10 Types Of Migraines You Should Know About

Migraines are a common neurological disorder that can cause debilitating symptoms. While there is no one-size-fits-all experience of migraine, there are 10 distinct types of migraines that have been identified by the International Headache Society. Knowing the different types of migraines and their respective symptoms can help people better understand and manage their migraine. In this article, we will explore the 10 types of migraine headaches and discuss some of the key differences between them.

Migraine With Aura

Migraine with aura, also known as classic migraine, is a type of headache that may cause temporary changes in vision or other sensations. Symptoms can include seeing flashes of light, blind spots, zig-zag lines, or tingling and numbness on one side of the face or body. In some cases, these symptoms may be followed by a headache. Migraine with aura is typically more severe and disabling than other types of migraine and can last for several hours or days.

Treatment for this condition typically consists of lifestyle modifications, medications, and alternative therapies to help reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches. It is important to note that migraines with aura may have underlying triggers such as stress, diet, or certain medications and thus avoidance of these triggers can be an effective way to reduce the risk of migraine with aura. Furthermore, it is important to seek medical advice if you experience any of the symptoms associated with this condition as early diagnosis and treatment can help improve quality of life.

Migraine Without Aura

Migraine without aura is the most common form of migraine. It affects approximately 85% of people with migraines, and is characterized by moderate to severe throbbing or pulsing pain on one side of the head, sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Symptoms can last for up to 72 hours if untreated. Treatment can include medications, lifestyle changes, and alternative therapies.

It is important to talk to your doctor about diagnosis and treatment options if you suspect that you have migraine without aura. Early diagnosis and intervention can help reduce the severity of symptoms and frequency of episodes. With proper management, it is possible for many people with migraine without aura to lead an active and productive life.

Menstrual Migraine

Menstrual migraines tend to occur more frequently than other migraine types, and can last longer. Common triggers for menstrual migraines include hormonal fluctuations in the luteal phase of a woman’s cycle (the two week period leading up to her period), as well as stress, sleep disturbances, and changes in routine. Women who experience a menstrual migraine may also notice other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity. Treatment for menstrual migraines can include medications to reduce the pain of an attack or prevent future attacks.

Non-medication therapies such as relaxation techniques and cognitive behavior therapy can also help manage menstrual migraine symptoms. It is important for women to keep a symptom diary to better understand their menstrual migraine triggers and develop the best treatment plan for their individual needs. Additionally, healthy lifestyle habits such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, eating balanced meals, exercising regularly, and managing stress can help reduce the frequency and intensity of menstrual migraines.

Silent Migraine

Silent migraine, also known as acephalgic migraine or migraine aura without headache, is a type of migraine characterized by the presence of aura symptoms without any accompanying head pain. The condition is often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and light sensitivity. Silent migraine can last from a few minutes to several hours, although it is usually less severe and shorter in duration than a typical migraine.Because the headache is absent, silent migraine can be difficult to diagnose. Doctors may use neuroimaging tests such as MRI or CT scans to identify changes in brain activity that are associated with silent migraine. Treatment for silent migraines generally involves medications such as anti-nausea drugs, anti-inflammatories or triptans. I

It is also important to identify and address any potential triggers that may be causing the migraines in order to prevent them from occurring. Stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation and biofeedback may help to reduce the severity of attacks. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep can all help to reduce the frequency of attacks. Finally, it is important to work with your doctor or healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that works best for you. Following this plan will help manage silent migraine symptoms and prevent future episodes from occurring.

Vestibular Migraine

Vestibular migraine is characterized by episodes of vertigo or a spinning sensation along with other symptoms such as nausea, balance problems, and hearing disturbances. Episodes can last for seconds to days, and tend to occur in cycles that can vary from person-to-person. The cause of vestibular migraine remains unknown. However, certain triggers have been identified that may increase the likelihood of an episode occurring. These triggers include certain foods, alcohol, stress, environmental changes like changes in barometric pressure, and lack of sleep. Treatment for vestibular migraine is based on managing symptoms and avoiding potential triggers.

Common treatments include medications such as anti-vertigo drugs, anti-seizure medications, and antidepressants. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy may also be recommended to help the patient cope with symptoms like dizziness and balance problems. During this type of therapy, exercises are conducted to retrain the brain and help improve balance control. Lifestyle modifications such as avoiding triggers or stress management can also be helpful in reducing the frequency and severity of vestibular migraine symptoms.

Abdominal Migraine

Vestibular Migraine (VM), also known as migraine-associated vertigo, is a type of dizziness that is caused by recurrent episodes of migraine headaches. It affects about one in every 10 people who experience migraines and can cause a range of symptoms including vertigo, disorientation, nausea, balance problems and light-headedness. VM can last anywhere from a few seconds to several days, and the intensity of symptoms may fluctuate over time.

Treatment for VM includes medications such as anticonvulsants and anti-nausea agents, as well as lifestyle changes like avoiding triggers, reducing stress and incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine. Additionally, physical therapy and vestibular rehabilitation can be beneficial in helping to reduce symptoms. It is important to talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people with VM are able to manage their condition and live a full and active life.

Hemiplegic Migraine

Hemiplegic migraine is a rare form of migraine that is associated with temporary weakness or paralysis on one side of the body. It can cause symptoms such as numbness, tingling, vision changes, slurred speech and confusion. The duration of hemiplegic migraine episodes can range from minutes to days. While the exact cause of hemiplegic migraine is unknown, research suggests that it may be due to changes in brain chemistry or a genetic predisposition. Treatment for hemiplegic migraine typically involves medications to reduce headache pain and stop the attack. In addition, lifestyle modifications such as avoiding triggers, eating healthy foods and getting adequate rest can help prevent future attacks.

Ophthalmic Migraine

Ophthalmic migraines, also known as “ocular” or “retinal” migraines, are a type of headache that affects the eye and is typically accompanied by visual disturbances. These visual changes can range from blurry vision to complete loss of sight in one eye. In some cases, people who suffer from this type of migraine may experience a “halo” or “aurora” of light around the edges of their vision. Ophthalmic migraines can last anywhere from minutes to hours, and in some cases, they can recur over several days.

Treatment for ophthalmic migraines usually involves medication to reduce pain and other symptoms, as well as lifestyle changes to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. Additionally, people who suffer from ophthalmic migraines may find that wearing sunglasses or using a computer screen filter can help reduce visual disturbances associated with this type of migraine.

Migraine With Brainstem Aura

Migraine with brainstem aura (also known as hemiplegic migraine) is a rare form of migraine that includes neurological symptoms such as weakness, numbness and even paralysis on one side of the body. It may also include confusion, slurred speech and difficulty understanding words. The aura typically occurs before the headache begins and can last for several minutes up to an hour. People who experience this type of migraine often report feeling like they are having a stroke or seizure, which can be frightening.

Treatment for this type of migraine focuses on preventing the attacks from occurring and managing symptoms when they do occur. Medications such as anti-seizure drugs and beta blockers may be used to prevent or lessen the severity of migraine with brainstem aura. For those who suffer from frequent attacks, lifestyle changes such as avoiding triggers and getting adequate sleep may also be beneficial in controlling symptoms.

Ophthalmoplegic Migraine

Ophthalmoplegic Migraine is a rare type of migraine with an estimated prevalence of 0.1-0.3%. It is characterized by severe headaches accompanied by eye signs such as ptosis (drooping eyelid), double vision, and eye pain. The cause of Ophthalmoplegic Migraines is unknown, but it is believed to be the result of an irritation of the nerves that control eye movement. Treatment for Ophthalmoplegic Migraines varies from patient to patient and often involves medications prescribed by a physician. Other treatments such as physical therapy and lifestyle modifications may also be used, depending on the severity of symptoms.


Knowing the different types of migraine headaches and recognizing the different types of symptoms can help you better understand how to treat each migraine accordingly. Check with your doctor or healthcare professional and follow their advice on the best treatment plan for your specific headache situation.

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