Migraine Phases

Which migraine phase are you in?

Learning your migraine phases can help you to treat earlier and stop the progression of a migraine

Prodromal – Early warning phase. This can occur from several hours to up to two days in advance. Symptoms may include: irritability, anxiety, burst of energy, neck pain, food cravings, feeling tired, yawning, sensitive to smells or noise, etc. About 60% of people will experience this phase. Take the medication your doctor recommended or prescribed

Aura Phase – Pre migraine phase. This occurs about an hour before to when the headache begins. Symptoms may include: vision changes such as flashing, flickering or shimmering lights, zig-zag lines, seeing spots, tunnel vision; sensory changes such as numbness, tingling, pins and needles to extremities, face; difficulty speaking, understanding or writing words; weakness. About 20% of patients will experience this phase and not necessarily all the time. Take the medication your doctor recommended or prescribed.

Headache Phase – Migraine phase. This is when the headache strikes. Can last for hours up to several days. Symptoms include: throbbing, pulsatile pain with varying degrees of intensity. Primarily on one side of the head, but can be both. Sensitive to light and/or sound, sometimes smells, nausea and/or vomiting. Feelings of lightheadedness. Take the medication your doctor recommended or prescribed and rest in a cool, dark quiet room.

Postdromal Phase – After the headache. Can last from a few hours to 2 days. Symptoms may include extreme fatigue, very sluggish, confused, irritable, headache if you move too quickly or if you bend over. Try not to take any meds or cut back on medications to avoid a rebound headache. Rest and avoid stressors and triggers.