Silent migraines

I have started suffering from silent migraines, despite having never experienced a migraine with headache in my life. I have had three silent migraine episodes in the last two months. Is there any treatment for silent migraines? The symptoms are awful and leave me incapable of working for the rest of the day, but when I describe what I'm suffering as a "migraine without the headache" people think I'm making it up.

1 January 0001

Silent migraines may sound like a contradiction in terms, but they are very real. They include all the many other symptoms associated with migraine – changes to your eyesight, numbness or pins and needles, feeling or being sick, intense tiredness etc. – but without the headache. You don’t say who diagnosed you with silent migraine – if you are having severe symptoms for the first time, it is important to see a doctor to exclude other causes.

Silent migraine has similar causes to other migraines. These vary hugely from person to person, but include lack of sleep, irregular meals, stress, hormone changes, certain foods and sometimes caffeine or alcohol. Keeping a diary of diet, lifestyle and migraines can help you to pin down possible causes which you can try and avoid or at least minimise. Eating a healthy diet at regular intervals, getting regular exercise and possibly using stress-management techniques are good habits to get into whether you have migraine or not. If these aren’t helping, speak to your doctor about whether it is worth considering medication. It’s unlikely that he will recommend regular (preventive) medication if you’ve only ever had a few episodes, but some treatments used for normal migraine can also help with silent migraine.
Answered by Dr Sarah Jarvis.


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