Patient Comments: Migraine - Symptoms

What migraine headache symptoms do you experience?

A Doctor's View on Migraine Symptoms

Read the Comment by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Migraine symptoms include throbbing head pain (often one-sided and worsens with exertion), eye pain, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting. Migraine symptoms inhibit daily activities and commonly last from 4 to 72 hours. Read the entire Doctor's View

Comment from: Subbersam, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I have always had headaches, but when they started lasting for hours and even days despite the use of double doses of OTC pain relievers I knew it was time to see a professional. My first real bad one was the most memorable. I remember turning to a flickering light and flinching because I thought something was flying towards my face, but there was nothing there. When a co-worker saw me flinch he asked me what was wrong. I remember being scared when I turned to look at him and I could literally see the sound waves resonating from his face. I tried to stand up for some reason, I was disoriented and I thought my blood sugar had dropped severely so I made my way to the fridge for a Coke. I was crazy thirsty. The phone rang and about knocked me over as it echoed in my head. I excused myself from work and as I drove to the hospital I became suddenly ill. I pulled over and the vomit was yellow and slimy. When I got there I had to place a coat over my head because the light felt like it went straight through my pupils and directly into my brain like a laser. I don"t know if I fell asleep or passed out but at some point I was woken up by a doctor and two nurses and my head was still pounding. I began shifting back and forth as I sat there listening, like if I sat still it hurt more. I ended up getting a shot and a prescription for some stuff that was supposed to help. There were absolutely no narcotics given to me, but the relief of it all when it was over was practically euphoric. In later incidences I mostly recall a lot of pacing; the ability to stay still is lost in these cases. I also experience nausea, sensitivity to light and sound.

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Comment from: migrainesufferer, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I have always experienced an aura before my migraine. I found out recently that that isn't the norm. Headache without aura or classic migraine is the norm. My auras have consisted of everything including blindness in one and scotomas. I went from having yearly migraines to monthly ones and now take a preventative every day, which has been a god send. I went from having 3 to 4 headaches to maybe one and the pain is greatly diminished. Don't give up hope, fellow sufferers.

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Comment from: babynikes, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I have had migraines since I was 3 or 4 years old. Usually mine start with "tunnel vision". I can only see a pin spot clearly. Then the zigzagging/flashing starts. It starts small and grows, reminds me of an arrowhead shape but zigzagged all over. That's when the 'sick to the stomach' feeling starts. I have found that if I can take a pure aspirin at the first sign, it will stop.

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Comment from: UberFoxx, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I am female, age 20. I have been suffering with migraine with aura since I was 15. Aura symptoms lasts for about 20-40 minutes before pain kicks in and consists of light sensitivity, dizziness, confusion, sound sensitivity, slurring and visual disturbances of red zig-zags darting across my line of sight. When the migraine pain itself kicks in, on top of experiencing excruciating pain all over my head, the slurring worsens as does the sound and light sensitivity, I also experience fatigue and my head feels heavy. My migraines would normally last up to 8 hours and I get them as frequently as at least once every week. At the age of 17 I experienced a severe migraine lasting over 4 months for which I was medicated with propranolol. Now at age 20 I still have them every week at least and lasting up to 8 hours but my symptoms have worsened adding neck stiffness, nausea, and weakness - on the right side of my body (causing difficulty walking and the right side of my face drooping). Triggers include bright light, stress, motion sickness, red wine, too much sleep and too little sleep. As I'm allergic to codeine, I've found that painkillers containing codeine only make the migraine worse. I have found these attacks very debilitating, causing educational, work and social problems.

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Comment from: migraine mom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 01

I have the zigzaggy lines and blind spots, followed by inability to see, remember my own phone number, or put together a coherent sentence. I didn't get a migraine until I was about age 30 (I am now 57 and otherwise in excellent health) and the first time I experienced the aura it freaked me out and I thought maybe I had a detached retina. I made an emergency appointment with my optometrist and he found nothing. The second time I had one I thought maybe I was having a stroke! My daughter has had migraines since age 4, and that's what made me think maybe what I was experiencing was migraine. I took my daughter to doctors and even got an MRI for her before they diagnosed migraine. My daughter took imetrex throughout high school and then started on topomax. She has had 2 or 3 a month. I have them only every 2 or 3 months, and I have learned that if I take a fioricet when the aura first starts it will go away within about 15 minutes and the headache will be just a dull but bearable pain. I can also take a sudafed and an excedrin if I don't have a fioricet. My migraines are manageable and I have learned to just wait out the aura, even if I'm at work. If necessary I just tell people to understand I may seem a bit incoherent for a while.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Migraine - Triggers Question: What are your migraine headache triggers?
Migraine - Treatment Question: What kind of treatment do you get for your migraines? Does it help?
Migraine - Relief Question: Do self-care measures give you relief from your migraine headaches? What do you do?
Migraine Headache - Causes Question: Discuss the triggers for your migraine headaches.

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