Imagine discovering that you were suffering from a headache, though you were not experiencing any headache pain? Sometimes, people who are experience odd unexplained symptoms are found to be afflicted with what is often called a silent migraine. Silent migraines are known by other names such as migraine auras without headache, ocular migraines or painless migraines.
The signs of this atypical headache are similar to those a person may experience at the start of a typical migraine, but they are never joined by headache pain. A silent migraine may be accompanied by visual migraine symptoms, such as seeing flashing lights off to one side, feeling dizzy or experiencing tingling or numbness in their fingers. Sometimes people even have trouble talking, or suffer pain in odd places on their faces. These unusual symptoms are more often found in older women rather then young, and they are even rarer in men.
The main problem with silent migraines is that these symptoms can be incorrectly attributed to other ailments. Without the symptom of headache pain, it is difficult for many health care providers to identify headache as the source of the difficulty.
As an example, many symptoms experienced with painless migraines are similar to typical stroke indicators. Patients have been misdiagnosed because doctors thought the patient suffered a minor stroke. These symptoms can also be attributed to seizures or serious vision problems. It is no surprise, given the symptoms, that doctors look first to these more serious conditions. You should allow your doctor to do whatever tests they feel are necessary to eliminate more serious health issues. They may order a CT scan, an MRI, blood tests and possibly an eye examination. Once these tests are completed, if everything comes back negative it is time to point your health care provider in a different direction.
The first step in working with your health care provider to identify silent migraines as the cause of your symptoms is to explain your family history. Migraine sufferers typically have immediate family members who also suffer with migraine headaches. Carefully describe your symptoms to your doctor, and show the similarity to those associated with migraines. If you have had multiple episodes , that should also go a long way to convincing them that you are indeed suffering from a painless migraine.
Treatment of silent migraines is generally the same as for regular migraines. The same medications are used, including medications used to try to prevent a migraine from coming once the aura has begun. Injections and nasal sprays
are better forms of medication because they provide relief more quickly.