Migraine diagnosis and treatment
Although there is currently no cure for migraines, a number of treatment options are available to help you cope with the condition.
Once you’re diagnosed with migraines, your doctor will help you determine which treatments are right for you. This will depend on the type, frequency and severity of your headaches, as well as your individual medical history and any pre-existing conditions.(1)
Every person is different and what works for one migraine sufferer may not be effective for another – so there may be a bit of trial and error before you find the best medicine or treatment to control your migraines.
What are the migraine types?
Migraine without aura is the most common type of migraine headache, but there are other types of migraines which you may need to be aware of.
Migraine with aura vs Migraine with aura
The most common types of migraines are categorized as migraine with or without aura.1 However, 70% to 90% of people with migraine experience a migraine without aura. Migraine without aura is typically characterized by pain, sensitivity to light or sound, and nausea. (2)
People who experience ‘migraine with aura’ will have many of these same symptoms but also experience visual, sensory, or speech and language disturbances before the onset of head pain. (3)
Episodic vs Chronic migraine
Migraines can also be classified as episodic or chronic. Episodic migraines are defined as those associated with less than 15 headache days per month. If you have more than 15 headaches per month (and at least eight of those days feature headaches with migraine symptoms) for more than three months, you may be suffering with a chronic migraine. (4)
This means that people who experience chronic migraine have a migraine or headache more often than not. It is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing chronic migraines. Your doctor can recommend a plan to avoid worsening chronic headache by overusing medications – and can also talk to you about the preventative medications, if appropriate. (5)
A retinal migraine is a rare condition characterized by visual disturbances that occur in one eye, and are typically associated with temporary vision loss or blindness. (6)
The headache phase usually occurs during or within 60 minutes of the visual symptoms. It is important to distinguish retinal migraines from ‘migraine with aura’, as treatment and medical counselling for these two conditions are different. (6)