Not your typical headache

You may be suffering from chronic migraine.1

An individual may be considered to be suffering from chronic migraine when he or she has headaches occurring 15 or more days per month of which 8 days or more have features of migraine, as described below, for at least 3 months:1

Migraine is a specific type of headache with pain that can last anywhere from 4 hours up to 3 days.1

  • Pain is usually moderately to severely intense, throbbing or pulsating, and often occurring on 1 side of the head.
  • Can be accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Can become aggravated (get worse) by routine physical activity (e.g., walking or climbing stairs).
  • Changes in vision or hearing, called aura, may be present and come just before or just as the migraine begins.

Migraines are often associated with specific symptoms and may be brought on by certain triggers.

Migraine signs, symptoms, and triggers

The following are examples of some of the possible signs and symptoms you may experience with a migraine as well as some possible triggers. However, everyone will experience migraine differently. It is important to make note of your symptoms and what you are doing, what you are eating, your stress level, etc. when a migraine occurs so that you can identify your migraine triggers. To begin tracking your migraine symptoms and triggers, download the migraine diary.

Signs and symptoms

Migraine may be associated with the following symptoms:1

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound

Migraine may also be associated with changes in vision or hearing, called aura. These symptoms come just before or just as the migraine begins. Aura may also include changes in smell. The symptoms of aura develop gradually over 5 to 20 minutes and last less than 1 hour.1


Migraine may be aggravated or triggered by specific factors. In a study of 1207 migraine patients, conducted by the treating physician in his practice, about 3 out of 4 said their acute migraine attacks were brought on by a specific trigger.2

Triggers may include:2

  • Physical exertion or activity
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes (in women)
  • Skipping meals
  • Sleep disturbances and sleeping late
  • Weather changes
  • Perfume or odour
  • Neck pain
  • Lights
  • Alcohol
  • Smoke
  • Heat
  • Food/diet
Do you have 15 or more
headache days per month
with headache lasting 4
hours or longer, with some
being migraine?
If you answered “yes”,
you may have Chronic Migraine.1


Find a doctor who treats headache disorders like Chronic Migraine near you.

Take the Chronic Migraine Screener.

Do you think you might be suffering from
Chronic Migraine? Print out this document
and fill in your responses and discuss
them with your doctor.


References: Show

  1. Headache Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society. The International Classification of Headache Disorders: 3rd edition. Cephalalgia. 2013;33(9):629-808.
  2. Kelman L. The triggers or precipitants of the acute migraine attack. Cephalalgia. 2007;27(5):394-402.