Migraines are much more than just severe headaches. They are complex and not-so-well-understood neurological disorders that can be extremely debilitating and affect millions of US adults every year. Migraines can manifest in various forms, each with its own set of symptoms and potential triggers. In this blog, we’ll explore the different types of migraines to help you better understand this complex condition.
1. Migraine Without Aura (Also Referred to as Common Migraine)
Migraine without aura, also known as common migraine, is the most prevalent type of migraine, accounting for about 70 to 75 percent of all cases. These migraines typically involve moderate to severe headache pain, usually on one side of the head. The pain can be throbbing or pulsating and may worsen with physical activity. Common accompanying symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.
2. Migraine With Aura (Also Referred to as Classic Migraine)
Migraine with aura, or classic migraine, affects approximately 25 percent of migraine sufferers. An aura is a set of visual, sensory, or motor disturbances that precede the headache phase. These disturbances can include seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots; tingling or numbness in the face or hands; and even difficulty speaking. The aura typically lasts around 20 minutes to an hour, followed by the headache phase, which shares similar characteristics with the migraine without aura.
3. Chronic Migraine
Chronic migraines are diagnosed when a person experiences a headache on 15 or more days per month for at least three months, and at least eight of those headaches are migraines. Chronic migraines can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, making it challenging to work, socialize, or engage in daily activities. Treatment for chronic migraines often involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.
4. Vestibular Migraine
Vestibular migraines are characterized by episodes of dizziness and problems with balance. These migraines may or may not involve headache pain. People with vestibular migraines can experience vertigo (a spinning sensation), unsteadiness, or problems with coordination. Vestibular migraines can be difficult to diagnose, as their symptoms often overlap with other balance disorders.
5. Hemiplegic Migraine
Hemiplegic migraines are rare but often severe migraines that lead to weakness or temporary paralysis on one side of the body, either before or during the headache phase. These migraines can also cause visual or sensory disturbances, similar to auras. Hemiplegic migraines are often mistaken for strokes due to their similar symptoms, making a proper diagnosis crucial for appropriate treatment.
6. Retinal Migraine
Retinal migraines are another rare type of migraine, characterized by temporary vision loss or blindness in one eye. This vision loss typically lasts for less than an hour and is followed by a headache. Retinal migraines are thought to be caused by reduced blood flow to the eye and may be triggered by stress, dehydration, or exposure to bright lights, among other things.
In recent years, an old drug has gained new recognition for its potential in treating a variety of conditions: Ketamine. Initially developed as an anesthetic in the 1960s, it’s now being utilized in lower doses for its unique ability to rapidly alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and chronic pain, including migraines.
Research indicates that ketamine may be particularly effective for those who haven’t responded to traditional migraine treatments. It operates in a fundamentally different way compared to most common medications: it interacts with NMDA receptors in the brain, which play a role in pain signaling and neuroplasticity. By blocking these receptors, ketamine may reduce the intensity of pain signals and potentially prevent future migraines.
In addition to its efficacy, another benefit of ketamine is the speed at which it can provide relief. While most migraine medications can take weeks to months to show their full effect, patients treated with ketamine have reported experiencing relief in as little as a few hours to a few days. This rapid response can significantly improve quality of life for individuals who suffer from debilitating migraines.
It’s important to note, though, that while ketamine shows promise in treating migraines, it’s not for everyone. Some people may experience side effects such as nausea, increased blood pressure, hallucinations, or confusion. However, when administered and monitored by a professional healthcare provider, these risks are significantly mitigated.
Navigating the world of migraines can be daunting, but there are innovative treatments out there that may be able to provide relief when traditional methods have failed. Ketamine is one such promising treatment. If you or a loved one is suffering from migraines, it’s crucial to explore all potential treatment options with a healthcare professional.
For those in the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. area, consider reaching out to Nova Health Recovery. Our team of dedicated professionals is committed to providing personalized, patient-centered care. We specialize in the safe and effective administration of ketamine for various conditions, including migraines.
Don’t let migraines control your life. Reach out to Nova Health Recovery today to learn more about how ketamine therapy might be the breakthrough treatment you’ve been searching for. The journey towards a life free from the debilitating effects of migraines starts with a single step. Take that step today.
If you are interested in learning more about ketamine for migraines treatment in Alexandria, Virginia, contact Nova Health Recovery and request your consultation today.