When a migraine attack strikes, it may become increasingly difficult to focus or do anything else. While the symptoms of this condition could be different for each individual, there is a common query that is often raised: how long does a migraine last? In this blog, we will go over symptoms, phases, and length of migraine — make sure to continue reading to learn all about this neurological condition.

Migraine Symptoms

Many people confuse headaches with migraines, which is completely wrong. Yes, you will experience a headache during the migraine attack, but there are many prominent symptoms that distinguish a migraine from a mere headache. Below, we will list the signs you may have a migraine:

  • Thirst
  • Irritability
  • Unusually high or low energy levels
  • Food cravings
  • Constant urge to urinate
  • Sleepiness with excessive yawning
  • Vision changes
  • Sensations in skin
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Headache on one side of the head, typically behind the eye
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness

Migraine Attack: How Long Will It Last?

Dealing with these symptoms can be pretty challenging, and one just wonders when the migraine will come to an end. Generally, a migraine attack lasts somewhere between 4 to 72 hours; in some cases, it can last longer. It’s not easy to determine how long a migraine episode will take, especially because everyone has their own unique experience.

Migraine attack occurs in four stages; Prodrome Aura, Headache, and Postdrome, and each stage will take its designated time. The headache phase takes 4 hours to three days, depending on your case. All four phases, though, may last from a day to an entire week — which is rare but still possible. Usually, migraine attacks last for a couple of days.

Stages of a Migraine Attack

Migraine can be divided into four stages, which might help you understand the entire process. The four migraine phases are as follows:

  1. Prodromal Stage: Also known as the pre-headache stage, the Prodrome phase occurs and can be seen as a warning for an upcoming migraine attack. While migraine attacks are spontaneous, the symptoms of this phase start appearing before the worse strikes. Usually, this stage is accompanied by symptoms such as mood changes, fatigue, neck pain, food cravings, sensitivity to light or sound, or vision difficulties.
  2. Aura Stage: Not every person will experience the Aura phase, but it may occur prior to or along with the headache stage. Moreover, this phase of migraine lasts anywhere between a few minutes to an hour. Ringing in the ears, tingling, numbness, bright lines or other visions, weakness on one side of the body, and issues with the visual field are some symptoms that signify the Aura stage.
  3. Headache Stage: Many people skip directly to the headache stage, and a pulsating pain on one or both sides of the head begins. Other than this, the affected person experiences sensitivity to noise, light, odors, and even touch. Blurred vision, nausea, decreased appetite, lightheadedness, and vomiting also occur. Oh, and the pain will become worse with movement. This phase is sudden and lasts from some hours to as long as a few days.
  4. Postdrome Stage: With time, the intensity of the migraine phase fades out, and taking a nap might be helpful. As the headache goes away, you enter the recovery phase, which presents symptoms like moodiness, dizziness, confusion, and more. Generally, this stage lasts for a day after the headache.

In a Nutshell

A migraine attack, in general, may last from 4 to 72 hours. You can improve your symptoms and learn more about your condition by getting in touch with a professional. Our team at Genesis Pain Clinic is equipped with the tools to handle such situations. Head to our clinic at 6700 W 121st St, Suite 300, Overland Park, KS 66209, or talk to us at (913) 871-9888.

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