What bothers you MOST during a Migraine Attack?
In a recent internet survey, we compared four things . . .
46% said Light
Photophobia – the most common of the four. Studies say about 80% of migraine patients are sensitive to light during some attacks. This is also a common symptom between attacks (interictal).
33% said Noise
Phonophobia – also very common, with around 76% experiencing the symptom at some time. Patients also seem to be more sensitive to sound between attacks than the general population (interictal).
18% said Smells
Osmophobia. Between 25 and 40% may experience this symptom, related to hyperosmia (a heightened sense of smell).
3% said Things Touching Me
This could relate to a number of issues. Cutaneous Allodynia is when skin is sensitive/painful when touched. Haptephobia is a fear of being touched.
These are not the most common symptoms – things like pain and nausea would have to be included. However, they are common.
Percentages vary from study to study, but our survey tended to confirm more or less what studies say. One interesting symptom we didn’t include is taste abnormality, where the sense of taste is affected.
For more information, here are some sources you can check out:
- Migraine and Associated Symptoms: Meeting the Treatment Challenge (pdf)
- Migraine: Manifestations, Pathogenesis, and Management
- The place of osmophobia and taste abnormalities in migraine classification: a tertiary care study of 1237 patients.
- Photophobia and phonophobia in migraineurs between attacks.