Migraine and Nosebleeds: What’s the Connection?


For anyone with migraine, the list of symptoms that commonly occur during a migraine attack is likely to be familiar — including headache, increased sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting. So when a symptom occurs that isn’t on this list — especially if it happens during migraine attacks on a regular basis — it can be a source of confusion and concern.

Nosebleeds are a common symptom in general, but are not commonly associated with a migraine attack. Yet some people with migraine report having nosebleeds during migraine attacks, sometimes regularly enough that the connection is undeniable. So what’s going on when a nosebleed happens during a migraine attack?

“Nosebleeds are not a usual feature of migraine, and we do not typically see this combination of symptoms,” says Leon S. Moskatel, MD, a clinical assistant professor in the division of headache and facial pain at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California. Possibly because the combination is rare, “This hasn’t been explored too much in research,” Dr. Moskatel notes.

Here’s what we do know about the potential link between migraine and nosebleeds, as well as other potential causes of nosebleeds that could be responsible for them occurring during migraine attacks.


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