People often describe their migraines as coming "out of the blue." But, in many cases, migraines quietly offer clues before they strike. While every person experiences migraines differently, the body can send out warning signals that a crushing headache is about to arrive.
Loss of Vision
Mental Status Change
Sensitivity to Light
The key, of course, is to recognize these signals in time to take action. According to Roger K. Cady, MD, founder of the Headache Care Center of Missouri, pre-migraine symptoms often appear in two phases:
Phase One: Most people experience a vague sense of discomfort before a migraine strikes. The symptoms may not be dramatic, and might easily be overlooked simply because they are so common. These symptoms include irritability, yawning, food cravings, confusion, a feeling of light-headedness, dark coloration beneath the eyes, or even a sense of excitability or elation.
Phase Two: About a quarter of people who get migraines experience an aura'seeing black spots or flashing lights; partial, temporary vision loss; and/or zigzagging lines dancing before their eyes.
Other warning signs include problems with depth perception (where the brain has difficulty distinguishing between objects that are near and far away) and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and/or movement. Some people also report a nagging-to-overwhelming feeling of nausea.
Keep in mind that some people experience no warning signs and go straight to having a migraine.
If you suffer from migraines, it's important to tune in to these warning signs. Learning to recognize your body's migraine cues enables you to prepare for what's coming and take action to head off the pain.
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