Prodrome StageThis stage occurs 1-2 days prior to a migraine attack and affects about 60% of people with migraines. It can be characterized by mood changes (e.g. depression or euphoria), constipation, food cravings (chocolate), neck stiffness, frequent thirst and urination, and/or drowsiness.
Aura StageMigraine auras occur in about 20% of people who have migraines and can occur before or during a migraine attack. They manifest as visual disturbances (e.g. bright spots, flashes, or a partial loss of vision), sensory disturbance (e.g. numbness and tingling in one limb which can spread), dysphasic auras (e.g. speech and language difficulties), or hemiplegic migraine auras, which are stroke like on one side of the face or body may experience weakness.
Attack StageThe duration and frequency of migraine attacks are extremely variable depending on the person.
They can last 4 to 72 hours.
During an attack, a throbbing pain is usually localized to one side of the head, but may occur on both sides.
In addition, people with migraines may also experience the following associated symptoms: nausea, vomiting, photophobia (light sensitivity), phonophobia (sound sensitivity), and other sensory sensitivities (e.g. smell or touch).
Postdrome StageThe postdrome stage is defined by feeling depleted of energy and/or confused following a migraine attack. This sense of exhaustion usually lasts for only a day after resolution of the attack. However, sudden high gain head accelerations may re-exacerbate the migraine attack.