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When to Know It's a Migraine: Common Symptoms to Look Out for

Migraine is a neurological condition characterised by recurrent, severe headaches often accompanied by other symptoms. The signs and symptoms of a migraine attack can vary among individuals, but common features include:

Headache Pain:

  • Throbbing or pulsating pain, usually on one side of the head but it can be both.

  • Intensity ranging from moderate to severe.

  • Aggravation by physical activity.


  • Migraine attacks typically last from a few hours to up to 72 hours if untreated.

Sensitivity to Light (Photophobia):

  • Increased sensitivity to light, often leading individuals to seek a dark or quiet room during an attack.

Sensitivity to Sound (Phonophobia):

  • Increased sensitivity to sounds, making loud noises uncomfortable or painful.

Nausea and Vomiting:

  • Many individuals experience nausea or vomiting during a migraine episode.

Aura (in some cases):

  • About 25% of migraine sufferers experience an "aura" before or during the headache phase.

  • Auras are usually visual disturbances but can also involve other senses. Examples include seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines, or experiencing temporary vision loss.

Aura-less Migraines:

  • The majority of migraines occur without an aura.

Premonitory Symptoms:

  • Some people may experience subtle symptoms before the headache, such as mood changes, food cravings, or increased thirst.

It's important to note that migraine symptoms can vary widely between individuals, and not everyone will experience all of the mentioned symptoms. Additionally, triggers for migraines can differ, and identifying and managing these triggers can be an essential part of migraine management. If you suspect you have migraines or are experiencing severe headaches, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


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