A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling.

Warning symptoms known as aura may occur before or with the headache. These can include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg.

Medications can help prevent some migraines and make them less painful. Talk to your doctor about different migraine treatment options if you can't find relief. The right medicines, combined with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes, may help.


Symptoms
Migraines often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Migraines may progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, headache and post-drome, though you may not experience all stages.


Prodrome
One or two days before a migraine, you may notice subtle changes that warn of an upcoming migraine, including:
    Constipation
    Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
    Food cravings
    Neck stiffness
    Increased thirst and urination
    Frequent yawning


Aura
Aura may occur before or during migraines. Most people experience migraines without aura.

Auras are symptoms of the nervous system. They are usually visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or wavy, zigzag vision.

Sometimes auras can also be touching sensations (sensory), movement (motor) or speech (verbal) disturbances. Your muscles may get weak, or you may feel as though someone is touching you.

Each of these symptoms usually begins gradually, builds up over several minutes and lasts for 20 to 60 minutes. Examples of migraine aura include:

    Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
    Vision loss
    Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
    Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
    Difficulty speaking
    Hearing noises or music
    Uncontrollable jerking or other movements

Sometimes, a migraine with aura may be associated with limb weakness (hemiplegic migraine).


Attack
A migraine usually lasts from four to 72 hours if untreated. The frequency with which headaches occur varies from person to person. Migraines may be rare, or strike several times a month. During a migraine, you may experience:

    Pain on one side or both sides of your head
    Pain that feels throbbing or pulsing
    Sensitivity to light, sounds, and sometimes smells and touch
    Nausea and vomiting
    Blurred vision
    Light headachedness, sometimes followed by fainting


Post-drome
The final phase, known as post-drome, occurs after a migraine attack. You may feel drained and washed out, while some people feel elated. For about 24 hours, you may also experience:

    Confusion
    Moodiness
    Dizziness
    Weakness
    Sensitivity to light and sound