Since we don’t know very much about headaches there aren’t any general headache symptoms. Instead you can divide the symptoms into four different phases:
- The prodrome phase
- The aura phase
- The pain phase
- The postdrome phase
Even if two patients experience the same phases it doesn’t mean they have the same symptoms, it can vary a lot from person to person. The prodrome phase is basically before you get the actual headache. It could last several days to as close as a few hours before the actual migraine. Around 40-60% of the people suffering from migraine experience this phase. The phase can consist of irritability, altered mood, fatigue, depression, tense muscles mostly in the neck and a lot more. If you sometimes get migraine, try to build up a pattern of which symptoms that are most common before you get an actual migraine attack.
Only 20-30% experience the phase known as the aura phase. The symptoms are a little bit more abstract since it has to do with a neurological phenomena. The most common one is a visual aura which can have different kinds of light and flashes and sometimes dazzling zigzag lines. Some patients get a blurry vision. The aura phase doesn’t have to be visual, it can be auditory and/or give a feeling of vertigo.
The pain phase is the phase that everyone with headache symptoms goes through. But of course the pain vary a lot and is almost unique from patient to patient. The type of pain tend to vary during each migraine attack and often gets generalized over time after starting on, let’s say, behind your left ear reaching to your neck. If the pain spreads to your whole head it could stay that way for a long time (usually between 4-72 hours). The pain always peaks sometime during this timeperiod and subsides afterwards. About 90% of people who experience a severe migraine have a feeling of nausea and vomiting accours in about 30%.
The postdrome phase is after they pain has gone away. During this time you often feel very weak and tired. Trying to sleep is often a good choice since it helps the body to recover.