Conditions A-Z - Vascular Headaches and Migraines
Vascular headaches, a group that includes migraines, are thought to involve abnormal function of the brain's blood vessels or vascular system.
The most common type of vascular headache is migraine - headaches that are usually characterized by the following:
- severe pain on one or both sides of the head
- nausea and/or vomiting
- disturbed vision and intolerance to light
The symptoms of migraine headaches may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
The two most common types of migraines are "classic" migraines and "common" migraines:
The following are other types of migraines:
- hemiplegic migraine - symptoms include temporary paralysis on one side of the body (hemiplegia), vision problems, and vertigo, which begin 10 to 90 minutes before the onset of headache pain.
- ophthalmoplegic migraine - symptoms include pain around the eye, sometimes with a droopy eyelid, double vision, and other sight problems.
- basilar artery migraine - involving a disturbance of a major brain artery, this type occurs most often in adolescent and young adult women, and is often associated with a woman's menstrual cycle. Pre-headache symptoms may include the following:
- double vision
- poor muscular coordination
- benign exertional headache - brought on by running, lifting, coughing, sneezing, or bending, this headache begins at the onset of activity, with pain rarely lasting for more than several minutes.
- status migrainosus - a rare and severe type of migraine that can last 72 hours or longer. Pain and nausea with this headache are often so intense that hospitalization may be necessary.
- headache-free migraine - a condition that has no head pain, but has other migraine symptoms, such as visual problems, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.
The second most common type of vascular headache is a toxic headache. Toxic headaches are often produced by a fever that comes with conditions such as pneumonia, measles, mumps, and tonsillitis, as well as the presence of foreign chemicals in the body.
Other kinds of vascular headaches include cluster headaches and headaches caused by a rise in blood pressure.
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