10 Unusual Migraine Symptoms

by Teri Robert Patient Advocate

Auditory Hallucinations

If you hear things that aren’t actually there, you may be having an auditory hallucination. Migraineurs have reported searching for voices, music, and other sounds, but not finding the source.

Woman with hiccups.
Teri Robert


Who knew?! Hiccups can be a migraine symptom, usually occurring during the aura phase of a migraine attack.

Metamorphosis concept.
Teri Robert


Metamorphosis is a distortion of body image and perspective that is sometimes experienced during a rare form of migraine aura called "Alice in Wonderland Syndrome”

Woman smelling something bad.
Teri Robert

Olfactory Hallucinations

This isn’t the increased sensitivity to smells that many migraineurs experience. It’s smelling odors that aren’t real. Olfactory hallucinations have sent many a migraineur searching for the source of the smells. Another term for this is phantosmias, and it can be symptom of migraine aura.

Woman yawning.
Teri Robert

Excessive Yawning

Excessive yawning might not indicate sleepiness or boredom. It could be a symptom of the migraine prodrome, which can begin hours or even days before the rest of the migraine attack develops.

Woman sensitive to touch with hands on her head.
Teri Robert


Allodynia is hypersensitivity to feel and touch and can be a symptom of migraine aura. Some migraineurs report that it hurts to touch or brush their hair. Others report that the touch of linens and even clothes on their skin is uncomfortable or even painful.

Woman with hearing loss.
Teri Robert

Decrease in or Loss of Hearing

A temporary decrease in hearing or a temporary loss of hearing can be a migraine aura symptom and can last through the rest of the migraine attack. Hearing returns to normal once the migraine ends.

Man with vision loss in one eye.
Teri Robert

Monocular Blindness

The aura phase of retinal migraine can include a very frightening symptom – complete, but temporary, blindness. This is rare, so anyone experiencing this symptom should see their doctor to be sure it’s from a migraine.

Woman with neck pain.
Teri Robert

Neck Pain

Research has shown that neck pain is a more common migraine symptom than nausea, which has been considered one of the most common symptoms. Many people who thought neck pain was triggering their migraines have now discovered that the neck pain is a symptom of their migraines.

Woman crying.
Teri Robert

Severe Anxiety

Severe anxiety and even panic attacks can be symptoms of a migraine attack. They can begin during the aura phase and continue through the headache phase, even in people without anxiety or panic disorders. This is caused by fluctuations of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine that occur during a migraine attack.

Teri Robert
Meet Our Writer
Teri Robert

Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation's Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society.