The different phases and symptoms of migraine headaches you may experience
There is the headache itself which is often known as the migraine attack, but there is also the recurrent episodes which is known as a migraine disorder. Migraines, however, are more than just the headache and each individual's migraine can be very different.
It is important to understand that there are symptoms that start even before the onset of the headache, these are known as premonitory symptoms and can include fatigue and sensitivity to light (photophobia).
These early symptoms can occur up to 72 hours before the onset of the headache attack itself. Some people also experience what is known as an aura before their headache. Most commonly this is a visual disturbance (bright lights, zig-zags in the vision, etc) but it can also be other sensory or motor experiences that occur prior to the headache. This aura can also continue throughout the headache phase and is not only a warning sign.
As the headache phase starts to wind down, people can often experience a postdrome or resolution of symptoms of fatigue.
The timeline for all these events is variable among migraine suffers as well as the duration, but these episodes can last a few days
The overall symptoms of migraines can often last for up to a few days 😩🤯
Migraine - A Brain Dysfunction
Migraines result in the brain processing information in a different way and it can in fact be more sensitive to incoming information.
For example, the incoming light is perceived to be more intense (photophobia), incoming noise can be interpreted (phonophobia), and even smells and touch can be experienced more intensely (osmophobia and touch allodynia) respectively.
The Good News
Luckily - Migraines are well-researched and although sometimes difficult to treat, can mostly be well-managed. There are many therapies which include:
On-demand headache cessation medications
Newly approved injection medications
Other forms of injection therapies
For a comprehensive personalised assessment of your headache by a Specialist Headache Neurologist, and to discuss further treatment options - reach out to us at The Headache Clinic.
Our clinic is located in North Sydney, with a telehealth option available for patients Australia wide!