How Long Does A Migraine Last?


How Long Can A Migraine Last?

According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders 3rd edition (the reference for migraine diagnosis), the attack phase of the migraine can be called a migraine when lasting between 4 hours to 72 hours* if left untreated. This count starts after the aura, if facing an aura, and lasts until the most bothersome symptoms disappear. Migraine aura can last up to approximately 60 minutes. After the extinction of the most bothersome symptoms we are often not back to our full cognition and physical capacity, this is the prodrome phase, which varies a lot from individual to individual and is under-studied.

How Do You Know If You’re Having A Migraine Attack?

To know how long does a migraine last, it is essential to know what a migraine attack can look like. There are four phases of a migraine attack: prodrome, aura, acute (or headache phase), and postdrome. It is crucial to know that not everyone may experience every phase during a migraine attack and each attack may look different from the other.

Migraine symptoms vary, but if you have moderate to severe head pain lasting hours, throbbing or worsening with movement, disrupting daily activities, you may have migraine. Pain can occur on one or both sides, in front or back, even near the eyes or cheeks. Migraine includes nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light, smells, and noise. Aura, visual disturbances preceding headache, is also possible. These are some of the migraine symptoms people can experience during an attack.

It is vital to consult a medical professional if the migraine headache lasts more than 72 hours.

Research has shown that some of the risk factors that might trigger status migrainosus include emotional stress, overdosage of medication, substance abuse, and hormonal factors.

 *Beyond the 72 hours, other specific denominations are being used: chronic migraine with or without continuous pain, or status migrainosus.

Why Is It Crucial To Know How Long Does A Migraine Last?


According to the American Migraine Foundation, it is recommended that #MigraineWarriors keep a headache diary to track patterns with the duration of the migraine attacks. Tracking the duration of migraine attacks, alongside the medication we take, can be helpful to track the efficacy of our medication and/or migraine coping measures.

Tracking How Long A Migraine Last

Did you know: Migraine Buddy enables us to track how long the migraine attacks last? We can also record the medication we take, alongside the duration of the migraine attacks to estimate the efficacy of the medication in reducing migraine symptoms or duration. Start tracking now and find better days!

Download Migraine Buddy Now!

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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