Migraine Attack: Phases, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Vaibhav Saxena

, Health A2Z

Experiencing an unbearable pain and stressful pounding in your head, and not able to find any prompt relief even after scratching your head all day! Yes, this is migraine attack, which can be controlled and cured by recognizing the symptoms and proceeding with felicitous treatments.


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What is the Migraine Attack?


A migraine is considered a neurological disease or disorder, which is debatable, in which the patient tends to face severe throbbing like headaches, nausea, sensitivity to bright light and sound, and sometimes vomiting.


A migraine attack is a primary headache disorder with series of moderate to severe headaches where sufferer might even scream out of inevitable pain or bear it like a stoic.


The study shows that 15% of the whole population suffers from this strange disease especially in adolescence age or young adult age. People are under threat of this disease during the hormonal changing phase of life whereas a pregnant woman has very fewer chances of getting this disorder.


The chronicity and visible symptoms of a migraine attack depend on the phase of a migraine, the patient is dealing with.




What are the Phases of a Migraine and Symptoms?


A migraine attack can result in severe pain and feeling of nausea for hours and even days if the situation turns out to be drastically severe.


The disorder is categorized into four major stages according to the sufferings and chronicity faced by the patient. Therefore, the symptoms are also distinguished under the same stages.


1. Prodrome phase:


This is earliest stage of a migraine which is not a severe condition but 60% of patients encounter it. This stage begins before 2-4 days of sensing any pain with following symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive food craving


2. Aura phase:


This phase is more of a rare phase because of very few encounters this phase. This phase can occur before or during a headache and capability of lasting to a timeframe of maximum 60 minutes. There are some following symptoms:

  • Vision loss
  • Hearing unusual noises or voices
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Penetrating sensation in arms or legs
  • Lack of concentration and Numbness


3. Attack phase:


This phase interrupts in your physical activities and makes the patient fragile. The frequency of this stage varies from person to person and can last over 3 days from minimum 4 hours if not treated. There are many possible symptoms that may appear:

  • A unilateral headache
  • Blurred vision’
  • Throbbing above the eyes
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to light and sound]


4. Postdrome phase:

This is the final stage of a migraine and can be denoted as “breezes after the storm”. This phase involves the impact of attack phase and the sufferer is recommended to take bed rest until recovery. There are various symptoms like:

  • Tiredness
  • Exhaustion
  • Sensitivity to light and sound’
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Confusion




What are the Causes of Migraine Attack?


Major causes that induce an attack are certainly unknown and believed due to a mix of environmental and genetic factors. There are some set of triggers that should be learned as well to avoid chances of getting this disorder.

1. Genetic factors:

There is some specific genetics that is held responsible for this disorder. It is said that a migraine travels from parents to offspring so one must keep an eye on it through medical check-ups and diagnosis.


2. Environmental factors:

A change in surrounding environment of the sufferer or the barometric pressure can lead to a migraine problem as well.


3. Triggers:

There are some particular substances that have the tendency of triggering this disorder in your body. Some triggering elements are alcoholic drinks, sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG) rich food, improper sleep pattern, particular medications and physical exertion.


4. Psychological factors:

The trio of stress, fatigue and hunger can result in an attack. Psychological disorders are considered the most common cause behind a migraine.


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What are the Treatments for a Migraine Attack?


Nobody would like to fall prey for this chronic disease so looking for immediate diagnosis is a great solution.


Through diagnosis, the expert or the doctor would be able to evaluate the cause and phase of the attack easily and would proceed with the appropriate treatment measure.


Medications are provided to resist the attack which is effective but also results in medication overuse headache which is due to overdose. Apart from medication, triggers management and acute symptomatic control like procedures are conducted.


There are medications and therapies available for patients to adopt but in case of the failure of former and the latter surgical measures are also available.


There are devices like biofeedback and neurostimulators used to stimulate a migraine from chronic stage to stable. Surgical methods involve the decompression of certain nerves around the head and neck.





A migraine attack is a fatal disorder that unbalances and disturbs the happy lifestyle of a person so preventions like regular exercises, routine sleeping, and consumption of healthy diet must be taken by everyone.


Also, a person should be alarmed right after realizing any symptoms of a migraine as it is easy to diagnose and cure it in early stages.



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