What Does “Silent Migraine” Refer to?

By Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Table of Contents

Share:

Migraine is a common neurological disorder characterized by severe, recurring headaches. The pain of a migraine can be severe, with a throbbing pain that can feel as though it is coming from all over the head, or more localized in one part of the head.

The term “migraine” refers to the specific type of headache that result from an increase in cranial pressure known as a migraine attack. Pain may accompany this type of headache, but it is not its sole symptom.

Migraine involves an increase in blood flow to the brain and other parts of the head. Doctors use different terms for these types of headaches.

There are many different types of medicine for treating migraines. Some medicines are available over the counter (OTC), while others require a doctor’s prescription.

Many people have migraine headaches once every week or two weeks, while others have them more often than that. In some cases, however, there may be more than one type of migraine attack within a short period of time.

Some people experience migraines without any accompanying pain. For those who do experience both symptoms, the severity of the headache can range from mild to severe in terms of how much it affects their lives.

Migraine headaches often cause intense throbbing or pulsating pain that can make it difficult to focus or concentrate on things like reading or watching TV. The pain is usually felt on one side of the head and may radiate out across the scalp. This can make it difficult for people with migraines to sleep well at night because their brains are busy trying to find positions that will relieve the pressure on their skull from this pounding headache.

But silent migraine, or migraine aura without headache, is another type of aura where the patient only suffers from the aura symptoms but no headache at all.

What is a Silent Migraine?

A silent migraine is a form of migraine that occurs without any symptoms apart from the aura. It can be a symptom of other health issues and is often confused with other diseases.

One of the main symptoms of silent migraine is nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. The pain can spread across the entire head or just in one part of the head (such as behind one eye).

One theory suggests that the patient is feeling a headache during a silent migraine, but it may manifest as neck pain or a pins and needles sensation on the face.

Risk Factors for Silent Migraine

  •  Female gender
  • During menopause, pregnancy, or menstruation (a sudden hormonal shift in the body),
  • age greater than 18 years
  • A family history

Migraine Triggers

  • Mental instability: stress, depression. Anxiety
  • Hormonal changes-menstruation, pregnancy
  • Environmental changes: weather, loud sounds, bright lights.
  • Food-chocolate, cheese, salty food, caffeine
  • Sleep

Symptoms of Silent Migraine

A silent migraine attack is when the person has no signs or symptoms of an attack but still feels sick. It’s not dangerous, but it’s uncomfortable.

The silent migraine still follows the four phases of migraine.

The Prodromal Phase

This phase is characterized by the pre-symptoms of migraine. The patient may be

  • Yawning
  • Muscular pain
  • Fatigue
  • difficulty seeing light and hearing noises
  • food cravings
  • Confusion
  • Mood changes
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Increases micturition frequency

Aura

Most of the time, individuals will experience an aura. The patient may follow any type of aura.

  • Visual aura-sparkles/zig-zag lines
  • Hearing changes-ringing ears/
  • Muscle changes—jerky/tremors
  • Sensory changes—pins and needles, sweaty

Headache Phase

Instead of a headache, the patient will experience nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.

This phase might last for 3 days in some patients.

Postdrome Phase

It is difficult to identify the prodrome from the headache phase. The patient usually feels fatigued and confused.

Diagnosis

The first step in treating silent migraines is to determine whether there are any underlying conditions that may be causing your symptoms.

If you have a history of aneurysms or bleeding in the brain, then it’s important to rule out these pathologies by talking with your doctor about your symptoms and getting treatment for any underlying conditions as soon as possible.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms for the first time, it’s also important to do the following investigations.

  • CT brain.
  • MRI brain
  • Blood investigation (? infection)
  • Lumbar puncture

If you think you may have a silent migraine, talk with your doctor about how they would like to treat it and what kind of follow-up care they recommend.

Treating Silent Migraine

There are four essential steps to treating migraines. These include behavioral changes, home remedies, pain relievers, and preventer medications.

Changing Behavior

Avoid triggers

First, of all, when treating migraine, you must avoid triggers and use a headache diary to note down the triggers, frequency, duration, and reliever medication of each episode of migraine.

Stress

Stress management is essential to avoid triggering migraines. Relaxation techniques and breathing exercises may be helpful to control stress.

Yoga

Yoga is a great way to relieve the stress of everyday life. It’s also a great way to relieve headaches, but not all yoga poses are created equal.

If you’re suffering from a migraine, it’s important to be careful with your practice and make sure you’re doing the right poses. Yoga can help reduce pain and inflammation, but if you end up in a particularly intense pose, it can lead to nausea or dizziness.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy for migraine headaches is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the ways in which stress and anxiety can cause migraines.

The goal is to help patients learn to recognize and deal with their thoughts, feelings and behaviors related to stress and anxiety.

Home Remedies

If you have a migraine, it’s easy to feel like there’s nothing you can do to make it better. But we’re here to tell you that there are some simple home remedies that can help!

Keep Hydrated

Try drinking warm water with lemon juice in it. This is especially good if you have an attack right before bedtime when your body has been dehydrated since the day before.

Get Some Rest

Rest helps reduce the severity of your migraine by allowing your body time to recover from being overused (which causes more headaches).

Wear sunglasses to block out light and help reduce sensitivity to light.

Rest, don’t stress

Take an Epsom salt bath or shower: The magnesium sulfate in these baths will help relieve muscle tension and reduce inflammation in your head area.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

You can drink caffeine in a low amount (65 mg).

Cold Compression

Apply cool compresses to your temples to relieve pain and inflammation.

Hot Compression

Try a warm compress on the back of your neck and shoulders, too! This can help relieve muscle tightness in your neck, which is a common trigger of migraines.

Medications

If you’re a person with migraines, there’s a good chance that your headaches can relive by early intake of medication. That’s because medication can interact with the body in ways that make your migraines worse.

There are many different types of medications that can cause migraines, but here are some of the most common:

Pain Killers

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

NSAID: Naproxen (Aleve), Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)

Excedrin: acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine

Preventers

  • Beta-blockers ( Ativan)
  • Anticonvulsants (Topiramate, Valporatae Na)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants ( Elavil)
  • Botox injections
  • CGRP antagonists (erenumab, fremanezumab)
  • Calcium channel blockers (diltiazem, verapamil)

How to Reduce Migraine Frequency?

Migraine is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s also a disease that can be prevented and managed with the right approach.

Submit Good Night’s Sleep

Migraines are often triggered by poor sleep, so getting enough rest is an important part of managing your migraines.

Make sure to schedule in some time for relaxing activities, such as yoga or reading while lying down in bed or on the couch.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise not only helps prevent migraines, but can also help boost your mood and improve overall health.

You can start small by taking a walk around the block or going for a walk with your dog at lunchtime, just make sure to keep it short enough that you don’t overdo it!

Avoid Foods that Trigger Your Migraines

Foods like dairy products, caffeine, and alcohol may seem like harmless treats, but they can actually trigger migraines in some people, especially those who suffer from other allergies or sensitivities to these types of foods.

If you have a food allergy or sensitivity, avoiding these foods will help reduce symptoms of migraine attacks. Keeping a low, but consistent, caffeine intake and avoiding alcohol and tobacco too plays a role in preventing migraine.

 Stress Management

Avoiding certain types of social situations and setting healthy boundaries to manage stress is important to live happily.

Relaxation, meditation, and breathing techniques too can help to reduce stress.

When to See the Doctor

Migraines are caused by changes in the blood vessels in your brain. This causes them to become inflamed, which leads to severe headaches.

The pain is usually throbbing or pulsating and may last anywhere from several hours to several days. During this time, people will often feel nauseous, exhausted, or depressed.

If you are experiencing any of these new symptoms during a migraine attack, it’s important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.

  • Fever
  • Weakness of body
  • Slurring of speech
  • Chest pain
  • Acute onset of headache

You should also avoid activities that trigger migraines (including eating certain foods) until your doctor has ruled out other causes for your symptoms such as stroke, meningitis, cardiac event, etc.

TAKE A FREE ONLINE ASSESSMENT TO SEE IF ANXIETY TREATMENT IS RIGHT FOR YOU.

TeleHealthDoc articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Dr. Pallavi Sharma is one of Melbourne’s best, well respected cosmetic doctors and aims to provide longstanding anti-aging benefits for her clients. With over 11 years experience in Performing cosmetic procedures, Dr. Sharma has lectured medical professionals regarding cosmetic treatments and is heavily involved in providing up to date cosmetic treatments to her clients and friends.
Related articles