While migraines are associated with headaches, there are also migraines known as ocular migraines without headache, or sometimes migraine auras without headache. While this may seem strange, they actually affect many people. In this article, we will discuss these migraines in some detail.
A migraine without headache is not only possible, but fairly common and consists of visual disturbances like those associated with migraine headaches. In migraine headaches, the headache pain usually starts within an hour of the auras. In some people, the auras occur without the headache.
Migraine auras, whether associated with headache or not, are simply visual disturbances. The details, however, vary from person to person. The disturbances may take the form of light flashes, zigzag patterns, spots, and sometimes even partial vision loss or blinds spots called scotomas. Other symptoms associated with migraines include difficulty speaking, numbness or tingling in the arms, legs or face, nausea and vomiting, light sensitivity, skin sensitivity causing pain known as cutaneous allodynia, and the most common migraine symptom, severe head pain, usually on one side.
Symptoms of migraine are similar to those associated with some very serious conditions, such as stroke or retinal tear. Because of this, it is very important to see your doctor just to be sure it isn’t something more serious. Seek immediate medical attention if you get a headache accompanied by seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, if it occurs after a head injury, you get a stiff neck, fever or ear or eye pain, or if symptoms make it difficult to engage in daily activities.
The primary cause of migraines without headache is still unknown, but there are factors that tend to trigger them for some people. Triggers include stress, hormonal changes, certain smells, bright lights, environmental changes, head trauma, fatigue, certain foods, especially foods containing certain preservatives, and some medications. Those with a family history of migraines, women, especially those going through hormonal changes or those on hormone replacement therapy or hormonal birth control.
There are a number of medications available to treat the symptoms of migraines. However, some of these medications can cause liver damage or other issues if taken in excess or for prolonged periods, so it is important not to use them more than ten days per month. If OTC pain relievers are ineffective, your doctor can prescribe Triptans such as Imitrex, Zomig, Axert, Maxalt, Relpax or Treximet, among others. If nausea or vomiting are issues, you may be prescribed anti-nausea medication such as Zofran. All of these can have side-effects too that you need to be aware of. Chiropractic care may an effective solution for you.
I hope this article has been helpful in explaining how to recognise and treat symptoms associated with migraine without a headache. In most cases, the condition is easily treated with either OTC pain relievers or prescription medications. If you experience migraine auras without headache, call us on (02) 9938 5456 to discuss your treatment options. Imagine what it would feel like being headache and migraine free!