21 common symptoms of silent migraine
Symptoms of silent migraines include:
- Blurry vision
- Flashing lights
- Light sensitivity
- Zigzag lines
- Vision loss
- Tingling sensation
- Difficulty speaking
- Slurred speech
- Abdominal pain
TIAs, also called ministrokes, have symptoms similar to silent migraines, such as muscular weakness on one side of the body, disorientation, and vision problems. The main difference is that migraine aura symptoms begin gradually and worsen over time, whereas TIA symptoms are observed all at once.
What causes silent migraines?
Researchers believe that migraine auras are triggered by abnormalities in electrical activity, called cortical spreading depression. These abnormalities occur in the cerebral cortex, a portion of the brain that regulates perceptions and movements. Causes and risk factors may include:
- Sensory triggers, such as strong smells, bright lights, or loud noises
- Certain foods, especially salty, processed, and fermented foods
- Food additives
- Physical exertion
- Medications, especially oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Changes in hormone levels, such as during menstruation or menopause
- Eye strain
- Too much or too little sleep
- Change in atmospheric pressure
- Change in temperature
- Neck strain
- Family history of migraines
What are the treatment options for silent migraine?
There is no cure for migraine. However, silent migraine episodes may resolve on their own even without treatment. If symptoms persist, the following techniques may be advised:
- Lying down in a darkened room
- Placing a cold compress on the forehead
- Massaging the scalp and temples
Medications for silent migraine may include:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonists
- Botulinum toxin (Botox)
- Medications such as beta-blockers
- According to the American Migraine Foundation, some small studies have reported some success with the use of magnesium, aspirin and lamotrigine to treat the symptoms of silent migraine
Alternative therapies for silent migraine may include:
Can you prevent silent migraines?
Preventive tips for silent migraine include:
- Keeping a diary to help you identify migraine triggers
- Avoiding foods and drinks that can trigger a flare-up (monosodium glutamate, cheese, cured meats, chocolate, and artificial sweeteners)
- Relaxation techniques to minimize stress (yoga, breathing exercises, journaling, art therapy, or exercise)
- Getting adequate sleep
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Silent migraines can have a negative influence on the quality of life, particularly if they are severe or occur regularly. Although silent migraines do not cause pain, the accompanying symptoms can be severe. Consult a doctor for guidance and treatment if you are experiencing silent migraine symptoms.
WebMD. Silent Migraines. https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/what-are-silent-migraines
American Migraine Foundation. Aura without Headache or “Silent Migraine”: A Guide. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/silent-migraine/
Robert T. Acephalgic or Silent Migraine: The Essentials. Headache Warriors. https://migrainewarriors.org/essentials/descriptive-migraine-terms/acephalgic-silent-migraine-essentials/
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What Is Happening in the Brain During a Migraine?During a migraine, some chemicals in the brain become more active, which send out confusing signals that result in headaches.
What Is the Best Thing to Do for a Migraine?There is no permanent cure for migraine headaches, but there are migraine treatments that can prevent attacks and relieve symptoms. When you get migraines, you can ease the pain immediately by simple measures such as resting with your eyes closed in a dark, quiet room, putting an ice pack on your forehead, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids.
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