What Are Migraine Attack Symptoms And Stages?

What Are Migraine Attack Symptoms And Stages?
30 Sep 2022
6 mins
Table Of Content
What Are Migraine Attack Symptoms And Stages?

    Experiencing migraine attack symptoms can leave the person looking for any kind of relief as they can be so intense. Understanding the stages of migraine and their symptoms could help identify the symptoms early. Early identification of symptoms and treatment can be helpful in effectively managing migraine. It can even prevent the pain phase in some people. 

    Stages Of Migraine And Symptoms:


    A migraine episode can occur in four stages, and each stage has a set of distinct symptoms. People who have migraine episodes might have all of these stages or some of these stages. The headache stage is the most prevalent stage, and the aura is the least occurring stage. 




    Prodrome stage, also known as the pre headache phase or premonitory phase, is the first stage of a migraine episode. The symptoms in the stage are generally painless and can occur a few hours or days before the headache. Taking medication, avoiding triggers, and stress management can help to prevent headaches in a few people. The typical symptoms of this stage include:


    • Food cravings
    • Urinating more than usual
    • Stiffness in the muscles
    • Trouble concentrating
    • Depression, irritability
    • Tiredness
    • Sleeping problems
    • Nausea
    • Yawning
    • Sensitivity to sound and light



    The aura occurs ten or thirty minutes before the headache and lasts for five to sixty minutes. Some people experience both the aura phase and headaches at the same time. This stage affects a person’s touch, speech and vision. Visual disturbances are very common, and a person experiencing these symptoms may find it terrifying. Moving to a darker and quiet room as soon as you have these symptoms can help you recover faster. The aura stage symptoms include:


    • Seeing sparkles, bright flashing dots, or lights
    • Blind spots in the vision
    • Numbness or tingling in the skin
    • Temporary vision loss
    • Seeing jagged or wavy lines
    • Changes in speech, smell or taste




    Pulsating or throbbing pain in the head is the headache stage, and it can last for four to seventy-two hours. The pain typically occurs on one side of the head, and over time it may shift towards the other side. Other than pain in the head, the migraine attack symptoms that may occur in this stage include:


    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Stomach pain, upset
    • Appetite loss
    • Sweating, chills
    • Pale skin color
    • Sensitivity to sound, light and odors
    • Tiredness
    • Blurred vision, dizziness
    • Changes in the speech


    Everyday activities such as walking can worsen the pain. 




    After a severe headache, some people tend to experience the postdrome stage. This stage is also known as migraine hangover, and up to 80 percent of people can experience this stage. It can last one or two days. The typical symptoms of the postdrome stage include:


    • Unable to concentrate and understand things
    • Feeling depressed and exhausted
    • Feeling euphoria

    What Can Be Done?


    When you experience any symptoms such as gastrointestinal disturbances, visual disturbances, or loss of concentration along with headache, it is important to get consulted with a physician. He/ she can prescribe medications to take during the attack and to prevent the attacks (if severe).


    If you have been given medication to take during the attack, it is most effective when taken early. So, if you have any pre headache symptoms, take the medication as soon as possible. Always carry your medication with you.


    Avoid bright lights, smells, and noises when you have a migraine. Move to the darker and quiet room. Drink a glass of water or ask your family member or friend to prepare ginger tea.


    Place an ice pack on the temples or head. It can help constrict expanded blood vessels and relieve pain. Or apply or inhale the lavender or peppermint oil. These essential oils can help reduce the severity of the headache.


    Stress management techniques, avoiding triggers (certain foods, stress, dehydration), and sound sleep can prevent frequent attacks.

    The Takeaway


    Migraines are unique to each person, and hence prevention and management can also be unique. Learning the migraine attack symptoms, consulting a doctor, preventing triggers, and lifestyle changes can prevent and manage migraine. 


    If you are pregnant, do not take medications without consulting a healthcare professional as it can affect the unborn baby. Also, before using over-the-counter medications frequently, check with the physician as it may cause medication-overuse headaches.


    Written by
    GuruvigneshwariContent Writer
    AboutM.Pharmacy (Pharmacognosy)
    Tags :Migraine attack symptomsstages of migrainemigraine symptoms