common vs classic migraines Jul,28,2020

There are many different types of migraines, which are caused due to various factors. However, all kinds of migraines are categorized into two main groups: common migraines or migraine without aura and classic migraines or migraine with aura. Below is a quick look at both the categories of the neurological condition that’s best diagnosed and treated by a family medicine doctor.

Migraine without Aura (Common Migraines)

In this condition, people do not usually experience any sensory disturbances or aura. As per the reports of the International Headache Society, patients having the condition can experience episodes of chronic headaches, which can last for 4 hours to up to 3 days if not treated. Patients with migraine without aura also experience headaches that are unilateral, meaning that it occurs only on one side of the head. Apart from that, the pain would be pulsating or throbbing, ranging from moderate to severe aching, and would become worse when the patient tries to move, such as when climbing stairs or jogging.

Generally, patients having migraines without an aura would also experience sensitivity to light or photophobia and sensitivity to sound or phonophobia. It would also lead to many other common symptoms of migraines, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. That is why doctors at low income clinics recommend many tests to diagnose the condition and to rule out other health issues that could have similar symptoms.

Migraine with Aura (Classic Migraines)

This condition is also known as complicated migraine or hemiplegic migraine. It affects around 25% of all people who experience migraine episodes. The most common symptom of migraine with aura is vision problems, but it also leads to many other sensory problems, such as numbness and tingling in the face, tongue, or the entire body. People having the condition would also experience dizziness, language problems, difficulty in speaking, severe weakness, and difficulty in moving around. Usually, these symptoms would last for up to 3 days.

Migraine with aura can also trigger many brainstem symptoms such as dysarthria, vertigo, tinnitus, hypacusis, diplopia, ataxia, and reduced consciousness. It also leads to many vision problems, which usually affects only one eye, such as flashes of light, temporary blindness, and blind spots. In most of the instances, the symptoms would occur on only one side of the head, including headaches, vision, and speech problems.

Generally, the symptoms would last for five minutes to an hour during an episode, gradually spreading across the body. In severe cases, the symptoms might last for up to straight three hours as well.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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