Migraine Signs & Symptoms

What to look for 

While head pain, nausea and light/sound sensitivity are the hallmark symptoms associated with migraine, there is an array of other possible symptoms that can be experienced by people with migraine disease.

Symptoms by Location

*Hover over each region on the graphic below to see symptoms associated with that area of the body.

Symptoms by Location

Ear

  1. Persistent pressure or the feeling of blockage in one or both ears
  2. A feeling of water or something crawling in the ear canal
  3. Sound sensitivity
  4. Hearing a hissing, ringing, or other noise that is not actually there (tinnitus)
  5. Persistent sense of imbalance (ataxia)
  6. Stabbing pain around and deep in the ear (temporomandibular pain)
  7. Discomfort when your ears are exposed to wind or cold (allodynia)
  8. Difficulty in understanding what people are saying, despite having a normal hearing test (central auditory processing disorder)
  9. Dizziness

Eye

  1. Light sensitivity
  2. Double vision
  3. Temporary, partial loss of vision
  4. Intermittent stabbing pain behind one eye or in the cheek (trigeminal neuralgia)

Nose

  1. Unexplained congestion and/or a runny nose (autonomic nasal dysfunction)
  2. Smelling odors that aren't actually there (phantosmia)
  3. Sensitivity to smells (osmophobia)

Mouth

  1. Burning tongue or mouth
  2. Tooth pain
  3. Forceful contractions of the face, jaw, and/or tongue causing difficulty in opening and closing the mouth often affecting chewing and speech (Oromandibular Dystonia)

Face

  1. Facial pressure (across the eyes, cheeks, bridge of the nose)
  2. Sharp pain on one side of the face
  3. Pain across the forehead, behind the eyes or across the face that occurs frequently (chronic sinusitis symptoms)

Brain

  1. Mood changes (i.e. anxiety, irritability)
  2. Problems sleeping
  3. "Brain fog" reduces cognitive function - short term memory loss, inability to recall words or to multi-task
  4. Difficulty in understanding what people are saying, despite having a normal hearing test (central auditory processing disorder)
  5. Frequent yawning

Whole Body

  1. Pain combing hair, sensitivity to touch wearing jewelry and/or tight-fitting clothing (allodynia)
  2. Restless leg syndrome
  3. Difficulty in cognition
  4. Fatigue
  5. Temperature regulation
  6. An unexplained dry persistent cough (neurogenic cough)
  7. Neck pain

Abdomen

  1. Abdominal pain and bloating, associated with bowel movements (Irritable bowel syndrome)
  2. Nausea, vomiting, belching, abdominal discomfort (gastroparesis)
  3. Inconsolable crying, tense abdominal muscles, clenched fists and curled legs, often after eating in babies (colic)

Pelvis

  1. Frequent need to urinate, often with pelvic pain (neurogenic hypersensitivity as part of interstitial cystitis)

Real Migraine Patients

Migraine is more than a headache, it is a complex neurological disease that can cause symptoms through the whole body due the to impact it has on the nervous system. Hear the reality of living with migraine in our patient perspective video.

Click the button below to hear about other migraine manifestations in ear, nose, and throat patients.

Download the Migraine Diary

Track date, time, symptoms, intensity, what you were doing and what you did to help treat your migraine attack