If you"re one of the 37 million women, men, and children in the U.S. who suffer from chronic migraines, you probably don"t want to think about them at all when you"re headache free. But learning about the four stages of migraine helps you know when you"re about to suffer an attack, get treatment early, and prepare for relief.
Chronic migraines are differentiated from headaches by their longevity (an attack that lasts from 4-72 hours without treatment), frequency (at least five attacks), and the simultaneous occurrence of at least one other classic symptom, such as nausea or sensitivity to light. Migraines also tend to affect just one side of your head and occur in four stages, each of which has its own set of symptoms. You may not experience all four stages during each of your migraines, or may have your own individual variations.
The prodrome phase begins hours or even a day or two before your actual headache. This phase is marked by changes in mood or physicality, such as:
Craving certain foods
Yawning and feeling sleepy
If you suffer from migraines and experience the symptoms of the prodrome phase, the medical professionals at Rose Family Practice Urgent Care in Vancouver and Battleground, Washington, encourage you to come in for an evaluation and be sure that your medication is up to date.
Only about one in three to four women, men, and children experience an aura phase before the attack. Nevertheless, an aura is a classic sign that you suffer from migraines. Auras tend to affect the nervous system and may manifest in a variety of ways.
You may experience a blind spot or, conversely, flickering or jagged lights that may grow bigger over time. You can also experience vivid hallucinations or "see" memories. Visual auras may make it difficult for you to focus and perform daily activities, such as driving.
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