Migraine headaches are usually very intense pounding headaches that often involve only one side of the head. Migraine pain is so intense that you know it is no ordinary headache. Even slight movement can worsen the pain. Migraine headache sufferers tend to experience repeated bouts of migraine attacks and can be debilitating.
A migraine headache has many symptoms and they can vary from person to person and from episode to episode. Here are the 8 most commonly reported migraine headache symptoms.
Many sufferers experience a high degree of sensitivity to light. This often occurs just prior to the onset of a migraine and may last for the duration of it. The sensitivity may be to regular indoor lighting or natural light that doesn’t normally bother you. Light sensitivity may occur an hour or two prior to any headache pain.
Many migraine sufferers report seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines of light or bright spots prior to the onset of a migraine headache. This may or may not be accompanied by light sensitivity. Most sufferers will feel slightly better if they lay down in a dark, quiet room.
Sensitivity to sound
Just like sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound is a common migraine headache symptom. Suddenly you may become acutely aware of minor noises. They may bother you to the point of complete distraction.
The intense throbbing pain of a migraine headache is unlike the pain associated with a regular headache. The pain is most often associated with one side of the head and will regularly change to the other side with the next migraine. If the pain is always concentrated in the same place each time you should alert your doctor as this may signal a more serious problem.
Nausea or vomiting
Often combined with light sensitivity, nausea or vomiting may occur as a result of over stimulation. You may begin to feel hot and woozy. You may have trouble driving or riding in a car. The nausea may also be brought on by the intense pain of the migraine headache itself.
Duration of migraine
The typical migraine episode can last from 4 to 24 hours with residual effects lasting another full day. A regular headache will not last that long and is not accompanied by other symptoms.
No response to pain relief medication
The migraine headache typically doesn’t respond to regular over the counter pain medication. While there are several prescription medications that are given for migraine headaches, they often have little effect as well.
Cold hands or feet
You may feel your hands or feet become cold right before or during the onset of a migraine. This may be due to circulation changes that occur because of restricted blood vessels in the head.
If your headache is severe and is accompanied by other symptoms you should see a doctor. Only a physician can determine the cause of your headache and rule out any potential underlying problem.
Most migraine sufferers learn to recognize the symptoms of a migraine starting and are able to take relevant steps to manage it.