Knowing When You Are Suffering from a Migraine

Migraine symptoms can be severe to the point of being debilitating, according to the West Hills Hospital neurologist featured in this video. In some cases, patients in the West Hills area might even seek emergency care because of the severity of their symptoms. These signs and symptoms can be categorized into four phases of migraine development: Prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome.

Prodrome

The prodrome period occurs hours and sometimes days before the actual migraine attack. It is sometimes referred to as the premonitory or pre-headache phase. Not all migraine patients experience prodrome symptoms, but for those that do, this phase can be useful for facilitating early migraine treatment. Prodrome symptoms can include increased thirst and urination, fatigue, nausea, stiff neck, and sleep disturbances. Other possible signs include depression, difficulty concentrating, difficulty reading and speaking, hyperactivity or hypoactivity, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.

Aura

Experiencing the migraine aura can be frightening for patients, especially when the aura is experienced for the first time. The visual symptoms include partial loss of sight, blurry vision, flashing lights, and wavy lines. Other signs and symptoms associated with migraine auras include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Motor weakness
  • Confusion
  • Hearing loss
  • Olfactory and auditory hallucinations
  • Neck pain
  • Speaking difficulties

Headache

The term “headache phase” can be misleading because the signs and symptoms can affect the whole body. These include nausea, vomiting, hot flashes, chills, dizziness, vertigo, severe anxiety, confusion, and increased sensitivity to light, sound, and odors. The headache pain is often quite severe and might occur only on one side of the head. It may awaken patients from sleep, usually in the morning hours.

Postdrome

The postdrome period can last for hours or sometimes days. It can be characterized by depression or feelings of euphoria and well-being. Fatigue, impaired concentration, and lowered intellect levels can occur. Many patients report feeling as though they have a hangover during this time.

World-class neurology services for migraine patients are available at West Hills Hospital. Our compassionate providers in West Hills also include emergency care doctors, burn center providers, maternity doctors and nurses, and cancer care professionals. To inquire about our hospital services or to request a referral to a physician, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (818) 676-4321.

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