Types of Migraines

If you are suffering from headaches that seem too severe to be your average headache, you may be suffering from migraines. A migraine is an intense headache that lasts anywhere from a couple of hours to several days. The pain is quite severe and has many symptoms that can be present all at once.

However, migraines do vary. It’s not to say that a migraine matches only one category exclusively, but a majority of migraine suffers can identify their symptoms within one or several of these groups:

  • Common migraine:
    This is the migraine that develops with the associated symptoms of nausea with or without vomiting, sensitivities to light, sound and odor, and pain on one or both sides of the head.
  • Classic migraine :
    Migraines that occur with auras are considered classic. Auras are usually visual disturbances but can be a feeling of pins and needles in your limbs or problems with hearing or experiencing confusion.
  • Ocular :
    In this type of migraine, the aura experienced is all visual. This may be described as seeing circles that are dark, then grow bright, change shape, and move about. It may be zig zag patterns of different colors, or black and white. The patterns may move to the peripheral or stay in front. There may be flashing, sparkling, flowing, or other artistic or graphic appearances.
  • Hemiplegic:
    This type of migraine is often confused with symptoms of a stroke. When a hemiplegic type of migraine occurs, it produces muscle weakness and can even include temporary paralysis on one side of the body. There may be severe pain on one side of the head, vision changes, slurred speech, and confusion, again, much like a stroke.
  • Retinal:
    Unlike an ocular migraine, this type of migraine is usually accompanied by vision loss in one or both eyes. This short-term vision loss may be associated with pain behind the eyes. The vision loss or interruption is usually limited to one eye.
  • Basilar artery:
    This artery is located at the back of the head causing the sufferer to feel pain in the back of the head instead of where you typically think of migraine pain; in the forehead and around the eyes. You may experience trouble with speech, tinnitus, and vomiting.
  • Ophthalmoplegic:
    In this rare type of migraine, paralysis appears in the muscles surrounding the eye. It may cause damage to the nerves resulting in permanent vision problems. You may experience double vision with this condition and need to seek immediate medical attention.

About eighty percent of migraine sufferers experience the common or classic type of migraine headache. Which means that about twenty percent may be experiencing the less common, and possibly more serious, type of migraine. Knowing the symptoms of all the types of migraine headaches will help you understand what treatments will work best and when immediate medical attention is needed.