Not All Migraines are Alike: What Type of Migraine Do You Have?

Migraines are a chronic neurological condition that affects more than 37 million Americans. Most people associate migraines with severe, pulsating headaches accompanied by nausea and light sensitivity. But, there are actually several types of migraines.

  • Acephalgic or "Silent” Migraine": The patient suffers typical migraine symptoms including aura, nausea, light sensitivity, and weakness on one side the body, but no headache actually occurs.
  • Migraine without Aura or "Common Migraine":  A pulsing or throbbing headache on one side of the head. The headache may be accompanied by other symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or motion. There is no aura.
  • Migraine with Aura or "Classic Migraine": A migraine that is preceded by sensory disturbances known as auras. Auras may include visual disturbances such as flashing lights, blind spots, or blurred vision, auditory changes or auditory hallucinations, strange smells, or numbness and tingling.
  • Menstrual migraine: A migraine that occurs in response to hormone changes that are a natural part of the menstrual cycle.
  • Ocular Migraine:  An ocular or optical migraine is a migraine in which there are temporary vision loss or vision problems in one eye during or after the migraine. Also called a retinal migraine.
  • Basilar-Type Migraine:  A migraine that originates from the brain stem or lower back of the brain. The migraine is accompanied by an aura, and there may be temporary blindness during the attacks. Basilar-type migraines are similar to other migraines, but since they originate in the brainstem, they do not respond to typical migraine medications.
  • Transformed migraine: Transformed migraines are chronic, daily migraine attacks. They may increase in severity over time.
  • Abdominal Migraine: Abdominal migraines are most common in children, but also occur in adults. The triggers are the same as for typical migraine, but the pain is felt in the stomach. The abdominal pain is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and inability to eat.
  • Hemiplegic Migraine:  A rare form of migraine with neurological symptoms similar to a stroke or epilepsy. In addition to typical migraine symptoms, hemiplegic migraines can cause loss of balance, language difficulties, coordination problems, confusion, loss consciousness, paralysis on one side of the body, and coma.
  • Status Migrainous: A debilitating migraine that lasts for 72 hours or longer. These migraines can cause dehydration and severe fatigue. Anyone suffering from a migraine for more than 72 hours should visit the emergency room.

If you suffer from frequent, severe migraines, you have as serious disability as any other disabled individual. If your migraines prevent you from being able to work, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Learn more in our article, “Yes, You Can Get SSDI for Chronic Migraines.”

There is no Social Security disability listing for migraine headaches,therefore it is necessary to prove that your limitations would prevent you from obtaining or maintaining employment. Our Omaha SSDI attorneys can help. Learn more in our free booklet, Why You Should Hire an Attorney to Handle Your Social Security Disability Claim, or contact Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405. The initial appointment is free.