Migraine is a severe, debilitating headache that can last for hours or even days. It is characterized by throbbing or pulsating pain that usually starts in the forehead, the side of the head, or around the eyes. Almost any movement, activity, bright light or loud noise seems to make it hurt more. Nausea and vomiting are common during a migraine.
Migraine is divided into several categories, and understanding the type you may have can help you get a diagnosis and personalized treatment that works for you. The most common types of migraines are classic migraines and common migraines. A rare type of migraine with aura is formerly called basilar-type migraine, migraine with aura of the brain stem. It has symptoms that can be confused with those of a stroke, such as difficulty speaking, vertigo, instability, and numbness.
As with migraine with aura, these symptoms appear gradually before the headache of a migraine. Abdominal migraine is a fairly common condition that affects 4 out of 100 children and some adults as well. It is a form of migraine that usually does not involve a headache, although children who have abdominal migraines often have migraines that involve a headache when they are older. Migraine without aura is often called common migraine or episodic migraine.
It's the most common type. Typical symptoms are moderate to severe throbbing headache on one side of the head, aggravation from routine physical activity, nausea, and sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia). According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, a person must have at least five attacks per year to be diagnosed with migraine without aura. One type, called “abortifacient” focuses on preventing the headache from becoming severe and relieving the headache. Focusing on exactly where your head hurts and the symptoms that come with it can help you and your doctor determine what type of migraine or headache you have, resulting in a more effective treatment plan and fewer painful days. If you have migraines consistently or experience one of the rare types, even once, consider seeing a neurologist who specializes in migraines and headaches.