Types of Headaches
A migraine is a type of vascular headache characterized by severe pain felt on one, and sometimes both, sides of the head. Besides pain, people with migraine headaches may have nausea and vomiting, and may be very sensitive to light and sound (see Migraine Symptoms).
There are actually several different types of migraines. The two most common types are migraines with aura and migraines without aura. During a migraine with aura, a person has visual symptoms (also called an "aura") 10 minutes to 30 minutes before an attack. During a migraine without aura, a person does not have an aura, but does have the other migraine symptoms.
Several other less common types of migraine headaches include:
- Hemiplegic migraines
- Opthalmoplegic migraines
- Basilar artery migraines
- Benign exertional headaches
- Status migrainosus
- A migraine aura without a headache
- Abdominal migraines.
(Click Types of Migraines to learn more about these different migraine types.)
Cluster headaches are another type of vascular headache known for their extreme pain and their pattern of occurring in "clusters," usually at the same time(s) of the day for several weeks (see Symptoms of a Cluster Headache).
Nearly a million Americans have cluster headaches. Most people who have cluster headaches are men, usually smokers. Cluster headaches usually start between the ages of 20 and 40, although the syndrome can also start in childhood or late in life.
There are two types of cluster headaches, episodic cluster headaches and chronic cluster headaches.