessness and nervousness.

Another phenomenon of a migraine is that some people notice an aura. People notice this about thirty minutes before a migraine strikes and it usually appears as wavy lines, or a bright flashes of light. Some of them also experience a 'pins-and-needles' sensation down one's hands, arms and face.

During the migraine:

This is usually the most painful and debilitating part of the condition. A person suffering from it will notice the following symptoms:

  • Throbbing pain on one or both side of one's head
  • Pain behind the ears
  • A headache that is extremely severe and inhibits normal activity
  • Pain that gets worse with normal, everyday activity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain that gets worse when there is light, too much sound, and sensitivity to some smells.

While these are the most common symptoms, there are other uncommon symptoms like tingling around the face, arms and shoulders, inability to speak and experiencing temporary weakness on one side of the body.

After the migraine:

After the migraine has passed patients usually feel tired, fatigued and in some cases dizzy. There are rare cases where some people feel euphoric after an episode of migraine.

But, not all headaches are migraines:

While these are the most common symptoms of a migraine, a severe headache can also be a sign of other more serious conditions. If you experience sudden 'thunderclap' (extremely painful) headaches, a headache with fever, confusion and disorientation or those kinds of headaches that get worse on coughing or exertion etc, visit your doctor immediately. They could be a sign of something far more serious.

You may also like to read:

For more articles on migraine, visit our migraine section. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates! For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter. And to join discussions on health topics of your choice, visit our forum.

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on