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    What Are Silent Migraines?

    It seems odd to call a silent migraine a "headache." What makes this neurological disorder different from the migraines most people think of is that you don't get the usual pain. Even without it though, the other symptoms can be unsettling and can disrupt your normal day.

    Your doctor can prescribe medications and devices to prevent silent migraines and treat their symptoms. Taking good care of yourself and avoiding your triggers will help, too.


    A silent, or acephalgic, migraine can have symptoms of any phase of a migraine -- but without the classic pain around your temples.

    During the prodrome, the phase that warns you a migraine is coming, you could:

    • Get "hyper" or cranky
    • Have food cravings
    • Be fatigued and yawn more
    • Feel stiff, especially your neck
    • Need to pee more often
    • Get constipated or have diarrhea

    The aura phase usually lasts about an hour. It's best known for its unusual visual symptoms, such as seeing:

    • Wavy or jagged lines
    • Flashing lights
    • Dots or spots in your vision
    • Blind spots
    • Tunnel vision

    But it can also affect your other senses, movement, and speech.

    • Trouble hearing, or hearing things that aren't there
    • Strange smells or tastes
    • Numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles feeling
    • Weakness
    • Difficulty remembering or saying a word

    Even though your head doesn't hurt, this headache may affect your body in other ways.

    Afterward, many people are wiped out and have the blahs for as long as a day.

    Not all migraines follow the same pattern. Even for the same person, migraines can be unpredictable.

    Pain and Aura Causes

    Researchers are now looking at the aura and the pain as two distinct things.

    In the past, experts thought migraines were mainly a problem with blood flow in your brain: Blood vessels in the brain expand, and the swelling activates pain pathways in the nervous system. Now they believe the headaches involve the way nerve cells are firing in your brain and how that activity relates to the blood flow.

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