Migraines 101: Understanding the Different Types of Migraines

Migraine is a neurological condition characterized by recurring episodes of severe headaches often accompanied by other symptoms. There are different types of migraines, each with its own distinct features. Here are some common types of migraines:

1. Migraine without Aura (Previously known as Common Migraine)

This is the most prevalent type of migraine. It is characterized by moderate to severe pulsating or throbbing headaches on one side of the head, which may be accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light (photophobia), and sound (phonophobia). Migraine without aura does not involve any pre-headache warning signs.

2. Migraine with Aura (Previously known as Classic Migraine)

Migraine with aura is characterized by recurrent headaches preceded or accompanied by sensory disturbances known as auras. Auras typically involve visual disturbances, such as flickering lights, blind spots, or zigzag lines. Other sensory symptoms, such as tingling sensations or difficulty speaking, may also occur. The aura usually lasts for 20 to 60 minutes and is followed by a headache.

3. Hemiplegic Migraine

Hemiplegic migraine is a rare and severe form of migraine that involves temporary paralysis or weakness on one side of the body (hemiplegia) during or after the headache. Other symptoms may include visual disturbances, difficulty speaking, and sensory disturbances. Hemiplegic migraines can be accompanied by intense head pain.

4. Vestibular Migraine

Vestibular migraines are characterized by episodes of vertigo (a spinning sensation) or dizziness, often lasting for hours to days. These migraines may or may not be accompanied by a headache. Vestibular migraines can be associated with other symptoms like imbalance, nausea, and sensitivity to motion.

5. Chronic Migraine

Chronic migraines are diagnosed when a person experiences migraines on 15 or more days per month for at least three months, with at least eight of those days being migraines. Chronic migraines can be highly debilitating and have a significant impact on daily life.

6. Menstrual Migraine

Menstrual migraines occur in relation to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. They usually occur in the days leading up to menstruation or during menstruation itself. These migraines can be more severe and less responsive to treatment compared to migraines occurring at other times.

It’s important to note that migraines can vary in presentation and symptoms from person to person. If you experience recurrent severe headaches or migraines, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis, treatment, and management.