5 Signs That You're Having a Migraine

May 7th 2016

It can be difficult to determine the difference between tension or sinus headaches and migraines. Consistent headaches that include some or all of the symptoms of a migraine often indicate that individuals are suffering from a recurring condition, whereas tension or sinus headaches are not typically consistent. Many different types of migraine headaches exist and sufferers do not always experience all symptoms. For example, some patients may not have early signs or symptoms or experience an aura. Migraines are not usually caused by serious health problems, but it is still important to seek medical treatment for migraines, especially when the headaches interrupt daily routines and activity.

Symptoms Before a Migraine

Several stages can warn of an approaching migraine before the pain even begins. Individuals experiencing migraines may feel cranky or depressed or very energetic, awake and happy a day or two before the migraine. Restlessness, nervousness or sleepiness are also common before a migraine. Some individuals who get regular migraines may experience a loss of appetite, while others may crave certain foods and become overly thirsty or hungry before the onset of the headache.

Symptoms of an Aura

Several sufferers may experience a warning signal of a migraine termed an aura approximately 30 minutes before the headache begins. An aura consists of numbness in the face, arms and hands and vision problems that produce spots, flashing lights or wavy lines.

Symptoms of a Headache

The most prominent indication that a migraine exists is the symptoms that occur during the pulsating headache. Most individuals experience a throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head or behind one or both of the eyes. This pain may worsen with routine physical activity. Some patients with a migraine may feel nauseated or vomit and are often unable to complete usual activities until the headache subsides. Pain from a migraine often worsens due to smells, light or noise.

Extreme Symptoms

Less common symptoms that can occur during a migraine include tingling in the shoulders, arms or face and temporary weakness on one side of the body. Some people may also have problems speaking during a migraine headache.

Symptoms After the Migraine

The effects of a migraine sometimes continue after the headache subsides. People may feel overly tired or experience muscle aches that can last up to 24 hours after a migraine headache subsides.


Migraines, characterized as pulsating headaches, can affect both adults and children of any age. Individuals who experience symptoms of a migraine should consult with a medical professional for treatment to avoid recurring pain that can interrupt daily routines. The intensity and symptoms of the migraine will often vary. However, common signs can indicate that the pain is caused by more than just an ordinary headache.

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