What are the types of migraines?

There are several types of migraines, and the same type may go by different names:

Migraine with aura/complicated migraine:

Around 15% to 20% of people with migraine headaches experience an aura. Migraine with aura is a recurring headache that strikes after or at the same time as sensory disturbances called an aura. These disturbances can include flashes of light, blind spots, and other vision changes or tingling in hands or face.

Migraine without aura/common migraine:

This type of migraine headache strikes without the warning an aura may give you. The symptoms are the same, but that phase doesn’t happen.

Migraine without head pain:

Silent migraine or acephalgic migraine, as this type is also known, includes the aura symptom but not the headache that typically follows.

Hemiplegic migraine:

Temporary paralysis or neurological or sensory changes on one side of your body. The onset of the headache may be associated with temporary numbness, extreme weakness on one side of your body, a tingling sensation, a loss of sensation, and dizziness or vision changes. Sometimes includes head pain and sometimes it doesn’t.

Retinal migraine/ocular migraine:

You may notice a temporary, partial or complete loss of vision in one of your eyes, along with a dull ache behind the eye that may spread to the rest of your head. That vision loss may last a minute, or as long as months. You should always report a retinal migraine to a healthcare provider because it could be a sign of a more serious issue.

Chronic migraine:

A chronic migraine is when migraine occurs at least 15 days per month. The symptoms may change frequently, and so may the severity of the pain. Those who get chronic migraines might be using headache pain medications more than 10 to 15 days a month and that, unfortunately, can lead to headaches that happen even more frequently.

Migraine with brainstem aura.

With this migraine, you’ll have vertigo, slurred speech, double vision or loss of balance, which occur before the headache. The headache pain may affect the back of your head. These symptoms usually occur suddenly and can be associated with the inability to speak properly, ringing in the ears and vomiting.

Status migrainosus.

This is a rare and severe type of migraine that can last longer than 72 hours. The headache pain and nausea can be extremely bad. Certain medications, or medication withdrawal, can cause you to have this type of migraine.

Adapted from information from The Cleveland Clinic

Menu