Pre-Migraine Symptoms

By Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Table of Contents


Migraine is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s ability to work, study, and live life to the fullest. It can be debilitating and cause intense pain, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound.

Migraine affects up to 18% of the population worldwide, and it is three times more common in women than in men.

It usually develops between the ages of 15 and 45 years old, but it can affect children as well as adults.

The disability caused by migraine may be temporary or permanent, and it may have different levels of severity, from mild to severe.

The level of severity depends on how often migraines occur, how long they last, and what symptoms are present during them, such as nausea and vomiting.

Pre Migraine symptoms are those that occur before the onset of a migraine attack.

These symptoms can be debilitating, but they are also very common and can be managed with the right treatment.

What Are the Pre-Migraine Symptoms?

Migraines themselves can be debilitating and can make it difficult for a person to function at their normal capacity.

It is important to know the warning signs of a migraine so that you can take preventative measures before it becomes too severe.

Pre Migraine symptoms are the warning signs of an oncoming migraine. There are many different types of pre-migraine symptoms that people experience.

They can include auras, mood changes, or other physical sensations. It is important to remember that not all people will have these symptoms, and some people may only experience one type of symptom or none at all.

The most common type of pre-migraine symptom is an aura, which is typically visual in nature and affects one side of the field of vision.

Auras usually last anywhere from five minutes to an hour, but they do not always occur with every attack. People who experience this type of aura may see flashing lights or spots in their vision.

Migraine has four stages: prodromal stage, aura stage, headache stage, and post-drome.

The prodromal stage of a migraine is the first stage of the migraine disease.

The sufferer will experience common symptoms such as nausea, mood changes, and sensitivity to light.

This can occur as early as two days before the actual headache starts. The prodrome can last for hours or days before it leads to a full-blown headache.

Prodromal Stage

The pre-migraine symptoms in the prodromal stage are as below.

  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound
  • Increased yawning
  • Food or sugar cravings
  • Changes in mood or irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Confusion
  • Excessive urination, vomiting, and diarrhea

Aura Stage

The pre-migraine symptoms in the aural stage are as below.

  • Visual aura-zig-zag lines, sparkles, blind spots, joggled or flickering lines
  • Motor aura: numbness and weakness, gait and balance abnormalities (hemiplegic migraine)
  • Tactile aura-pins and needles sensation’
  • Sound aura-ringing in the ear (tinnitus), Music

Headache Stage

In the headache stage, the person will experience a throbbing pain that can be on one side of their head or both sides of their head at once.

This stage usually lasts from 4 to 72 hours and includes pain on one side of the head or face and other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound, difficulty speaking or understanding speech (dysphasia), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and blurred vision.

Post Dromal Stage

A postdrome is when a person feels tired and mentally foggy after having had a migraine attack.

  • Neck stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

It is beneficial if you can avoid migraine triggers even after the postdrome phase as another attack can occur.

How to Prevent Migraine Symptoms

Pre-migraine symptoms are a sign that you are in danger of having a full-blown migraine. If they are not treated, the headache is likely to be much worse and last longer.

There are not many drugs that can be used to treat pre-migraine symptoms. The most common treatment is to take painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol. But these drugs don’t always work, and they have some side effects too.

Treating pre-migraine symptoms can be done in two ways: by taking drugs or by making some lifestyle changes.


Painkillers: NSAIDs, Acetaminophen, Naproxen

Preventers: triptans, antiepileptic drugs, calcium channel blockers

Avoid Triggers

It is always necessary to avoid migraine triggers as the severity of the attack might change with exposure to triggers.

  • Reduce stress by relaxing
  • Avoid food triggers

We can find a lot of treatments for migraines, but there are not many for pre-migraine symptoms.

Relaxation technique

There are many ways to relax your body and mind before a migraine starts. For example, you can also try meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

Relax in a Dark, Quiet Room

Pre-migraine symptoms can be treated in a dark, quiet room.

A dark, quiet room is a place where you can rest your eyes and avoid any kind of light. This is the best way to treat pre-migraine symptoms.

It should be very silent, so it is the perfect place to rest your head when you are feeling dizzy or have a headache.

Hot Compression

A hot compress is good for relieving the pain, while a hot bath helps to relax the muscles.

Keep Hydrated!

Drinking enough water is essential for reducing migraine attacks. But if you are having nausea, this will trigger vomiting.

Try ginger tea at this time.

When to See the Doctor

Pre Migraine symptoms can vary from person to person, and it is important to know when it is time to seek medical attention.

You might not differentiate pre-migraine from other diseases.

  • Transient ischemic attacks
  • Strokes
  • Cardiac events may mimic pre-migraine symptoms.
  • So, if you’ve been suffering from symptoms for a long time and haven’t found relief through medication,
  • If there is fever and neck stiffness,
  • If you have any doubts,
  • If the symptoms are accompanied by muscle weakness and slurring of speech,
  • If you have chest pain,

It is best to visit a doctor. Contact us for get appointment.


TeleHealthDoc articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Dr. Pallavi Sharma is one of Melbourne’s best, well respected cosmetic doctors and aims to provide longstanding anti-aging benefits for her clients. With over 11 years experience in Performing cosmetic procedures, Dr. Sharma has lectured medical professionals regarding cosmetic treatments and is heavily involved in providing up to date cosmetic treatments to her clients and friends.
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