What are the Different Types of Migraines?

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  • Written By: Steve R.
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 13 July 2019
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A migraine is a neurological condition that affects millions of people and is characterized by intense pain on one side or both sides of the head that can last for hours or even days. Other traits of migraines typically include vomiting and nausea, as well as sensitivity to light and noise. Many forms of migraines exist and are classified by varying symptoms. Some of the more prevalent types of migraines include common migraines, classic migraines, basilar migraines, and hemiplegic migraines, among others.

One of the most prevalent types of migraines is the common migraine, also known as the migraine without aura. This kind of migraine typically affects one side of the head, but can also occur on both sides. A person with a common migraine often experiences nausea, vomiting, and apprehension to light and noise. Other characteristics of common migraines include mental haziness, changes in mood, and fatigue.

Another of the most common types of migraines include the classic migraine, also referred to as the migraine with aura. With a classic migraine, an individual sees a glow around objects, along with other symptoms. It also is not unusual for a person to experience seeing flashes of light or a momentary loss of vision shortly before the onset of a classic migraine. In addition, a person with a classic migraine may experience trouble talking, weakness in one or more limbs, stinging sensation in the face or hands, and confusion.


Different types of migraines may also affect women and children. Affecting mostly young women, basilar migraines are typically accompanied by light-headedness, tingling sensations, and trouble balancing. This type of migraine affects the flow of blood in the back of the brain and in some instances, can result in fainting.

Abdominal migraines, also known as periodic syndrome, typically affect children. As a result of this type of migraine, a person will experience abdominal pain that is not caused by any gastrointestinal ailment. A person suffering from this type of migraine will experience abdominal pain that may last up to three days. In addition, a person with periodic syndrome will often experience vomiting and nausea. Before the beginning of an abdominal migraine, a person may have other symptoms including dizziness, double vision, and trouble with movement.

One of the most painful types of migraines is the hemiplegic migraine, which may be caused by a chromosome defect. Prior to the migraine, an individual may experience temporary paralysis on one side of the torso, dizziness, tingling sensations, and trouble seeing. With this type of migraine, the neurological disturbances disappear when the headache begins.



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