Understanding Classification of Migraine: A Comprehensive Guide to the Top 5 Systems”


Migraine Symptoms and Treatment

Migraine is a type of headache with more frequent attacks than any other type of headache. It is one of the neurological diseases. Migraine is characterized by recurrent attacks of headaches that are widely variable in intensity, frequency, and duration. This article will discuss the classification of migraine.

It can be associated with nausea and vomiting and may be preceded by associated neurological and mood disturbances. The characteristics of each attack may vary to every patient. Some people may begin with an aura an hour or two before the onset of a headache while others might experience no aura.

The aura includes flashes of light, changes in mood, tingling on the face or leg, or difficulty in speaking family history is frequent. Migraine can badly affect the quality of your life. Although specific treatment of migraine is still under study, certain measures in lifestyle can be a source of reducing the episodes. Some prophylactic medications can also be used for the same purpose.


Classification of Migraine is as followed

1.  Migraine without aura:

It is also called common migraine. It is characterized by headache with associated autonomic nervous system dysfunction such as pallor and nausea.

Other features may include changes in mood and poor concentration.

The headache may be pounding or throbbing type starting anywhere and spreading to involve one-half of the head.

During the attack, the patient is usually photophobic and phonophobic and may seek a quiet dark environment.

 Migraine Symptoms Eyes

2.  Migraine with aura:

A migraine with aura is also called classical migraine. The attack is characterized by a binocular visual aura in the central visual field and typically lasts 5-30 minutes.

The aura may present as a negative scotoma and is left unrecognized by the patient.

Associated positive symptoms include scintillating scotoma (zig-zag or fortification spectra), and heat haze. Full recovery of vision in 30 minutes is typical.

Other forms of aura include paresthesia, weakness, or disturbance of speech.

Headache follows the aura and is usually hemi cranial and on the side opposite to hemianopia accompanied by nausea and photophobia.



The international Headache Society criterion:

The following criteria are followed for the diagnosis of migraine with aura. The presence of three out of four of the following strongly suggests migraine with aura.

·       One or more fully reversible aura indication focal cerebral cortical or brainstem lesion.

·       At least one aura symptom develops gradually over longer than 4 minutes, one or more symptoms occurs in succession.

·    No single aura lasts longer than 60 minutes.

·      Headache follows the aura within 60 minutes but may begin before or during the aura.

What are other types of headaches?

These includes

  • Tension headache: This is a band-like headache, in a band-like pattern. The regions include the forehead, temple, and back of the head.
  • Cluster headache: It is typically around the eye or behind the eye.
  • Sinus headache: Sinus headache is in the cheek area, forehead, or inside the nasal cavity.
  • Spinal headache: Patients seeking spinal anesthesia for certain surgical procedures might experience a spinal headache.

What are the triggers of migraine?

There are many triggers of migraine, some of them are

  • Food: Certain food products include caffeine, coffee, and alcohol.
  • Whether change: Some people might experience more episodes of migraine during the cold season when the head and neck are uncovered.
  • Hormonal changes: Changes in hormones in women can trigger migraine such as estrogen. The hormones changes during the menstrual cycle and with menopause.
  • Stress: Stressful condition is one of the most common triggering factors of migraine.
  • Sleep pattern: Changes in sleep patterns or deprivation of enough sleep can cause migraine.
  • Long duration of empty stomach: Fasting or staying hungry for a prolonged duration can be a source of migraine in some individuals.
  • Sensory stimulus: Strong smells like the smell of perfume, the smell of petroleum, or smoke can trigger migraine in some people.

What are the risk factors of migraine?

  • Family history: It is one of the most common risk factors for migraine. Migraine might be running in the whole family.
  • Sex: Women are more prone to migraine.
  • Age: Migraine can occur during any age though adolescents are more prone to migraine.
  • Hormonal changes: Women experience more changes in hormones before the onset of the menstrual period or just after the onset. Some may experience changes in the pattern of migraine during pregnancy or menopause.

Migraine Treatment:

General measure: Include the elimination of conditions and agents that may precipitate the attack of migraine such as coffee, chocolate, alcohol, cheese, oral contraceptives, stress, lack of sleep, and long intervals without food.

Acute attack: Fast recovery/ acute attack may be controlled with simple analgesics or if appropriate with an anti-emetic. Patients’ refractory to analgesics may use.

  • Sumatriptan
  • Ergotamine
  • Zolmitriptans.

Occasional intravenous agents are used.

Prophylaxis: Prophylactic treatment may include drugs such as.

  • Oral propranolol
  • Flunarizine
  • Valproic acid.

What are the home remedies for migraine?

These includes

  • Relaxation: A migraine can be caused due to stress, you need to rest your mind and spend some luxury time in relaxation, or taking sleep.
  • Gentle massage of scalp: Following a gentle massage of the scalp can be a source of relieving migraine, olive oil or lavender oil can be used for this purpose.
  • Yoga: Yoga can also help relieve migraine.
  • Herbal tea: Herbal tea includes the ingredients such as ginger, amla, honey, and turmeric powder.

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Migraine can be a serious problem?

Yes, certain types of migraines can lead to permanent damage to the eye or the body,

Migraine can start suddenly without a past history?

Yes, migraine can start at any stage. Those having a strong family history are more prone to early migraines as compared to those having no history.

All unilateral headaches are migraine?

No, most of the patients with migraine present with unilateral headaches, but the rule does not apply to all patients. The location of headaches may vary from person to person.

How to stop migraine fast?

The sudden onset or acute attack of migraine is controlled with medications like ergotamine, sumatriptan, or zolmitriptan.

Migraine is a treatable condition or not?

The frequency and intensity of migraine headaches can be reduced with prophylactic medication however the full recovery of migraine is still under research.

Dr Sadia Ayaz
Dr Sadia Ayaz

I am an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon

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