Not All Migraines Are Alike: Here Are the Various Types of Migraines

disability benefits of different types of migrainesMigraines are a chronic neurological condition that affect more than 38 million Americans. Most people associate migraines with severe, pulsating headaches accompanied by nausea and light sensitivity. But there are actually many types of migraines with varying symptoms.

10 Most Common Types of Migraines

  • Acephalgic or "silent" migraine: The patient suffers typical migraine symptoms, including aura, nausea, light sensitivity, and weakness on one side of the body, but no headache actually occurs.
  • Migraine without aura or "common" migraine:  The patient experiences 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: This type of migraine 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: This type of migraine 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 is temporary vision loss or some type of vision problem in one eye during or after the migraine. It's also called a retinal migraine.
  • Basilar-type migraine: This migraine originates from the brainstem 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: This is 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 of consciousness, paralysis on one side of the body, and coma.
  • Status migrainosus: This is 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.

Contact Cuddigan Law If You Need Disability Benefits for Migraines

If you suffer from frequent, severe migraines, you may meet the Social Security Administration's (SSA) requirements for a primary headache disorder. If your migraines are serious enough that they prevent you from working, the SSA will assess the symptoms cited in your claim to establish whether you have a medically determinable impairment (MDI). If so, you're likely eligible for 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 to speak with an intake specialist for free.