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Types of Migraines

Types of Migraines


What you need to know about
Types of Migraines & Headaches

Over 10 million individuals in the UK aged 15 to 69 get migraine attacks. They are one of the most prevalent neurological causes of visiting the Accident & Emergency department at a hospital. On one side of the head, they usually feel pulsing or throbbing. They can also produce nausea, vomiting, and light and sound sensitivity. They can also be far more intense than other types of headaches.

However, not all migraine attacks are the same. Yours may differ significantly from someone else’s.

With or Without Aura?

Types of Migraines with aura (also known as “classical migraines”) and migraine without aura (sometimes known as “common migraines”) are the two main types.

Visual symptoms such as lines, forms, or flashes are commonly associated with “aura.” For 10 to 30 minutes, you may possibly lose some vision. Tingling could also be felt in your arms and legs. Auras can also alter the senses of smell, taste, touch, and speech.

Aura affects around one out of every four migraine sufferers. It frequently begins before the headache and lasts for up to an hour.

There are numerous forms of migraines.

Learn more about Migraine with Aura

With Brainstem Aura

This was previously known as basilar migraine. Slurred speech, vertigo (a sensation of spinning or dizziness), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), double vision, unsteadiness, and a strong sensitivity to sound are examples of visual, sensory, or speech or language problems.

Episodic Types of Migraines

The majority of migraine sufferers follow this pattern. It implies you suffer migraine attacks every now and again, up to seven days a month. In general, if you have a headache or migraine attack more than seven days a month, you may have a more severe form of migraines, such as high-frequency episodic migraine or chronic migraine (see below).

High-intensity episodic

You have 8 to 14 headache days per month with at least some migraine symptoms if you have this migraine pattern. It also makes you more susceptible to persistent migraine than others.


This is a headache that lasts for more than three months and occurs 15 or more days each month. On at least 8 of those days each month, it involves migraine symptoms.


This term refers to “body paralysis on one side.” The aura that occurs with these headaches produces transient weakness on one side of the body (less than 72 hours). Aura symptoms normally disappear after 24 hours.

The symptoms are comparable to those of a stroke, but there is no long-term nerve damage.

Still, don’t make your own diagnosis! If you have hemiplegic migraine symptoms, seek medical attention straight once to rule out a stroke.

Learn more about Hemiplegic Headaches

Migraine Without Headache (Silent Migraine)

Yes, you can experience a migraine without experiencing any pain in your head. It’s also known as “silent” migraine.

The main warning symptom of this form of migraine is usually aura. However, nausea and other migraine symptoms are possible. It normally lasts between 20 and 30 minutes.

Abdominal Types of Migraines

An abdominal migraine affects the stomach rather than the head. Among the symptoms are:

  • Stomach ache
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

Adults are susceptible to abdominal migraines. They generally affect youngsters who also suffer from migraines on a regular basis or who have migraine-affected relatives.

Doctors are baffled as to what causes them. They do, however, share some of the same triggers as traditional migraines. Migraine drugs can help alleviate the pain.

Learn more about Abdominal Migraines

Menstrual Types of Migraines

These normally begin two days before a woman’s period begins and last for three days. Women who experience these headaches may also suffer other types of migraines at other times of the month, but the migraines around menstruation are usually without aura.

Ocular (or Retinal)

This type of migraine is extremely uncommon. It is characterised by the perception of colours, flashing lights, or other visual alterations, as well as the loss of some or all vision in one eye. The loss of vision should last no longer than an hour and be followed by a regular migraine headache. Other serious illnesses, though, might cause sudden loss of vision in one eye, so if you notice changes in your vision, see a doctor straight away.

Learn more about Ocular Migraines

Vestibular Types of Migraines

Vertigo is a symptom of this type of migraine. The sensation of spinning might last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

Status Migrainosus

Status migrainosus is characterised by persistent pain that lasts more than three days. Some drugs or medication discontinuation can induce it.

This type of migraine can cause severe pain and nausea, necessitating hospitalisation. If this is the case, get immediate assistance.

Status migrainosus is a type of migraine headache that is very intense and long-lasting. Intractable migraine is another name for it. Fewer than 1% of migraine sufferers have status migrainosus headaches. They are, however, intense and can last for more than 72 hours.

Ophthalmoplegic Types of Migraines

If you are experiencing discomfort and weakness around your eye, seek medical attention immediately. Ophthalmoplegic migraine, often known as neuralgia, or a more serious ailment could be causing these symptoms. Ophthalmoplegic migraines endure around a week and can result in droopy eyelids, double vision, and other visual alterations.

When to Call the Doctor

If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:

  • A change in migraine symptoms, frequency of migraine attacks, or severity
  • A headache that lasts for days and becomes worse as time passes
  • Coughing, sneezing, bearing down, or straining while on the toilet can cause a headache.

Medical Emergency

Call 999 or go to the A&E if you have any of the following types of migraines symptoms:

  • The worst headache you’ve ever had, particularly if it began suddenly.
  • Headache after a concussion
  • Loss of consciousness due to a head injury
  • Fever or a stiff neck accompanied by a headache
  • Confusion or a lack of awareness
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Seizure
  • A shift in perspective
  • Loss of vision