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 of migraine occur as a result of migraine disease. Other symptoms are common in people with migraine disease because of the frequent overlap of comorbidities.

Symptoms by Location


  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 
  7. Discomfort when your ears are exposed to wind or cold (allodynia)
  8. Vertigo or dizziness


  1. Light sensitivity
  2. Watery eyes
  3. Visual disturbances - flashing lights, zig-zag’s, blind spots, colored spots 
  4. Persistence or reappearance of an image after you stop looking at the image (palinopsia)
  5. Double vision
  6. Temporary, partial loss of vision
  7. Pain behind eyes or in the cheek


  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)


  1. Burning tongue or mouth
  2. Tooth or jaw pain
  3. Slurred speech
  4. Dry mouth


  1. Unilateral or bilateral head pain
  2. Throbbing, stabbing, dull, burning or pulsating head pain
  3. Facial pain or pressure behind the eyes, across the forehead, on the cheeks or behind the eyes
  4. Sharp pain on one side of the face
  5. Pale skin color
  6. Scalp tenderness


  1. Mood changes (i.e. anxiety, irritability)
  2. Problems sleeping
  3. "Brain fog" - reduced cognitive function and concentration, 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
  6. Difficulty with talking (aphasia)
  7. Confusion

Whole Body

  1. Hypersensitivity to stimuli such as touch, wind, cold, etc. (allodynia)
  2. Fatigue
  3. Temperature dysregulation or fever
  4. An unexplained dry persistent cough (neurogenic cough)
  5. Muscle stiffness
  6. Neck and/or shoulder pain
  7. Numbness and/or tingling
  8. Sensitivity to motion or motion sickness
  9. Sweating
  10. Food cravings


  1. Nausea and/or vomiting
  2. Abdominal pain
  3. Bloating 
  4. Constipation or diarrhea
  5. Belching (burping)
  6. Inconsolable crying, tense abdominal muscles, clenched fists and curled legs, often after eating in babies (colic)
  7. Abdominal cramps


  1. Frequent need to urinate may or may not be associated with pelvic pain

Migraine Symptoms Podcasts

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