Understanding Silent Migraine Symptoms And Triggers


Understanding Silent Migraine Symptoms And Triggers

What Is Silent Migraine?

Silent migraine, also known as acephalgic migraine, is a type of migraine that doesn’t cause a headache. Instead, they cause other symptoms that can be just as distressing. These symptoms can include migraine visual disturbances, sensory changes, and difficulty speaking. As succinctly described by Dr. Jennifer Robblee, silent migraine is basically “migraine aura without headache”

One of the most common symptoms of a silent migraine is migraine aura. Migraine aura is a temporary disturbance in vision that can include bright spots, zigzag lines, or blind spots. It can last for up to an hour and is usually followed by other symptoms.

Other symptoms of silent migraine can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue. Some people also experience difficulty speaking or confusion, which can be frightening.

Common Silent Migraine Symptoms

Silent migraine can have a variety of symptoms, but some of the most common ones include:

  • Visual disturbances are common symptoms of silent migraine. These can include bright spots or flashes of light, zigzag lines or blind spots, tunnel vision or double vision
  • Sensory changes include tingling or numbness in your face or limbs, altered sense of smell or taste, a feeling of pressure in your head or ears
  • Difficulty speaking is a potential silent migraine symptom. This can be scary, but it usually resolves on its own within a few hours.

Common Silent Migraine Triggers

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are common triggers for silent migraine. If you find that silent migraine often occur during times of stress and anxiety, it may be helpful to find ways to manage your stress and anxiety levels. It could be that anxiety is causing silent migraine for you.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes during menstruation can trigger silent migraine in some people. Keeping track of your menstrual cycle and avoiding triggers during this time may help to reduce your risk of having a silent migraine.

Certain food triggers

Some people find that certain foods can trigger migraine. Common culprits include caffeine, alcohol, and foods that contain nitrates or MSG. If you suspect that a certain food is triggering your migraine, try eliminating it from your diet and see if your symptoms improve.

Diagnosis of Silent Migraine

If you are experiencing symptoms of a silent migraine, it’s important to see your doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor will likely perform a physical exam and ask you about your symptoms and medical history.

In some cases, your doctor may order imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are important in advancing migraine medication research. If you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial, various resources can help you find relevant studies. These include clinical trial registries, research institutions, patient advocacy groups, and healthcare providers. Additionally, many trials offer compensation for participation, making it a mutually beneficial endeavor. You can find 175 studies (as of 13 June 2023) currently recruiting on this page. If you live in the USA and are using Qulipta and Ubrelvy, you may be interested in a study called COURAGE 2 that Migraine Buddy is conducting for AbbVie, answer a few questions to find out.

Treatment for Silent Migraine

There is no cure for silent migraine, but there are several treatment options that can help to manage the symptoms of silent migraine. These include:

Which Medications Can I Use To Treat Silent Migraine?

There are several types of medications that can be used to treat silent migraine, including:

  • Triptans, which are used to relieve pain and other symptoms
  • Anti-nausea medications, which can help to reduce nausea and vomiting
  • Preventive migraine medications, which are taken on a daily basis to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine.

Lifestyle changes

Making certain lifestyle changes can also help to reduce your risk of having silent migraine. Some changes you may want to consider include:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Avoiding triggers, such as stress and certain foods

Alternative therapies

Some people find that alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or biofeedback, can help to reduce their migraine symptoms. Talk to your doctor about whether these therapies may be right for you.

Coping Strategies for Silent Migraine

Living with silent migraine can be challenging, but there are several coping strategies that can help. These include:

Keep a migraine diary

Keeping a migraine diary like Migraine Buddy can help you to identify your triggers and patterns. Write down when your migraine occur, what symptoms you experience, and any potential triggers.

Practice relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, can help to reduce your stress levels and prevent migraine.

Find support

Talking to others who have migraine can be helpful. Join a support group or talk to friends and family members who understand what you’re going through.

Silent Migraine vs. Regular Migraine: What’s the Difference?

Silent migraine and regular migraine can be difficult to tell apart, but there are some key differences. The main difference is that silent migraine don’t cause a headache, while regular migraine do.

Some other differences include:

  • Silent migraine are more common in women than men, while regular migraine are equally common in both sexes.
  • Silent migraine may be more difficult to diagnose, since there is no headache to use as a symptom.

Frequently Asked Questions About Silent Migraine

Can silent migraine be prevented?

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent migraine, making certain lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise and avoiding triggers, can help to reduce your risk of having a silent migraine.

Is silent migraine dangerous?

Silent migraine is usually not dangerous, but it can be frightening and debilitating. If you are experiencing symptoms of a silent migraine, it’s important to see your doctor for an evaluation.

Can silent migraine be treated?

Yes, there are several treatment options that can help to manage your migraine symptoms, including medications, lifestyle changes, and alternative therapies.

Living with Silent Migraine

Living with silent migraine can be challenging, but there are several things you can do to manage your symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms of a silent migraine, it’s important to see your doctor for an evaluation and to explore your treatment options.

Remember to keep a migraine diary, practice relaxation techniques, and find support when you need it. With the right care and management, you can learn to live well with silent migraine.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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