Migraine: Symptoms, Types, and Treatment

Migraine headaches are a result of specific changes within the brain, causing severe head pain often accompanied by sensitivity to light, sound, or smells. This article provides essential information on migraine symptoms, types, triggers, and treatment options.

Migraine Symptoms and Types

Common symptoms include eye pain, sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, vomiting, and severe throbbing head pain, often on one side. Migraines can manifest in various types:

  1. Common Migraine: 80% of migraines, without aura.
  2. Classic Migraine: With aura before the headache, more severe.
  3. Silent Migraine: Without head pain but with aura.
  4. Hemiplegic Migraine: Mimicking stroke symptoms.
  5. Retinal Migraine: Temporary vision loss in one eye.
  6. Chronic Migraine: Lasts over 15 days per month for three consecutive months.
  7. Status Migrainosus: Constant migraine lasting over 72 hours.

Causes and Triggers of Migraine

While the exact cause is unknown, changes in neurotransmitter levels, especially calcitonin gene-related protein (CGRP), play a role. Migraine attacks can be triggered by hormonal changes, stress, strong stimuli, certain foods, and more.


Typical clinical signs and symptoms aid in diagnosing migraines. Keeping a headache diary can help identify individual triggers.

Treatment of Migraine

Migraine treatment involves lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications, and prescription drugs. Triptans, such as sumatriptan and rizatriptan, effectively treat acute migraines. Newer options like lasmiditan, ubrogepant, and rimegepant offer alternatives.

Preventative Medications

For chronic migraines, CGRP receptor antagonists like erenumab, fremanezumab, galcanezumab, and eptinezumab are injected periodically. Oral versions include rimegepant and atogepant. Botox injections every three months are also used for chronic migraine.

Lifestyle Changes

Adopting a healthy diet, regular exercise, and identifying and avoiding trigger foods can reduce migraine frequency. Stress management techniques, including exercises like yoga, may also help.

Frequency and Demographics

Up to 25% of people may experience migraines, with a higher prevalence in females. Genetic predisposition and a strong family history are common among migraine sufferers.


Migraine headaches, with their diverse symptoms and triggers, require a comprehensive approach to treatment. While medications play a crucial role, lifestyle changes and preventative measures are equally essential in managing this debilitating condition. Seeking medical guidance and maintaining open communication with healthcare providers are vital for effective migraine management.

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