Episodic Or Chronic? Know The Type Of Migraine You’re Facing

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Migraines are not just simple headaches. They are more painful and are often debilitating. Although different for everyone, this health issue generally occurs in stages, from days or hours before the headache. It can last until after the attack.

Its symptoms include throbbing or pulsing pain in the head, typically on one side, along with dizziness, confusion, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sounds. Migraines are classified into types, episodic and chronic, both of which we shall delve into below.

Characteristics for both migraines

As mentioned before, migraines typically come with a throbbing or pulsing sensation that occurs only on one side of the head. Your doctor may diagnose you with migraines if you also experience the following symptoms, along with the obvious headache:

  • Being sensitive to light, sound or smell
  • Having visual issues (e.g. tunnel vision)
  • Your legs and arms feel heavy
  • Having problems speaking clearly
  • Visual hallucinations (seeing black dots, wavy lines, light flashes, things that are not there)

It is important to note that a single test does not determine migraines. To diagnose your migraine, your doctor will rely on the symptoms you have experienced, some of which are mentioned above.

Some of the most common triggers for episodic migraines include menstruation in women, weather changes, and stress.

What are the differences?

Episodic and chronic migraines essentially classify the frequency in which you experience the symptoms of a migraine.

Episodic migraines generally linger for hours, spanning several weeks to months between episodes. The migraine is considered episodic when it occurs from 0 to 14 days per month.

On the other hand, chronic migraines last longer and can occur much more frequently, usually 15 or more days a month and for at least 3 consecutive months. People with this health issue experience more headaches each month than those who only have episodic migraines.

According to a study, people with chronic migraines experience headaches lasting 24.1 hours and 65.1 hours on average with and without treatment. In comparison, episodic headaches only last an average of 12.8 hours and 38.8 hours under the same conditions.

However, most migraine occurrences rarely ever develop into chronic migraines.

Treatment options for migraines

There are plenty of migraine reliefs at home you can try, which includes applying lavender oil, adding magnesium to diet, or applying stress management techniques.

However, if they do not suffice, your doctor may recommend some over-the-counter medicine if you have episodic migraines, which you can deliver to your home via telemedicine services. The prescriptions will largely depend on the severity and frequency of your symptoms.

Certain medicines like antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, cardiovascular drugs, and pain relievers may aid in reducing the length, severity, and frequency of your headaches.

The same goes when treating the symptoms of chronic migraines. Preventing its symptoms is also possible with the aid of preventive medication.


Migraines are severe headaches that can impede normal functioning in day-to-day activities whenever they strike. Knowing what type of migraine you are experiencing helps you and your doctor determine the best treatment plan for your symptoms.

To get started with your treatment, book an online medical consultation today with the MyCLNQ app. As the best app for telehealth in Singapore, MyCLNQ lets you access all the medical services you need anywhere and anytime, such as doctor consultations, medicine e-commerce and delivery, and even private ambulance services in Singapore.

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