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What Are the Different Types of Migraine Headaches?

Ask a Doctor

I’ve been suffering from migraines for almost a year, and I’m trying to get an opinion from a different neurologist to get the pain under control. It would probably help to know exactly what kind of migraines I’m experiencing. For instance, they tend to start with dizziness and then I get auras in both eyes that last for about 15 minutes, then the pain comes and it’s terrible. I know this isn’t how everyone with migraines experiences them. What are the different types of migraines?

Doctor’s Response

There are several different types of migraine headaches.

  • Migraine without aura (common migraine) – the most common type
  • Migraine with aura (complicated migraine) – affects about 20% of people with migraine
  • Migraine with aura without headache (silent or acephalgic migraine) – affects about 1% of people

Other more rare types of migraine headaches include:

  • Hemiplegic migraine – feels more like a stroke, accompanied by weakness
  • Retinal migraine – loss of vision in one eye
  • Chronic migraine – migraine more than 15 days a month
  • Vestibular migraine - also called migrainous vertigo
  • Menstrual migraine - also called menstrually associated migraine or catamenial migraine

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Reviewed on 4/8/2019
References
American Migraine Foundation. What type of headache do you have? 2 January 2019 .

Cutrer, MD, F Michael and Zahid H Bajwa, MD. Pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of migraine in adults. 17 November 2018. 2 January 2019 .
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