Just like conventional migraines, the causes of silent migraine are not well known

Silent migraines when they come with aura symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed with other serious conditions like strokes

We usually identify migraine as severe, repetitive, throbbing pain that might come along with other symptoms such as nausea, neck pain, sensitivity to certain sounds and lights, and others. A migraine is much more disturbing than a headache and is distressing enough to interfere in day to day lives of people affected by the condition. It is natural for us to associate pain with migraines. However, it might sound strange but yes there can be migraine without pain. Such migraines are also called silent migraines. Unlike the usual ones, pain is not present but they might come with other symptoms such as upset stomach, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Just like conventional migraines, the causes of silent migraines are not well known. However, their triggers could be the same as that of migraines with pain.

Understanding migraines

Migraine can be with aura when there might be some warning symptoms right before the onset of the condition. It can also be without aura where the condition might affect you suddenly. Silent migraines might or might not come with aura. There are usually four phases of migraine, in the prodrome phase, the affected person will develop warning symptoms such as irritability, muscle stiffness, food cravings, sensitivity to light and sound, frequent urge to urinate and other symptoms. Around 20-25 per cent of people might experience aura symptoms in migraine which might include numbness or tingling sensation in parts of the body, and temporary visual disturbances such as loss of sight or flashing lights. Usually, people with migraine might go through a headache phase that could last from 4 to 72 hours. Migraines that happen without pain might not have this phase. The last phase is often a migraine hangover or the postdrome phase which is experienced by 80 per cent of the people suffering from the condition. In this phase, a person might experience body aches, fatigue, dizziness, euphoria or depression.

How can be silent migraines so tricky?

Silent migraines can appear strange to both the patient and the doctor owing to them coming without pain. Like migraines, they too can be triggered by various physical, environmental and psychological factors. Also, silent migraines if they especially come with aura symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed with other serious conditions like mini strokes, strokes and meningitis. You might also be asked to go for an urgent CT scan, MRI scan, blood tests and other relevant examinations to rule out other conditions. Sometimes, they might be taken as epilepsy. As per some health experts, migraine aura without pain can be very scary especially when they might happen for the first time because of sudden visual disturbances, alterations in colour perception and other problems. They might occur as an isolated event or can be repetitive and might usually last for not more than 60 minutes.

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