Migraine – A brief overview of symptoms and complications

September 19, 2010
By marqpdx

Migraine – A brief overview of symptoms and complications

Migraine is a neurological condition. This neurological syndrome is more common in women than in men. The condition is characterized by headaches and nausea. Most men and women display a change in bodily perceptions when suffering from migraines. A typical migraine headache lasts for anywhere between 4 and 72 hours. For many, migraines are accompanied by unusual experiences that are visual, sensory or olfactory in nature. There are various triggers for migraines, which include allergic reaction, stress, and smoking, inadequate food intake and alcohol addiction. At times, tension headaches can also lead to migraines.


The International Headache Society defines the intensity of pain for migraines; the scale of pain is between 0 and 3. Zero means that there is no pain, 1 means mild pain that is associated with migraine but does not interfere with the daily activities. If a person suffering from migraine is on the scale of 2 then he/she is said to have moderate pain, which inhibits but does not restrict daily routine. At 3, the migraine pain is severe and prevents all usual, daily activities. Each migraine attack differs from the other with respect to the phases that a person experiences. The first is the prodrome and it can occur a few days or hours before the headache. The second is the aura phase which occurs just before the headache. The third is the pain phase, while the fourth is the postdrome phase.

Symptoms of migraine

The symptoms of a migraine are dependant on the severity of the condition and the frequency of the occurrence. Severe headache occurring on just one side of the head is the prime symptom of a migraine. A person suffering from migraine experiences throbbing sensations for long periods of time. It’s seen that the person is also sensitive to movement, light and sound. A migraine differs from other headaches in terms of the severity of the symptoms. For some, migraine symptoms are so severe that they become immobile. Movement causes them pain; hence they choose to do nothing till the pain subsides. Diarrhoea, nausea and exhaustion are some of the other symptoms that accompany migraine. A unique symptom of this condition is manifested in the form of an aura. It’s like a warning for the impending onset of a migraine. These warning signals can be in the form of flashing lights or black spots. Some people temporarily lose their faculty of coherent speech also.

Complications of migraines

Complications and symptoms of migraine can overlap each other. Nausea and headaches are the common complications resulting out of a migraine attack. Vertigo, vascular headache, eye pain and visual impairment are the other complications that are a result of the occurring migraine. It should be understood that the complications associated with migraine are its secondary conditions. Complications are also other disorders that are caused by the onset of a migraine. It is difficult to make a very clear distinction between the side effects and the complications of a migraine.


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