Patient Comments: Migraine Headache - Symptoms

Do you experience an "aura" prior to your migraine headache?

A Doctor's View on Common Migraine Symptoms

Read the Comment by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Migraine symptoms include pulsating, throbbing, or pounding pain on the sides or front of the head, visual disturbances (blurring of vision, flashing lights, seeing “stars”), and sensitivity to light and/or sound. For some people, an aura is an early warning sign of an impending migraine. Read the entire Doctor's View

Comment from: migrainesufferer, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I have always experienced an aura before my migraine. I found out recently that that isn't the norm. Headache without aura or classic migraine is the norm. My auras have consisted of everything including blindness in one and scotomas. I went from having yearly migraines to monthly ones and now take a preventative every day, which has been a god send. I went from having 3 to 4 headaches to maybe one and the pain is greatly diminished. Don't give up hope, fellow sufferers.

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Comment from: babynikes, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I have had migraines since I was 3 or 4 years old. Usually mine start with "tunnel vision". I can only see a pin spot clearly. Then the zigzagging/flashing starts. It starts small and grows, reminds me of an arrowhead shape but zigzagged all over. That's when the 'sick to the stomach' feeling starts. I have found that if I can take a pure aspirin at the first sign, it will stop.

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Comment from: UberFoxx, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I am female, age 20. I have been suffering with migraine with aura since I was 15. Aura symptoms lasts for about 20-40 minutes before pain kicks in and consists of light sensitivity, dizziness, confusion, sound sensitivity, slurring and visual disturbances of red zig-zags darting across my line of sight. When the migraine pain itself kicks in, on top of experiencing excruciating pain all over my head, the slurring worsens as does the sound and light sensitivity, I also experience fatigue and my head feels heavy. My migraines would normally last up to 8 hours and I get them as frequently as at least once every week. At the age of 17 I experienced a severe migraine lasting over 4 months for which I was medicated with propranolol. Now at age 20 I still have them every week at least and lasting up to 8 hours but my symptoms have worsened adding neck stiffness, nausea, and weakness - on the right side of my body (causing difficulty walking and the right side of my face drooping). Triggers include bright light, stress, motion sickness, red wine, too much sleep and too little sleep. As I'm allergic to codeine, I've found that painkillers containing codeine only make the migraine worse. I have found these attacks very debilitating, causing educational, work and social problems.

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Comment from: migraine mom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 01

I have the zigzaggy lines and blind spots, followed by inability to see, remember my own phone number, or put together a coherent sentence. I didn't get a migraine until I was about age 30 (I am now 57 and otherwise in excellent health) and the first time I experienced the aura it freaked me out and I thought maybe I had a detached retina. I made an emergency appointment with my optometrist and he found nothing. The second time I had one I thought maybe I was having a stroke! My daughter has had migraines since age 4, and that's what made me think maybe what I was experiencing was migraine. I took my daughter to doctors and even got an MRI for her before they diagnosed migraine. My daughter took imetrex throughout high school and then started on topomax. She has had 2 or 3 a month. I have them only every 2 or 3 months, and I have learned that if I take a fioricet when the aura first starts it will go away within about 15 minutes and the headache will be just a dull but bearable pain. I can also take a sudafed and an excedrin if I don't have a fioricet. My migraines are manageable and I have learned to just wait out the aura, even if I'm at work. If necessary I just tell people to understand I may seem a bit incoherent for a while.

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Comment from: doris, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 17

Yes, I have an aura that lasts about 20 minutes before I get a migraine headache.

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Comment from: chelsea, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

My migraines last for weeks. I feel dizzy, grumpy, and nauseous most times. The pain goes from throbbing to pounding and at times to sizzling. Sometimes it's like there is a frying pan in my head. My eyes and forehead hurt a lot. Sometimes it feels like an open sore that has been bruised. It also feels like the inside my head has running water. I have tried Excedrin, Tylenol, Advil, Cataflam, Tonopan and Baralgin. None of them work because my body gets easily immune to them. I also have fainting spells with my migraine and once I went to the hospital and they gave me penicillin to ease the headache.

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