Menorah Medical Center September 19, 2013

There are many types of migraine headaches. The two most common forms are migraine with aura, previously called “classic” or “classical migraine,” and migraine without aura, previously called “common migraine.”

Migraines with auras occur in only 15% to 20% of migraine sufferers, and men are more likely to suffer from this form than women. Migraine with aura may involve transient visual disturbances such as seeing various shapes, bright spots, flashes of light, zigzag lines, blind spots, or even a temporary loss of vision. While auras are usually visual, they also can appear as sensory, motor, or verbal disturbances. Examples may include: numbness or tingling in the face, hands, arm, or leg; disturbed sense of smell, taste, or touch; feeling mentally “fuzzy;” and speech or language problems.

Stacy Younger, MD, a Johnson County neurologist with a special interest in migraine headaches, reports that the majority of patients (approximately 80% to 85%) who are seen by health care professionals for headaches suffer from common migraine, or migraine without aura. Many people seeking treatment believe they have a sinus headache or a tension headache rather than a migraine. But, she points out, sinus and tension headaches can actually be forms of migraine headache.

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