When symptoms of a migraine creep up but you don’t have the telltale head pain, you may be confused. Here’s how to figure out what’s going on with Dr. Rohit Gupta, Migraine Specialist in Faridabad.
Before diving into silent migraines, it’s important to know about what a migraine is—a severe, often one-sided, headache that pulsates or throbs. They often last two to four hours, and people typically also experience sensitivity to light, sound, and motion. Some people might deal with nausea or vomiting, too, along with these things migraines hurt besides your head.
What is a silent migraine?
Not every migraine is obvious. In fact, there are some surprising signs of an impending attack. And while a “silent migraine” isn’t an official medical term, patients sometimes use it to describe when they get a migraine aura (more on that in a minute) but don’t suffer from the accompanying head pain, explains Dr. Rohit Gupta, Chairmain of Neurosciences at Accord Superspeciality Hospital, Faridabad.
Understanding a migraine aura
About one-quarter of migraine sufferers experience an aura—a visual, sensory, or speech disturbance—before their migraine. You may see spots, lights, or zigzags, feel numbness or tingling in one arm, or have trouble speaking. About a half-hour later, the traditional unilateral head pain known as a migraine typically hits.
The bright side: it’s usually temporary
It’s a relief to know that auras are only temporary and the symptoms disappear within an hour. Very rarely though, some people may suffer from continuous auras. That may mean you have them throughout the day or they stick around longer than the norm, explains Dr. Rohit Gupta. If you experience other symptoms such as weakness, vision loss, or numbness, these are some signs your headache could be something worse and may require going to the doctor more
Migraines don’t keep the status quo
One reason migraines can be so perplexing to treat is that they differ so much from patient to patient. And they can even evolve. “Migraines are all over the board. No two are alike, even within the same person; migraines change throughout their life,” says , the Best Migraine Specialist in Faridabad.
Just because your migraine is over doesn’t mean you have total relief. Following a migraine, you may also have what are called postdrome symptoms. “The day after a migraine, while you may not have much of a headache, you may feel hungover, washed out, or can’t think as sharp,” explains Dr. Rohit Gupta. This phase may be another facet of a “silent.
How to treat a silent migraine
How often do they appear? How much do they affect your quality of life? “If they’re infrequent, short, and non-disabling. If they are persistent, you may benefit from preventative migraine drugs, but they won’t help everyone, he says. He adds that in some instances, off-label use of anti-epileptic medications may work because they stabilize the function of brain cells.
Get the right care
Only half of migraine sufferers get an actual diagnosis, and only half of those are prescribed treatment by their physician, Dr. Rohit Gupta, , the Best Migraine Specialist in Faridabad points out. Your primary care physician is a great person to start with, but you’ll probably need to see a headache specialist. A headache clinic, a neurologist specializing in headache management, or even a general neurologist can help.