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Education
The Four Stages of a Migraine

Migraines may progress through these four stages—you may or may not experience all of these stages.

STAGE 1 PRODROME

Starting one or two days before the migraine and lasting until the migraine starts, you may feel some or all of these symptoms.

Common Symptoms:

  • Light Sensitivity
  • Sound Sensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Aura
  • Vomiting

STAGE 2 AURA

If you get an aura, it may occur before or during your migraine. Auras can be flashes of light, blurriness as if water was running down the window, distorted shapes, colored aura similar to the Aurora Borealis (hence the name), black and white zig zag lines that look like chain saw blades in a semi-circle, or shooting target lines of moving circles. You may or may not have a large area of your vision covered by a white, gray, or black patch, which is a blind area.

It is possible for a migraineur to have some of his or her migraines with aura and some without.

Many aura migraines do not come with pain—these are called "silent migraines."

STAGE 3 MIGRAINE ATTACK

A migraine usually lasts between 4 to 72 hours. Symptoms you may experience during your migraine: pain on only one side of your head; sensitivity to light, sound and smells; nausea and vomiting; blurred vision; lack of comprehension; and toward the end of the migraine, excess urination and diarrhea.

STAGE 4 POSTDROME

After the migraine attack you feel drained and washed out, have severe brain fog for a couple of days, and you may suffer memory loss.

Migraine Symptoms

  • Sensitivity to Scents
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Sound Sensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Aura
  • Vomitting
  • Blurred Vision
  • Lack of Comprehension
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