You have probably heard of people describing migraines as “really bad headaches”, but there is a lot more to the disorder than a mere headache. There are several other ways of identifying a migraine, such as nausea, vomiting, numbness and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last anywhere from hours to weeks, and the pain grows so intensely that it starts interfering with your day-to-day activities. Some people experience an “aura” or a warning indication before a migraine attack. This aura could be in the form of blind spots and other visual disturbances, tingling on one side of the face or arm and difficulty talking. It can be treated with medication by a migraine doctor specialist.

Migraine Symptoms

Migraines can go through four stages: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome, and they can afflict toddlers and teenagers as well as adults. Not everyone who suffers from migraines experiences all of these stages. 1 to 2 days before the headache, you may experience some migraine symptoms like food cravings, fatigue, depression, irritability, hyperactivity or neck stiffness. This is the prodrome stage.

In patients who experience an aura, the aura is felt after the prodrome stage, where you face problems with vision, movement, sensation and speech. Feeling a tingling sensation on your face, arms, or legs, temporary loss of vision, difficulty speaking or sudden flashes or blind spots are some of the common aura symptoms.

The next phase, called the attack phase is highly severe and leads to the most amount of pain. Some people might also experience this along with an aura. Actual symptoms of migraine can vary from person to person, though the most common are:

  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Pain in one side or part of your head
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Throbbing pain in the head
  • High sensitivity to light and sound

It is advisable to visit a migraine doctor if you experience the symptoms of an aura or an attack for an extended period of time.

After the attack, there is a postdrome phase, where there is a change in your mood and can lead to very happy and joyful or extremely sad and fatigued feelings. There may still be a dull headache. Not everyone experiences all four stages of migraine, and some stages can also be skipped altogether. Sometimes, a migraine attack may also occur without the presence of a headache.

Migraine Causes or Triggers

Although the exact causes of migraines are unknown, heredity and environmental factors appear to play a role.

  • Sleep pattern changes: Sleep deprivation or excessive sleep can cause migraines in certain people.
  • Medications: Migraines could be made worse by oral contraceptives and vasodilators like nitroglycerin.
  • Certain foods: Migraines may be triggered by aged cheeses, as well as salty and processed foods. Skipping meals could have the same effect.
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Loud sounds
  • Intense physical activity
  • Hormone changes in women: Many women experience headaches when their oestrogen levels fluctuate, such as before or during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause.
Migraine Risk Factors

Some factors can inherently make you more susceptible to getting migraines, such as:

  • Family history of migraines: If you have a close family member with migraines, there’s a high chance you could have it too. Consult your family doctor or a certified neurologist for migraines if you observe any symptoms.
  • Age: The first appearance of migraines occurs during adolescence, they peak during your 30s and then gradually decrease in intensity in the following years
  • Sex: Women are three times more susceptible to having migraines than men!
Migraine Treatment

Although migraines cannot be cured, your doctor can help you manage them by telling you how to address symptoms as they develop, which may lead to fewer episodes overall. Migraine treatment can also help migraines become less severe. The course of treatment depends on your age, the type of migraine (with or without an aura, episodic or chronic), the severity, symptoms along with headache and other health conditions and medications you are on. The treatment will include certain lifestyle changes as suggested by the doctor, OTC pain and migraine medications and prescription medications for other symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

What is the Difference Between a Migraine and a Headache?

Migraines are unilateral, meaning they affect only one side of the head, such as the right or left side, front or back or the temples. Headaches are bilateral and often described as a squeezing sensation, which affects both sides of the head. Migraines are characterised by a throbbing pain, whereas headaches come with a dull or aching pain. Headaches are incidental and occur spontaneously, whereas migraines are almost always recurring with preceding stages like prodrome and aura. While headaches only last for a few hours, migraines can last from a period of a few hours to a few weeks.


If you are in search of a migraine specialist near me, you will be impressed by the care and treatment provided at the clinic of Dr. Chandril Chugh, one of the top neurologists in the country who specialises in problems of the nervous system, like migraines. If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms or are under a risk of having migraines, you need the best doctor for migraine treatment to consult with. Dr. Chugh is an expert of his field with several years of experience dealing with neurological disorders. It is best to visit a doctor to try to reduce the pain and symptoms caused by migraines as early as possible.