Chronic Silent Migraine: Causes, Treatments, and Medications

Chronic Silent Migraine: Causes, Treatments, and Medications

Silent migraines are different types of migraine than usual form - they do not cause pain. As migraine is related to pain, you must be thinking – that how does a migraine happen? But silent migraines have other symptoms, which include - weakness, blurry vision, numbness, vision loss, increased sensitivity to light and sound, etc.

Migraine is now a widespread issue. According to a study in 2015 - more than 14 percent of adults in the United States went through severe headaches and pain within the last three months.

Although we are talking about silent migraines, the treatments are quite similar to other migraines.
We are going to explore in more detail - the symptoms of silent migraine and treatments in this article.
silent migraines

Silent Migraine Symptoms:

In most migraines, pain is a common thing. Silent migraines are not responsible for pain, but the signs of silent migraines are quite similar to the other ones.

There are two phases of Silent Migraines - the Prodrome phase and the Aura phase. And both of them have their symptoms.

The Prodrome Phase:

It occurs before the beginning of a migraine and might begin a few days or just a few hours before it. Common symptoms are -

  • Stiffness in the muscles
  • Increased sensitivity to sound and light
  • Difficulty in speaking or reading
  •  Nausea
  •  Difficulty in sleeping
  •  Extreme tiredness
  •  Difficulty in concentrating


The prodrome phase does not always occur before every migraine attack

The Aura Phase:

A very less percentage of people with migraine experience the Aura phase, which is only 20-25 percent. Aura symptoms of silent migraines do not involve headache, but it does include:

  •  Numbness in certain parts of the body
  •  Temporary vision loss
  •   Few visual disturbances


These symptoms usually build up slowly and can stay up to an hour or more.

The Headache Phase:

In the headache phase, the pain can last from 4-72 hours. People with silent migraines don't encounter this problem - as discussed earlier. But they experience other symptoms such as:

  • Depression or stress
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Vomiting
  • Increased sensitivity to smell, light or sound
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the neck or stiffness


The Postdrome Phase

The Postdrome phase is experienced by a large number of people who have migraines - approximately 80 percent. The Postdrome phase occurs after the headache phase, and it may last from 24-48 hours. The symptoms are -

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Depression
  • Wooziness
  • Extreme tiredness

Causes of Silent Migraines

Although the exact cause of migraines is yet to be found, environmental or genetic factors might be the source.
A change in brain chemicals, such as serotonin, or abnormal brain activity affecting nerves and blood vessels might also be the cause.
Factors that may trigger a migraine attack are:

  • Particular foods
  • Weather change
  • Caffeine or Alcohol
  • Changes in hours of sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Use of particular medicines
  • Extreme physical effort

Risk Factors of Silent Migraines


The factors discussed below enlarge the risk of migraines, including silent migraines.
Sex - According to the World Health Organization (WHO), women are up to three times more likely to suffer from migraine than men. The cause for this is the fluctuations in female hormones. Moreover, the risk of migraine runs high during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause
Family history - Migraines are hereditary. People may inherit migraine from their ancestors.
Age - Age is also a factor in migraine risk. People between the age range 35-45 have the highest possibility to develop a migraine. It may also affect younger people sometimes.

Types of Migraine


There are also other types of migraines -

Migraine without aura - The name describes itself, and the migraine does not include an aura
Migraine with aura - The symptoms of aura are evident in this type of migraine.
Basilar migraine - Basilar migraine is quite rare, and also, dangerous. The symptoms may include - blurry vision, fainting, loss of balance, etc.
Hemiplegic migraine - A Hemiplegic migraine may cause temporary paralysis/numbness on one side of the body.
Ophthalmologic migraine - Mostly, young people are affected by this type of migraine. It causes weakness in the muscles that move the eye.
Vestibular migraine - A vestibular migraine may cause a person to experience vertigo ( A sensation of dizziness).

Diagnosis


Symptoms and medical history are examined at first when it comes to diagnosing. Neurological or Physical examinations might also be carried out.
In the case of unusual or severe symptoms, additional tests below might be carried out:

  • Blood test
  • Spinal tap
  • Imaging tests


When experiencing aura symptoms, it is essential to consult with a doctor.

Silent Migraines Treatments:


Treatments are a way to reduce the severity of the migraine. Treatments include :

Medications
Medicines that relieve migraine are:
Pain relievers: Pain relievers are effective in stopping migraine symptoms, but it is necessary to take a prescription from a professional.
Preventive drugs: These are mainly taken for reducing the risk of developing a migraine and are only prescribed by a doctor when the pain relievers fail to stop the symptoms.

Getting enough sleep at night may also help to relieve migraine.

Silent Migraines Home Remedies


There are several home remedies that might actually work -

  • Practicing Yoga, muscle relaxation or other relaxation techniques.
  • Resting in a quiet, peaceful place when the symptoms show up
  • Alternative medicine
  • Keeping an ice pack on the back of the neck
  • Massaging painful areas

Alternative therapies for migraine -
Acupuncture - Acupuncture has proved to be an effective way in relieving migraine, and a small number of studies actually show it.
Biofeedback - Biofeedback is a non-medicine treatment, where the patient learns to control their blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, etc.
Massage therapy - Massage is also handy when it comes to relieving migraine and reduce stress.

Migraine Management and prevention


A small change in your lifestyle might help prevent migraine symptoms. You can try :
  • Exercising regularly, but avoiding intense exercise which might in turn trigger migraine
  • Maintaining a healthy sleep-cycle
  • Maintaining a balanced body weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding certain things that trigger a migraine for you

Conclusion:

Silent migraines may put a significant impact on a person's quality of life. Although they do not cause pain, the symptoms may be deteriorating your health.

Lifestyle changes and medications discussed above can keep the symptoms in control. Migraine usually becomes less of a problem with age, for some people.

You should see a doctor if you have symptoms matching any migraine, and seek advice, guidance, and proper treatment.

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