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10 Different Types of Migraine Attack

Not all migraines are created equal.

Not every sufferer goes through the same symptoms.

Not every attack is considered to be the same type of migraine attack.

There are at least 10 different types of migraine attack. You could be having an attack and not even know it. An attack can cause your nose to sponetously start running or your sinuses to become congested. Then when within minutes all nasal symptoms pass. And considering that migraine attacks can cause stroke, coma, aneurysm or death it's pretty important to know that there are different ways that Migraineurs suffer.

I'm just going to list of the 10 types of attack then I'll go into detail about them on subsequent posts.

Types of Migraine Attack
◊ Acephalgic or "Silent Migraine" - no headache actually occurs but the sufferer has other symptoms.

◊ Abdominal Migraine - usually suffered by children although adults have them too. They present as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

◊ Basilar-Type Migraine - the attack that is marked by an aura which is generated from the sufferers brain stem. These attacks can cause temporary blindness and decreased levels of consciousness.

◊ Hemiplegic Migraine - a rare form of attack. These attacks mimic a stroke, epilepsy and other neurological conditions. Sufferers can have residual limb weakness after attacks. (I can attest to the hideousness of these attacks they put you in the hospital.)

◊ Migraine with Aura aka "Classic Migraine" - a genetic neurological disease marked by severe headaches as well as visual, sensory and speech symptoms.

◊ Migraine without Aura aka "Common Migraine" - characterized by headaches that occur on one side in the head and are pulsating or throbbing.

◊ Optical, Ocular, and Opthalmic Migraine - this particular classification is still being defined better and its thought that these may be part of or a symptom of the Acephalgic type Migraine which effects vision. Some sufferers report visual disturbances only ranging from mild to severe.

◊ Retinal Migraine - Another visual disturbance attack, marked by disturbance in only one eye monocular. Complaints range from seeing flashing lights, visual disturbances and temporary blindness.

◊ Status Migrainous - an attack that lasts 72 hours or longer. This is the condition most likely to do grievous harm and people suffering from these MUST seek immediate medical treatment to reduce to chances of stroke, coma or death.

◊ Transformed Migraine - attacks that become increasing frequent. They are daily attacks that vary in intensity from mild to severe debilitating migraine attacks.

I hope that I provided some insight to the types of known migraine attacks. As I said I hope to go more in depth on the different types. If anyone has any interest of a particular type of attack please say so and we can start there.

You've actually just met the four types of attack I suffer from - Acephalgic, Hemiplegic, Status, and currently Transformed. As I write this I am on day 112 (no joke) of my Transformed migraine attack. It's kicking my butt and I'm trying to kick it back but the attack wins in the end because there is no cure on temporary treatments.

I want to know that I am not the only person going through this nightmare. I keep a detailed list of my symptoms for my Neurologist and she always says, "You're not alone." But it's not like we migrainuers are meeting up at Starbucks for coffee talking about the what and how of our disease. We just live with it. We should talk about it - work to find a cause and a cure for it.

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Lydia15593500 Lydia15593500 2 years
I also suffer from sever migraine attacks and have done since the age of 13. The main ones I get are silent migraines, hemiplegic migraines and migraine with aura! It ruins your life - every day life is a struggle due to the fear or an attack catching you? People do not understand how severe they Are - most people get a headache and they've got a "migraine". I'm now back on medication to help me - migraine can never be cured as it is a disease in the brain, I feel there should be a lot more information available so people aren't as ignorant to the actual illness,
Hiedi14943434 Hiedi14943434 3 years
My neuro put me on topamax as a preventative and it.has helped some. Before i was on it I was unable to function because the migraines were so bad and were constant. I was bedridden. Now i do have a day here and there with no headach and some days with lighter migraines. Also sometimes the severe ones dont last as long. I still have them almost daily and alot of severe ones but it's not severe bedridden 24-7 now. Maybe it could help some of you. Good luck to all and God Bless!
Hiedi14943434 Hiedi14943434 3 years
It's good to know that i am not alone. I definitely have chronic/transformed migraines with visual disturbances and passing out. I have had migraines for a long time but they became severe and chronic april 2012 and just kept getting worse. I HAVE NOT WORKED SINCE MAY 2012.
MakeThisLookAwesome MakeThisLookAwesome 3 years
Have you heard of the Occipital Nerve Stimulator? That stopped a 4.5 year migraine I had...
Willis14847476 Willis14847476 3 years
Hello everyone. I am a veteran of operation iraqi freedom and enduring freedom. I have been suffering with migraines since 2003. I recall hitting my head on a C-130 aircraft. During that time I went to the local hospital where I was stationed. They ran all kinds of test, to come back and tell me that I have a damaged trigeminal nerve. They called it trigeminal neuralgia. I never heard of it. So they prescribed tegretol. After being on that for a while, the military sent me to a specialist in Brunswick, ga (stephen pappas) where I was getting cortisone injections. And prescribed depakote. For a while the medicine with injections worked. Now fast forwarding to iraq I was deployed to Iraq with only a thirty day supply. After running out of course they got worse. I was restocked with more tegretol once my unit got back to kuwait on our way back home. During the time without my meds, migraines were getting worse. Now as I return to my duty station I returned back to dr. Pappas to continue back to getting injections in my head. The pain is on my left side and I feel them coming on. On the left side of my face my eye socket hurts throat feels like its closing a little, and the pain is sharp stabbing pain. Is there any suggestions from any of you on how to deal with them. I mean a remedy that has or is still working for you. You may email me if you like at
Ashley14788206 Ashley14788206 3 years
Hello, I was diagnosed with migraines when I was pregnant with my daughter. Ever since I have migraines 1 or 2 a month. Then they would stay away for like two or three weeks. Today August 20, 2013 I have had I horrible one start on my left side and spread all throughout my head. I have tried taking all kinds of meds for it. And nothing seems to work. It is excruitating pain.I have never had a migraine that wasnt treatable. I just wish it would go away.
Lasita-Angel14447553 Lasita-Angel14447553 3 years
I've had a severe left side migraine for 7 days now. Nausea, chest pain, and I had. Seizure today. I get chestnpain severe migraines and I am really scared that every attack is weakening my heart. I had what clinic thought was a heart attack and ambulance was called on Saturday. I don't know what they gave me to get the chestnpain to cease. They tried Benadryl reglan and fluids for the migraine. Came in with a 9 in migraine and 7 in chestnpain. Left with a 9 on migraine. Sunday IIndidn't have chestnpain. Mn tues and today chest pain kept getting worst. I tried to be calm and not worry. By 4 I called my dr and nurse called me back. I tried to tell her what was happening and I couldn't speak. The words were coming out wrong, my son said backwards and out of order and some words were not words he recognized. I had a seizure while trying to talk to the nurse. My son took the phone from and told the nurse Iwas having a seizure. She said to call 911.. At the ER Dr was yelling at me because I couldn't talk and he told me to calm down it was anxiety. I couldn't smile for him or hold my right arm up or get my hand to squeeze. he got angry at me that I wasn't cooperating. I felt locked in my body that I couldn't talk from or make do what my brain was telling it to do. They gave me Benadryl, reglan fluids and 1 mg Ativan. After 2 hours talking slowly came back. My husband helped me once he got the ER. The pain of migraine went past a 9. They drew blood, did EKG several times and monitored me for 3 hrs total. Dr ordered more fluids and told me there was nothing he could do to help the migraine and get to my nuero or dr tomorrow. The nurse was disgusted with the dr and told me she had arured with him to get the migraine pain down. I haven't slept for 3 nights. I am trying to focusing breathing and not cry. I'm afraid the pain in my heart is something serious. I'm scared and I have had severe migraines now for 36 years. 13-14 severe a month. I'm never afraid of the migraine being serious but something is wrong with my heart. I'm afraid Drs thnk just another person with migraines and get me out of their way fast.
Tracy14406231 Tracy14406231 3 years
Hi everyone, I have been having sever migraines for 15 years and last week was the worse ended up in the hospital for a migraine cocktail of drugs that didn't work very well and than the gave a heavy dose of pain meds (don't know how to spell the medication name). It ended up messing with my heart and I had to stay overnight. Never did get rid of the migraine it is about a 4 on a pain scale 1 - 10. At least I can function right now. I live in Nebraska and need to find a migraine specialist that is my next step. What has worked for everyone? How do you juggle your family life, work life, and migraine life?
GrannyC GrannyC 3 years
Hi All, I have suffered from silent migraines for over 30 years. Over the years I have had several tests and all of my tests results came back ok. In the last three months the migraines have become more severe and more frequent. I have never taken any medicine because I never know when they are coming on and the symptoms mimic a stroke. My right side is always affected with numbness in my foot, leg, hand, fingers, arm, neck, face and head. These attacks leave me weak and make me extremely tired for a day or after they happen. My Neurologists has started me on 1000 miligrams of Keppra while the drug helps with severness it does not keep me from having them and they continue to be more often. I am interested in hearing from anyone that may have the same symptoms. They call this type of migraine, Hemiplegic.
Jennifer14343027 Jennifer14343027 3 years
Hi all. I am currently a migraine sufferer as well. although I cant tell my type I can tell you symptoms and how long they last. i have nasueas...sensitivity to EVERYTHING... bed ridden to where I cant care for my own child.... SEVERE pain all over the head. they last anywhere from 2 days to a WEEK or more.
goawaymigraines goawaymigraines 3 years
Hi all, Whats the difference between a status and transformed migraine? I feel like I've been having them but with more intensified pain, almost pressure points on my head with dizziness for almost 4 weeks now. I started a new job and am so busy I rarely have time to eat lunch, and previously if I don't eat I get headaches but these are something else entirely. Think they could be caused by higher stress levels mixed with no lunch? Are they transformed?
ThatOneGeek ThatOneGeek 3 years
Hello all, i'm currently fifteen years old. Lately I have been having headaches almost everyday, sometimes ranging from a very mild dull ones, to severe ones. The severe ones are typically rare, but aren't entirely absent. The only one I have had that was extremely horrendous was about a month and a half ago at a with my boyfriend and his family. I felt nauseated and could barely talk and think straight, and had to ask one of his family members for some sort of pain killers. I had taken two and it went away to a dull ache until I was able to get home and rest. After about two or three weeks after I started having headaches everyday, usually small. Do I have chronic migraines?
themistyangel themistyangel 3 years
I also suffer from migraines that started 10 years ago when we moved half way across canada to nova scotia. Major storms will trigger them but also,we found out almost too late that my exposure to toxic black mold,something I have been exposed to for the last 8 years without knowing so is my main trigger. So besides looking at regular causes of migraines I have learned to look outside the box. I find the biggest problem where I live is trying to get doctors to take the time to listen and understand what you are saying instead of rushing to the next patient. My son has also begun to suffer from migraines and the medications give him severe chest pain and shortness of breath so the doctor told him to take nothing and live with it until it goes away because migraines won't kill you. Obviously he has never had one and I found another doctor who cares. Does anyone know of anything herbal that may help I'm desperate to ease my son's suffering.
mgomes mgomes 4 years
my son migrain headache and abdo painmight due to family history too becaiuse both me and his dad were sufferers. he will also vomit during episods
mgomes mgomes 4 years
my son has been having migraine since he was 9 years. it started if he becomes very hungry. this migraine headache is accompanied by a abdominal pain and vomiting. i dont know if this condition is caused from hunger when he was suppose to have a day surgery and didnt eat from 12am and became hungary and was crying for food and water really badly but the nurses had him there starving then around 11am they told me it cancelled.
spirit35 spirit35 7 years
I was just wondering if anyone has the same migraines as I,they're always on one side of my head and face,starting behind the eye and down the back of my neck ,it seems to effect the nose and eye and cheek on the side where the headache is,not really any nausea but they are debilitating.Just interested to see if anyone has experienced these,they say they're propably hormonal but who knows.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Oh my gosh Danillebanz, rebound migraines are the worse. I feel your pain there. For me I cannot take Imitrex because it works for only about 30 minutes then I get a rebound that's 10x worse then the original migraine. When I was in the hospital, they didn't have Relpax so they gave me Imitrex for my migraine after a surgery. Oh man I thought I was dying, I couldn't breathe, my normally low bp shot up, I was seeing flashes of light and shaking violently but I didn't have a migraine for 30 minutes. Then the monster cam back with its friends. The nurses got permission from the surgeon to give me Tylenol 3, Fiorcet, and my Valium. Those didn't work so the doctor said move on the percocet and the heavy hitter narcotics. None of them worked, they just made me violently ill and incapicated me but the nurses knew that my migraine had resolved. They said they could see it on my face and that the blood vessels in my eyes were bursting. When I was finally able to speak I told them about a John Hopkins study I had heard of where pure oxygen is administered to migrainuers while their having an attack. And that JH found that it eased the pain of the patients and helped to prevent any minor brain damage that's happens during a migraine by insuring the brain gets flooded with oxygen. They put the O2 on me and cranked it up and the pain was eased a bit - then they tried the percocet and Valium again after about four hours of this treatment the migraine eased. But I was lucid during the attack and normally I am not- I make no sense during an attack (witness most of my posts on PopSugar)and have memory loss after. The oxygen helped. I need a tank at home. Oh luck for all of us I hear that most migraine disease gets better and the attacks get less frequent and severe when your in you late 60s - early 70s. Ha my neurologist mentioned this to me. Wow only 34 more years of this.
daniellebanz daniellebanz 8 years
Wow. Finally found migrainesugars. I am with you guys... I am a migraineur too. With some terrific complications. I can't treat these with typical meds, I am allergic to imitrex and all the other great meds out there. I also have lupus, heart problems and high bp so I can only take pain meds (tylenol 3 - 30 per month) to treat. This can cause rebound headaches....vicious circle much? I have had migraines since I started periods at age 12 and I'm now almost 39 with no end in sight. Whew. fun stuff. I take topamax though prophilacticly, and it does seem to help, I recommend it highly.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Well Aimeeb once I gather the info and put it together coherently I post the detailed descriptions of the type of attack. That could either help you and eventually your doctor figure out which type you suffer from or may further confuse the issue since symptoms overlap a bit. But pain is pain. Personally I use to long for a Panic Room to go to when I had an attack. A soundproof, smellproof, dark, warm, panic room with a mallet to hit myself in the head with until the pain went away.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I don't really know what to say about mine, when I do get them but... It feels like i have a vice on my head, from one temple to the next and any sort of sound and/or light makes me want to rip my eras off and eyes out. I need complete silence. I know right...
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