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Types of Migraine

Migraines come in several types, and the same type may be known by different names:

1.  Migraine with aura (complicated migraine): A migraine with aura is a severe headache accompanied by dizziness, light sensitivity, and ringing in the ears. Auras normally appear gradually for around five minutes and can linger for up to an hour. 

About 15% to 20% of individuals with migraines experience an aura. Symptoms include:

·      blind spots

·      seeing flickering or flashing light

·      muscle weakness

·      dizziness

·      numbness or tingling sensation like pins and needles in parts of your body

2.  Migraine without aura (common migraine): This type strikes without the warning an aura provides. Individuals with this type receive no warning signs before an attack.

Untreated or ineffective treatments typically result in attacks lasting between four hours and three days. The frequency varies, occurring every few years to several times per week. Symptoms may include:

·      Nausea and vomiting

·      Headache on one side of the head

·      Being sensitive to sound, light, and smells

3.  Chronic migraine: Occurs at least 15 days per month for at least three months. Frequent use of headache medications may contribute to increased frequency. 

Episodic migraine is found in people who experience fewer headache days with migraine symptoms.

Chronic migraine often evolves gradually, with the frequency of migraine attacks increasing over time. Approximately 2.5 out of every 100 individuals with episodic migraine will transition to chronic migraine each year.

4.  Hemiplegic migraine: The term “hemiplegic” refers to paralysis on one side of the body. During a hemiplegic migraine attack, an individual may experience temporary weakness on one side of the body. This weakness may accompany more typical aura symptoms, including:

·      Visual disturbances

·      Speech difficulties

·      Communication difficulties

5.  Retinal migraine (ocular migraine): Temporary loss of vision in one eye, along with a dull ache behind the eye. Vision loss can last from a minute to months. Symptoms of retinal migraine are as follows:

·      headache that may happen before, during, or after the vision attack

·      total or partial loss of vision in one eye – lasting about 10 to 20 minutes

6.  Migraine with brainstem aura: Vertigo, slurred speech, double vision, or loss of balance precedes the headache. Symptoms may include difficulty speaking, ringing in the ears, and vomiting. Symptoms typically develop gradually. It may occur concurrently with or before the onset of a standard migraine headache.

7.  Vestibular migraine: It’s also known as migrainous vertigo or migraine-related dizziness. It’s a migraine type characterized by a blend of vertigo, dizziness, or balance issues along with other typical migraine symptoms.

8.  Menstrual migraine: Migraine has a higher prevalence in women than in men. Over half of women with migraines identify menstruation as a trigger for their migraine attacks.

Menstrual migraines are specifically linked to menstruation and coincide with the menstrual period. These migraines tend to be more intense, and less responsive to treatment. It may have a longer duration compared to other types of migraines. Although most women experience migraines at various times of the month, a “pure menstrual migraine,” occurs exclusively during menstruation.