In the day leading up to your headache, you may notice several symptoms as you start to experience your migraine. These can include a sensitivity to light or sound, fatigue, irritability, change in mood, excessive yawning or even food cravings and neck stiffness.
Approximately one third of people with migraine can experience a migraine aura. You may not have a migraine aura with every headache. A migraine aura is most commonly a visual disturbance such as bright zigzag lines or the perception of a kaleidoscope in the corner of your vision which lasts 20-45 minutes.
Less commonly, auras may include sensory symptoms such as tingling or numbness, motor weakness or speech disturbance. In contrast to an MS relapse, migraine auras are generally short lasting, occur prior to a headache (although not always), and follow a similar pattern.
Headache (pain) phase
The pain associated with a migraine is often one sided and of moderate to severe intensity, throbbing or pulsating and aggravated by movement. A migraine headache lasts between 4 and 72 hours, or longer in some cases.
A migraine is associated with at least one of the following symptoms:
- Photophobia (light sensitivity)
- Phonophobia (sensitivity to noise)
Following the resolution of the pain, if you suffer a migraine, it is common to continue to experience symptoms for up to 2 days following. The symptoms in the ‘postdromal’ phase are often similar to those in the prodromal phase, and include difficulty concentrating, fatigue and change in mood.