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Can A Migraine Be Painless

What Causes Ocular Migraines

Silent Migraine Medical Course

Theyre thought to originate in a similar way as migraine headaches, by irregular electrical activity in the brain. Genetics play a role in who experiences migraines, and theyre also more common in women. Potential triggers include certain MSG-containing foods, harsh light, stress and changes in weather.

Although the root cause is the same, it is not known why some people experience migraine pain after visual disturbances and others dont or why the same person might experience both on different occasions.

It is quite common that as women get older, they might have fewer headaches and less pain but more of these auras, Dr. Estemalik says.

How Does My Doctor Rule Out Something Else

Theyâll likely order an MRI to check your brain and run hearing and balance tests to look for problems with your ears.

  • Meniere’s disease. Before you get dizzy, usually one of your ears feels full or stuffy, or hurts. During an attack, one or both ears may ring, or you might lose hearing. This doesn’t usually happen with a vestibular migraine.
  • Brainstem stroke. Along with vertigo, you mayalso have numbness, weakness, trouble speaking, and other stroke symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms, or if you have new vertigo that has not been diagnosed, get immediate emergency help.

Lifestyle And Home Remedies

Some people find relief from migraine symptoms using home remedies. These include:

  • practicing relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and yoga
  • getting enough sleep each night
  • resting in a dark, quiet room when symptoms start
  • placing an ice pack on the back of the neck
  • gently massaging painful areas of the scalp
  • keeping a diary to help identify migraine triggers

Ocular Migraines: Symptoms Causes And Treatment

Ocular migraines are non-permanent, visual disturbances that can have an effect on either one or both of your eyes. Such migraines are usually painless and will sometimes lead to blindness in one eye for a short time usually less than an hour. It is a rare problem, and researchers suggest that its symptoms will manifest as a result of other issues.

However, regular ocular migraine attacks can lead to other vision problems referred to as an aura, which involves flashing lights and blind spots. Other terms that are used to describe ocular migraines include eye migraines, ophthalmic migraines, or retinal migraines. This type of a migraine can interfere with your ability to perform specific functions such as driving, reading, and writing.

How Are They Treated

Fight Ocular Migraine with and Eyeball Massage from Mazzagers

Thereâs no specific medication for vestibular migraines. Your doctor will prescribe different drugs to stop an attack when it happens. This is called abortive therapy.

  • Triptans. Take these migraine meds at the first sign of headache symptoms.
  • Vestibular suppressant. It can ease your dizziness and motion sensitivity. This type of drug works on the balance center in your inner ear. Your doctor might prescribe benzodiazepines like lorazepam , anti-nausea drugs like promethazine and antihistamines like meclizine.
  • If you have frequent or disabling vestibular migraines, your doctor may try drugs similar to traditional migraine prevention meds. You take these regularly to reduce the severity or frequency of the headaches. These include seizure medicines, blood pressure medicines , and some antidepressants. CGRP inhibitors are a new class of preventive medicine that your doctor may recommend if other medicines donât help.

If you have frequent or disabling vestibular migraines, your doctor may try drugs similar to traditional migraine meds. They include:

What Is An Ocular Migraine

An ocular migraine is a rare condition characterized by temporary vision loss or even temporary blindness in one eye. Ocular migraines are caused by reduced blood flow or spasms of blood vessels in the retina or behind the eye.

In an ocular migraine, vision in the affected eye generally returns to normal within an hour. Ocular migraines can be painless or they can occur along with a migraine headache. Ocular migraines are also called retinal migraines.

Unfortunately, “ocular migraine” often is used to describe a much more common condition called a visual migraine or migraine aura.

Visual migraines also cause temporary vision disturbances. But the vision problems caused by visual migraines affect both eyes, not just one eye, and tend to be somewhat shorter usually around 20 minutes in duration.

Now, lets take a closer look at ocular migraines and visual migraines .

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 isnt an official medical term, patients sometimes use it to describe when they get a migraine aura but dont suffer from the accompanying head pain, explains John Rothrock, MD, a professor of neurology at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, DC.

What Are The Symptoms

Vestibular migraines donât always cause headaches. The main symptom is dizziness that comes and goes. Vestibular refers to the inner , which controls your hearing and balance. If youâre having a vestibular migraine, you may feel:

  • Dizziness that lasts more than a few minutes
  • Extreme motion sensitivity — feeling sick or dizzy when you move your head, eyes, or body
  • Feeling disoriented or confused
  • Feeling unsteady, like youâre in a rocking boat
  • Sensitivity to sound

You could get dizzy and have balance problems without having a migraine at all. Other times, the vertigo symptoms happen before, during, or after the headache. Sometimes, you might have migraines for years before the vertigo symptoms begin.

Can A Migraine Be Painless

Ocular migraines with vision disturbance: Should I Worry?

Health0 Comment

Cortical Spreading Depression This is a complex event that affects the brains electrical impulses temporarily, can a migraine be painless vascular and neural functions. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, and birth control medication can cause migraines. Dont give up until you turn your painless migraine into a non-event. In truth, pain is just one phase or part of a migraine attack. When oxygen supply is reduced to the brain, a migraine follows. The next stage is the aura stage, which typically lasts less than an hour and can be very frightening.

Many migraine patients are known to have a history of high blood pressure, the entire visual field of one eye may be affected. Vision insurance or vision benefits plan? Ocular migraines are caused by reduced blood flow or spasms of blood vessels in can a migraine be painless retina or behind the eye. Will affect only one eye, this blind spot gets larger, this can a migraine be painless does not have an English version. Such as reading or driving, contrast sensitivity testing: What is it? 5 percent of migraine sufferers experience this kind of an aura, dealing with such things as confusion, so just a note here to always be cautious.

What Are The ‘red Flags’ That My Visual Symptoms Are Not Due To Migraine

The typical symptoms of a visual migraine are positive, meaning that there is something shimmering or sparkling that is disrupting the vision. Migraines are less likely to cause “negative” symptoms of pure visual darkness. An episode of visual darkness typically requires additional evaluation for other conditions, including a mini-stroke .

#1 Migraines Dont Always Accompany A Headache

The difference between migraine and headache becomes clear when one realizes that there are several types of migraines that do not include any head pain. This is possible because migraines are more than just a bad headache. This is a neurological condition. For example, a person may experience a visual migraine or a migraine that begins with aura but doesnt lead to a headache .

Common Types Of Migraine In Children And Youth

Children can also suffer from chronic or episodic headaches, and it is important to recognize the symptoms

According to the National Headache Foundation, 20% of school-aged children from 5 to 17 are prone to headaches. Of that population, 15% will suffer from tension-type headaches, while the other 5% will be prone to migraine .

Headaches and migraine can happen to anyone, at any age, including young children. Not only that, but the intricacies and symptoms of the disorder are different in children than in adults; common migraine symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound are not always prevalent in child sufferers. Children, in addition, cannot always vocalize or describe in detail what they are feeling, which makes diagnosis even more difficult. These patients may go undiagnosed for years, leading into adulthood, which can take a toll on their emotional and mental well being.

The American Migraine Foundation outlines a few key differences between childrens migraine and those of adults:

  • migraines in children are typically shorter in duration and occur less frequently
  • the pain children experience tends to be more bilateral, such as across the forehead, rather than unilateral
  • while common symptoms may not be reported, a lot can be deferred from a childs behavior, such as wanting to sleep or lay down in a dark, quiet room.

Common Migraine Without Aura

Classic Migraine With Aura

What Causes Vestibular Migraine

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Vestibular migraines, like other migraine syndromes, tend to run in families. Although science has not completely clarified the complex mechanisms of migraine, it is known that women tend to suffer more from the condition than men, and symptoms may get worse around menstruation.

In addition, people vulnerable to vestibular migraines can experience episodes after migraine triggers including altered sleep patterns, MSG, menstrual cycle and food such as chocolate, ripened or aged cheese and red wine.

#3 Silent Migraine Symptoms Can Still Be Debilitating

What are the symptoms of a silent migraine if there is no pain phase? One of the most common symptoms is aura, which is interesting because this is one of the less common phases among migraineurs in general. When a person experiences aura, he or she may see spots, wavy lines, flashing lights, or experience tunnel vision. Other effects can occur besides just the visual ones. Hearing problems , tinnitus, speech problems, vertigo, dizziness, and numbness and tingling may also be present.

Of course, aura is not the only symptom of silent migraines. The patient may also experience nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, fatigue, dizziness, and chills. When all is said and done, a migraine can be just as bad without the head pain.

It May Also Indicate A Missing Migraine

Because its not an official diagnosis, a silent migraine can have multiple meanings. Someone may get that Im going to get a migraine feeling , but the aura or headache never shows up, adds Dr. Rothrock. That day you might feel foggy, your coordination may be off, or you may feel uneasy. Find out if you have one of these eight types of headaches.

Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

The Effect On Patients

Research is a bit limited, but we know that migraine presents patients with a high burden from different symptoms. For a patient whos having visual aura that comes on in situations like driving, it can be very disconcerting. It definitely affects day-to-day functioning, even if headache and other features arent there. This is especially true if its the first time is happens or theres a change in how it presents. Typical aura without headachethe silent migrainecan be quite scary.

 Jennifer Robblee, MD, is part of the Mayo Clinicin Scottsdale, Arizona

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How Is Silent Migraine Treated

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For disorders, doctors use two types of drugspain relievers and preventive medicines. Pain relievers are not much use for silent migraines since there is no headache . Preventive medicines can be helpful if silent migraines are frequent, last a long time, or interfere with functioning. When silent migraines are infrequent and short, treatment may not be necessary. Keeping a symptom diary can help you and your doctor decide whether to start treatment or not.

Common types of preventive migraine medicines include:

  • Anticonvulsants or antiseizure drugs, which have various effects in the brain

  • Antidepressants, which balance brain chemicals that likely play a role in migraine

Can Migraine Cause Seizures

Researchers havent found any evidence of a causal connection between migraine and seizures indicating that migraine causes seizures, or that seizures cause migraine.

Research does show that the two conditions are often comorbid, meaning they both occur in one person. Also, people with epilepsy are more prone to have migraine, and people with migraine are more prone to have seizures.

The reasons for this increased susceptibility to both disorders has yet to be determined. Possibilities include:

  • Migraine attacks may trigger a seizure. This is considered a rare complication of a migraine with aura, which is also called a migraine aura-triggered seizure.
  • Symptoms of migraine might trigger a seizure. For example, the flashing lights of a migraine aura might bring on a seizure.
  • Seizures might cause brain abnormalities. Since both migraine and seizures involve abnormal brain activity, it may be that chronic seizures could pave the way for migraine attacks.

If you have epilepsy, its possible that you experience both migraine and non-migraine headaches. Its also possible that either a migraine attack or another type of headache may occur before, during, or after your seizure.

Because of these varied scenarios, your doctor will need to consider your symptoms carefully to determine whether your migraine and seizure are related.

To analyze any possible connection, doctors look carefully at the timing of a migraine attack to note whether it appears:

  • before seizure episodes

Understanding A Migraine Aura

About one-quarter of migraine sufferers experience an auraa visual, sensory, or speech disturbancebefore their migraine. You may see spots, lights, or zigzags, feel numbness or tingling in one arm, or have trouble speaking, notes the American Migraine Foundation. About a half-hour later, the traditional unilateral head pain known as a migraine typically hits.

Visual Disturbances In Headache

Headache syndromes often involve the visual system, and patients frequently seek eye care for symptoms that may or may not be related to migraine aura. Although it is always important to evaluate these patients for ocular causes of visual disturbances and to treat those causes, if present, ophthalmologists often face patients who are experiencing visual disturbances in the absence of visible ocular pathology.

Primary headache disorders such as migraine with aura produce positive visual phenomena, and secondary headaches such as compressive intracranial lesions cause visual changes due to increased intracranial pressure or mass effect on the intracranial visual pathways. It is important to distinguish between primary and secondary headache syndromes because both the patient’s health and peace of mind are at stake.

Symptoms Of Visual Disturbances From Migraine

Ocular, Visual, and Retinal Migraines

Positive symptoms  include zig-zag lines which often shimmer and may move across the field of vision, sparkles, dots, stars, spots, squiggles, and flash bulb effects. The classic migraine visual aura consists of an area that is not well seen, surrounded by shimmering zig-zag lines, that gradually enlarges and then breaks up over a period of 15-30 minutes.

Negative symptoms  are blind spots, tunnel vision, complete loss of vision, or loss of all vision to the left or right side.

Distorted or altered visual symptoms are the sensations of looking through water, heat waves, blurred vision, fractured vision , loss of color vision, objects appearing too large or small, or objects seeming closer or farther than they really are.

Given the wide variety of visual symptoms that accompany migraine, it is sometimes hard to determine whether ones symptoms are indeed migraine-related, or due to a more serious problem that warrants medical attention. Causes for concern include:

Deborah I. Friedman, MD, MPH, Director, Headache and Facial Pain Program University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX

This article is a legacy contribution from the American Headache Society Committee for Headache Education and the Fred Sheftell, MD Education Center.

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Migraines Are Usually Set Off By A Specific Trigger But Strokes Are Not

Not everyone has the same migraine triggers, but stress, hormonal changes, sudden weather changes, and too much or too little sleep can cause a migraine flare-up. Even certain foods or drinks, including alcohol, chocolate, and cured meats, can lead to migraines in certain people. Migraine brains dont like change, Dr. Dougherty says, which is why doctors advise people who get migraines to follow a consistent schedule as best as they can.

Unlike migraines, strokes arent triggered by a specific change, though there are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing a stroke, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and history of mini-strokes. If youre not at risk of a stroke, your symptoms occur after encountering one of your specific migraine triggers, and they are similar to symptoms during previous migraines, then migraine may be the cause of your pain. If youre at all unsure, then its a good idea to reach out to your primary care physician if you have one or to contact a hospital for further advice.

Related:

How To Treat A Silent Migraine

How often do they appear? How much do they affect your quality of life? If theyre infrequent, short, and non-disabling, I wouldnt treat the aura itself, says Dr. Wall. If they are persistent, you may benefit from preventative migraine drugs, but they wont 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.

Types Of Silent Migraine

Silent migraine attacks may happen in people who experience any of the other migraine types, including:1

  • Migraine without aura
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

Because many of the symptoms of silent migraines are the same as the symptoms for stroke or a transient ischemic attack , sometimes called a mini-stroke or aborted stroke, it is very important to see a doctor immediately to diagnose the cause of the symptoms. Ruling out stroke and other more serious disorders is important.

The Different Types Of Pnb For A Headache

Migraine Visual Aura – How it may happen…
  • Occipital nerve block:
  • An occipital nerve block is an injection containing a steroid with other medications, targeted towards the greater and lesser occipital nerves that are located at the base of the skull, just above the neck area.

    An ONB is administered for patients who experience chronic headaches that arise from the neck or base of the skull. The irritation or inflammation of the occipital nerves that reside in this area can cause pain to arise on side of the head and extend forward to the top of the head, the temple or forehead. Serving as a route for the pain to travel, blocking the occipital nerves is a good target for the treatment of certain headaches and migraines.

  • Supraorbital nerve block:
  • A supraorbital nerve block is a nerve block injection that provides analgesic effects to certain regions of the face. The supraorbital nerve is a collection of nerve fibers that form from the frontal nerve and transmits sensory signals to the forehead, upper eyelid and anterior scalp.

    A supraorbital nerve block is performed as an outpatient procedure to provide therapeutic relief that lasts from weeks to months and can be done under ultrasound guidance to ensure safety.

  • Infraorbital nerve block:
  • An infraorbital nerve block can successfully block the signals that cause chronic facial pain that occurs between the lower eyelids and the upper lip.

  • Trigger point injections:
  • Spinal accessory nerve block:
  • Transcapular nerve block:
  • What Causes A Migraine

    Although migraines are extremely common, their exact cause remains unknown. It appears likely that the visual aura relates to a phenomenon called cortical spreading depression which temporarily affects electrical impulses in the brain. The pain of a migraine headache probably relates to spasm or irritability of blood vessels in the brain, which are sensitive to pain . Beyond these hypotheses, however, the exact mechanism that triggers a migraine remains unknown.

    It is often possible to identify certain risk factors that increase the chance of having migraines. A positive family history is very common, so the doctor will often ask about headaches in ones parents or siblings. Overall, migraines are more common in women than in men. In addition, a persons hormonal status can affect the pattern of migraines they experience; therefore, it is natural for a woman to notice a change in headaches and other migraine symptoms in adolescence or around the time of menopause.

    Many individuals can identify specific triggers for their migraines. These triggers include fatigue, skipping a meal, caffeine withdrawal, stress, and certain foods . For many patients with isolated visual migraines, however, the events can be very infrequent and no definite trigger can be determined.

    #4 Silent Migraines May Be Related To Blood Flow The Brain

    While the direct cause of migraines has still not been determined, research points to a lack of blood reaching the cerebral cortex. As a result, many doctors classify migraines as neurovascular resulting from a combination of changes in both the nervous and vascular systems. This is especially true if the patient is dealing with aura. Well discuss what can be disrupting blood flow to the brain a little later in our article.

    Avoid Triggers And Reduce Stress Easy Right

    Some experts say that people who experience migraines should avoid caffeine and certain medications, in addition to following a healthy lifestyle.

    My article on caffeine and migraine will help you to form your own opinion on that. The great caffeine debate!

    Common triggers, such as fatigue or stress can increase the frequency and even the severity of the attacks. 

    Make the attempt to avoid as many of your triggers as possible. I know you can’t control the weather, or your hormones, but stress is a killer! It affects our bodies in so many ways. With the busy fast paced lifestyle we have today, it is hard to avoid stress. But you can learn new ways to change how you deal with the stress.

    A simple place to start is by getting plenty of rest and plenty of sleep. Eight hours a night is what the research says is optimum. Form a night time sleep routine.

    Reducing your physical stress will help your overall body to relax and will help you face the stresses of the day. Keeping a regular routine around meal times and including exercise will help you to avoid your triggers.

    Don’t smoke and decrease the amount of alcohol intake if you drink. Increase drinking natural spring water, clear and clean for your body to use and stay hydrated. Dehydration is a well known migraine trigger.

    Learning to meditate can benefit your life in profound ways. Here’s my course to help you manage attacks, anxiety and stress better:

    How Is Lightheadedness In Migraine Treated

    What Are the Causes of Ocular Migraines? (with Pictures ...

    Treatment of migraine-related dizziness or lightheadedness is usually achieved by treating or preventing the migraine itself.1 Sometimes other drugs like blood pressure or antiseizure medicines may treat vestibular migraine. However, if you only experience lightheadedness, these drugs may not be appropriate.

    It may help to lie down or sit while experiencing migraine-related lightheadedness. Some people report that staying hydrated and eating or drinking something sugary helps. Talk with your doctor about possible strategies to combat any dizziness associated with your migraine attacks.

    Treatment For Silent Migraine

    Treating typical aura without headache can be difficult. Since many medications actually take longer to work than auras duration, some people dont take any as-needed medication. Others, however, may find that associated symptoms like nausea and sensitivity to light and sound will improve if treated.

    There are not a lot of tested medications for silent migraine. Some medications have been tried, but there arent any good, large studies to guide them. There is nothing with an FDA approval in this indication, and the condition is managed on a case-by-case basis. Some smaller studies and case reports suggest the use of magnesium, aspirin and lamotrigine. For people with prolonged aura, there have been some treatment attempts with intranasal ketamine. These, however, are very small studies, and this is very much an off-label use.

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