Migraine Types

Migraine Types Overview

Migraine is a word used to describe a wide range of related disorders. They are the most common cause of daily head pain, afflicting more than 87 percent of people who complain of daily head pain. The World Health Organization ranks migraine as the 19th most common cause of disability worldwide.

There are several different types of migraines, which are diagnosed based on the symptoms experienced. Some are triggered by changing seasons or hormonal changes in women. Others only cause symptoms in the stomach.

The International Headache Society has developed one of the most well known classification systems for migraine and headache, called the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD). The ICHD-III defines migraine as one of the main types of primary headaches, along with other headaches types such as tension headaches and trigeminal autonomic cephalagias.

Specific migraine types recognized by the ICHD-III include:

  • Migraine without aura
  • Migraine with aura
  • Chronic migraine
  • Complications of migraine
    • Status migrainosus
    • Persistent aura without infarction
    • Migrainosus infarction
    • Migraine aura-triggered seizure
  • Probable migraine
    • Probable migraine without aura
    • Probable migraine with aura
  • Episodic syndromes that may be associated with migraine
Written by: Otesa Miles | Revised by: Kristine Zerkowski | Last reviewed: August 2014.
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