Stage 1: Preheadache, or prodrome
Preheadache symptoms often begin hours or days before migraine headache pain. These symptoms may include the following:
- Fatigue or other changes in behavior
- Mood changes
- Food cravings
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Sensitivity to light or sound
Stage 2: Migraine Aura
Aura typically begins 20 to 60 minutes before the headache phase (stage 3) and usually fades before the headache begins. Sufferers may experience visual symptoms, such as seeing:
- Flashing lights
- Zigzag lines
- Blank spots before their eyes
Stage 3: Migraine Headache
This stage involves intense head pain that may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light (also called photophobia), and sensitivity to sound (also called phonophobia).
- The pain can last anywhere from several hours to as long as several days
- The pain may be on one or both sides of the head
Stage 4: Postheadache, or Postdrome
The period following the headache. Some sufferers may experience 1 or more of the following symptoms.
- Head pain
- Cognitive (mental) difficulties
- Hungover/hangover feeling
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
Learn more about how and what you can do to reduce the impact of the attack.