Tuliv Migraine Library

    Types of Migraines

    The term "migraine" generally refers to a specific type of headache that usually affects one side of the head as a throbbing headache. Other symptoms of migraines include visual aura, nausea, cramps, and vomiting.

    The migraine is a genetic condition associated with a particular gene found in the DNA of specific types of hormone producing cells. For this reason, it is very common to find other family members who also suffer from migraines.  See Migraine Research for more information.

    General Symptoms

    The pain experienced during a migraine varies from person to person and even from episode to episode in the same person. Headache is the most common type of migraine pain, and the location, intensity, and duration of the headache pain can vary from one migraine to another.

    The actual occurrence of a migraine is thought to be a numerological vascular condition that is characterized by:

    • severe pain on one side of the head radiating from the temporal area to behind the eyes and sinus cavity and extending down into the facial area
    • nausea and/or vomiting
    • aura or disturbed vision
    • intolerance to light and sound

    Migraine Classification

    Tuliv researchers have discovered various migraine patterns and life stages. Migraines can strike at any time, but migraines typically begin during certain stages of life and follow specific patterns. The two most common classifications of migraine attack are Classic Migraine (with Aura) and Common Migraine (without Aura).

    • With Aura or Classic Migraine is a type of migraine that involves the appearance of neurological symptoms called aura 10 to 30 minutes before an attack. Migraine aura may take the form of flashing lights, zigzag lines, or temporary loss of vision. Pain associated with aura classic migraines is often described as intense throbbing or pounding in the forehead, temple area, facial area, or around the eye(s). Pain may feel as though it starts in one area and travels to another, where it becomes more intense.  An aura classic migraine attack may last one or two days, and symptoms may include:
      • headache pain, generally limited to one side of the head
      • difficulty with speech
      • weakness of an arm or leg
      • tingling of the face or hands
      • confusion
    • Without Aura or Common Migraine is a type of migraine that has the same general symptoms of classical migraine, but is not preceded by an aura. The headache and other symptoms associated with common migraine may last three or four days. Symptoms may include:
      • headache pain, typically affecting only one side of the head
      • nausea and vomiting
      • mental fuzziness
      • fatigue
      • mood changes
      • unusual fluid retention
      • diarrhea
      • frequent urination

    Regardless of how they are classified, migraines are painful, and the ultimate goal should be migraine prevention and not just palliative care of migraines once they strike.

    Types of Migraine Headaches

    In addition to classification as Classic (with Aura) and Common (without Aura) Migraines, there are numerous types of migraine headaches.

    • Hemiplegic Migraine - Symptom include temporary paralysis on one side of the body, vision problems, and vertigo which generally begin 10 to 90 minutes before the onset of headache pain.
    • Optical or Ocular Migraine (Ophthalmic) -

      Ocular migraines are temporary visual disturbances that can affect one or both eyes. The first time you experience one can be frightening. Most often ocular migraines are harmless and the visual symptoms generally clear-up even without medication within 20 to 30 minutes. You can have ocular migraines without headache pain. When an ocular migraine with vision disturbance is followed by a painful headache on just one side of the head, it is called a "migraine with aura" (what used to be called a classic migraine). In this case the visual disturbance is referred to as aura, instead of an ocular migraine.

    • Basilar Migraine - Pre-headache symptoms may include vertigo, double vision, and poor muscular coordination.
    • Vertigo or Vertiginous Migraine – These migraines are essentially aura without headache, consisting of spells of vertigo that can last from minutes to hours.
    • Vestibular Migraines—Dizziness and vertigo can occur in individuals with migraine as part of the migraine aura or separately. Furthermore, dizziness may not occur at the same time as the headache and can even occur as an isolated event. Particularly in younger patients, dizziness or vertigo may predate the onset of headaches entirely. Dizziness as a symptom of migraine is a common and often ignored cause of balance disorders.
    • Benign Exertional Headache - This headache begins at the onset of activity, with pain rarely lasting for more than several minutes. It is generally brought on by running, lifting, coughing, sneezing, or bending.
    • Status Migrainosus - This is a rare and severe type of migraine that can last 72 hours or longer. Pain and nausea with this headache are often so intense that hospitalization may be necessary.
    • Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)—CVS is an unexplained functional digestive disorder characterized by recurrent, prolonged attacks of severe nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The pain and nausea associated with CVS result in decreased quality of life for the children and adults it affects. Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome is now being considered as a possible form of migraine.

    Migraine Diagnosis

    Diagnosing migraines is often complicated. There is no lab test available to diagnose migraine, and the condition cannot be detected by CT scan or an MRI.  For the most part, migraine diagnosis is an inexact science, and the condition is most accurately diagnosed by a doctor who carefully listens to the patient and reviews his or her symptoms.

     If you have questions about migraines, you can get answers by calling 1-866-367-5953 or sending an email to Questions@Tuliv.net.

The Tuliv Migraine Library has the information you need from A to Z

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