Who Gets Migraine Aura Without Head Pain
Migraine aura without pain or silent migraine is fairly unusual. Only 4 out of every 100 people who get migraines have aura without pain and no other kind of migraine. However, 40 percent of people who have migraine with aura will have only aura symptoms and no pain at some point in their life.2
Migraine aura without pain is more common in women than men and tends to begin later in life. When it begins after age 60 it is called late-onset migraine accompaniment.2
Could Something In My House Be Giving Me A Headache
Migraine attacks and headaches can also be triggered by things in your environment, and so its possible that something in your house could be adding to your pain. Here are some possibilities to investigate:
- Check the light. Migraine attacks are associated with photophobia, which is when bright light causes pain in the eyes or head. If youre experiencing photophobia, avoid fluorescent or flickering lights. Even bright natural light can be bothersome, so if youre sensitive to it, you may want to keep your window blinds at least partially closed during the brightest times of the day.
- Eliminate strong odors. If you live in a building that infuses the air with a scent or have roommates or family members who use strong-smelling soaps, lotions, or perfumes, the odors could be causing your headaches. Certain cleaning products can also trigger a migraine attack, according to the American Headache Society. To avoid bothersome odors, purchase unscented personal care and household products whenever possible, and ask the members of your household to do the same.
- Beware of dry air and dehydration. COVID-19 has most of us staying indoors more than usual. Indoor heating can dry out the air youre breathing and dehydrate you as well, and headache and dizziness can be symptoms of dehydration.
You Have A Sinus Infection
Sinus headaches are not that common, Dr. Hutchinson notes. “Most sinus headaches are just migraines with sinus symptoms,” she says. So if you have recurrent headaches in your sinus or facial area, chances are it’s a migraine or a tension headache. In fact, studies have shown that approximately 90 percent of people who see a doctor for sinus headaches are found to actually have migraines, according to the Mayo Clinic.
While both migraines and sinus infections cause pain when you bend forward, sinus infections dont typically feature nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light, the Mayo Clinic says. But if your headache is paired with fever, phlegm, or any other indication you might be sick, an underlying sinus infection may be to blame.
Fix it: If you do have a sinus infection, the headache should go away after taking antibiotics to knock out the infectionso pay a visit to your physician.
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When To Worry About A Headache
You can take care of many types of headaches by yourself, and your doctor can give you medication to control most of the tougher headaches. But some headaches call for prompt medical care. Here are some warning signs for when you should worry about headaches:
- Headaches that first develop after age 50
- A major change in the pattern of your headaches
- An unusually severe headache
- Head pain that increases with coughing or movement
- Headaches that get steadily worse
- Changes in personality or mental function
- Headaches that are accompanied by fever, stiff neck, confusion, decreased alertness or memory, or neurological symptoms such as visual disturbances, slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or seizures
- Headaches that are accompanied by a painful red eye
- Headaches that are accompanied by pain and tenderness near the temples
- Headaches after a blow to the head
- Headaches that prevent normal daily activities
- Headaches that come on abruptly, especially if they wake you up
- Headaches in patients with cancer or impaired immune systems
What Causes A Migraine
The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.
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Is It A Trigger Or A Warning
We know that the brain of someone with migraine likes balance, like regular sleep and meal patterns. We also know that migraine can be triggered by alcohol and the menstrual cycle. The evidence for other triggers, such as exercise, eating chocolate and bright light, is less certain.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if something is really a trigger, or if what youre experiencing is an early symptom of a migraine attack.
Studies have found that sometimes what you may think is a trigger is actually to do with the premonitory or warning stage of a migraine attack.
During this stage, you may get symptoms such as changes in your mood or emotions, cravings for certain foods, and being more sensitive to light, sound or smells.
These symptoms can lead to you think that something is triggering your migraine attack. For example, at the beginning of a migraine attack, you may start to crave sweet foods. You may then eat some chocolate to satisfy the craving. When you then get a headache, you may think that eating chocolate was the trigger. But actually you were starting to have a migraine attack when the cravings started and the cravings were the warning sign.
The same could be true for other triggers. If you are more sensitive to light in the warning stage, you might think bright lights are a trigger. If you are more sensitive to smells, you might think certain scents are a trigger.
Can I Prevent Chronic Migraines
Taking care of yourself every day may prevent your migraines from turning into a long-term problem. For instance:
Catch some ZZZs. Not getting enough sleep can trigger a migraine. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of rest each night.
Watch your diet. While caffeine can soothe your pain, stopping it suddenly is a common cause of migraine. Other common food triggers include MSG , nitrates in cured meats like hot dogs, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol.
Manage your stress. Tension and worry are common triggers. Try to carve out a few minutes each day to do something you love, or learn to breathe deeply when youâre in the midst of a crisis. You might join a support group or talk to a counselor.
Have a meal plan. Fasting and skipping meals can trigger headaches. Try to eat around the same times each day.
Get moving. Exercise is a good way to ease your anxiety and stress. It can also help you get to, and stay at, a healthy weight. Since obesity raises your risk of chronic migraines, getting in shape is crucial.
Know your triggers. Not all migraines result from triggers. But if yours do, that set of triggers is unique to you. To learn what yours are, keep a headache diary. Each time you have an attack, write down details about what you were doing, how long the headache lasted, and how you felt before it started. This will help you begin to notice patterns — and avoid your triggers.
Migraine Research Foundation: âMigraine Facts,â âThe Impact of Hormones.â
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How Are Migraines Diagnosed
Your doctor can diagnose migraines by the symptoms you describe. If the diagnosis is not clear, your doctor will perform a physical exam. Your doctor might want to do blood tests or imaging tests, such as an MRI or CAT scan of the brain. These tests can help ensure there are no other causes for the headache. You may also be asked to keep a headache journal. This can help your doctor identify the things that might cause your migraines.
If headache pain is getting in the way of your daily activities, its time to see your family doctor. Read More
Treating Migraine Aura Without Pain
It can be hard to treat migraine aura without pain. Symptoms often go away faster than drugs, such as triptans and NSAIDs, work. However, some people find that migraine symptoms like nausea and sensitivity to light get better with treatment.
There are no FDA-approved drugs specifically for migraine aura with pain or silent migraine. Some small studies have tested the use of magnesium, aspirin, lamotrigine , and ketamine.
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Why Do People Get Migraines
The truth is that scientists arenât 100% sure what causes migraines. They used to believe that changes in blood flow in your brain caused them, but more recent research, notes Johns Hopkins, shows that itâs not that simple.
Now, the belief is that nerves fire throughout your brain in a wave called a cortical spreading depression. This leads to changes in your brain’s blood vessels and inflammation, which ultimately what causes the headache pain. However, the reasons this happens to some people and not others still isnât clear.
What About Hormones
Women, you can blame hormones namely, estrogen for your headache woes. Fluctuating estrogen levels can contribute to the development of chronic headaches or migraines.Northwestern Medicine Neurologist Charulatha P. Nagar, MD explains, In childhood, migraines are more prevalent in boys. But once the influence of estrogen begins, thats when the prevalence starts to rise in females. She continues that this provides the basic understanding of why headaches are more common, longer-lasting and frequent in women.
Estrogen regulates the female reproductive system, and it also happens to control chemicals in the brain that impact the sensation of pain. A drop in estrogen levels can cause a headache, typically in the form of a migraine, which lasts anywhere from four to 72 hours. Determining the type of headache and finding the triggers plays an important role in your treatment and pain relief.
Hormone levels fluctuate for a number of reasons. However, the most dramatic hormone fluctuations occur:
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What Is A Migraine
A migraine is not simply a bad headache. A migraine is an intense headache that may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea , vomiting , visual problems and an increased sensitivity to light or sound.
Migraines commonly last between four hours and three days. Some people experience migraines several times a week. Others might only experience attacks every few years. If you experience headaches on 15 days or more each month, and eight of these headaches are migraines, this is known as chronic migraine.
Although migraines are not life-threatening and do not shorten peoples life expectancies, they can significantly damage the quality of peoples lives. A World Health Organisation study identified migraine as the sixth highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability . Repeated migraines can have a negative impact on family life, social life and employment.
There are two main types of migraine: migraine without aura and migraine with aura .
Are Headaches And Migraines More Common In Summer
If you are unlucky enough to suffer with chronic headaches or migraines, you might find they worsen or become more frequent in summer. And you wouldn’t be alone: light, temperature and humidity are potential triggers, so it’s no surprise that when they begin to increase during the summer months, so can the prevalence of headache and migraine.
Reviewed byDr Sarah Jarvis MBE
28-Aug-20·4 mins read
Many people think of migraine as ‘just a bad headache’. While it’s true that the main symptom is usually headache, migraine is in fact a complex condition that manifests in a range of symptoms. Common ones are vision problems, increased sensitivity to light, sounds and smells, nausea, and vomiting – and attacks can last up to three days.
That’s not to say that headaches on their own aren’t problematic. They are one of the most common reasons people visit their GP or are referred to a neurology specialist, although there is usually no worrying cause.
Alongside migraine, tension headache – marked by pain in a band across the forehead and often associated with tense muscles in the back of the neck – is by far the most predominant type.
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What Tests Are Used To Find Out If I Have Migraine
If you think you get migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. Before your appointment, write down:
Your doctor may also do an exam and ask more questions about your health history. This could include past head injury and sinus or dental problems. Your doctor may be able to diagnose migraine just from the information you provide.
You may get a blood test or other tests, such as CT scan or MRI, if your doctor thinks that something else is causing your headaches. Work with your doctor to decide on the best tests for you.
How Are They Treated
Both migraine and chronic migraine can be treated with the same drugs. These include medications that treat the pain and symptoms as well as drugs that treat the underlying cause of migraine. In some cases, there are medical devices you can use to interrupt the headache. Still, no treatment is perfect.
Because of that, chronic migraines can take a toll on your personal life. If you get painful headaches for half of each month, you lose days of work or school and precious time with friends and family. Itâs common for people with chronic migraines to also have depression.
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How To Identify Triggers
If you have migraine, almost anything can be a trigger. This means it can be very difficult to identify your potential triggers. It may also be a combination of a few things that seems to lead to a migraine attack. And a trigger may not lead to a migraine attack every time, which can confuse things even more.
Here is an example of how combinations of triggers can work: A young woman has identified that her migraine attacks appear to be triggered when she skips meals, is feeling stressed and when she is about to have her period. If she comes home late from a very stressful day at work, her period is just about to start, and she goes straight to bed without eating a proper meal, she will almost certainly have a migraine attack. However, if she skips dinner another time, when the other triggers did not happen, she will probably not have migraine attack.
Many people find that they sometimes go a long time without having a migraine attack. During this time, your body may seem to be less sensitive to triggers and you may find that even the combination of your usual triggers doesnt result in a migraine attack.
What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines
One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to try to avoid the things that might trigger your attacks. Most people benefit from trying to get stable sleep, eating regular meals, drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, and trying to manage stress. Taking regular exercise may also help prevent migraines since it helps with breathing, improving blood sugar balance and maintaining general wellbeing. Although you should take care not to engage in very strenuous activity that your body is not used to as this can sometimes act as a migraine trigger.
Keeping a diary of your migraines can be a useful way to record when and where you experience attacks, check for any patterns, and try to identify your triggers. Take the diary when you see your GP so you can communicate your symptoms with them and they can find the best way to help you.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines
The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.
Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:
- Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
- Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Feeling very warm or cold .
- Pale skin color .
- Euphoric mood.
How Do I Get Immediate Relief From A Headache
No medication can take away the pain of a migraine attack or headache 100 percent of the time, but there are many effective treatment options. Talk with your doctor about which therapy will safely relieve your pain as quickly as possible so that you can return to work and the activities you enjoy.
- Analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can provide short-term relief for tension headaches and migraine pain, and they usually dont require a prescription. These include medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen , and acetaminophen . While they are generally safe to use to treat short, acute headaches, they should not be taken for chronic pain without discussing their use with your healthcare team.
- Triptans are a class of prescriptions drugs that were developed to treat acute migraine. If you feel a migraine attack coming on, these drugs will be more effective if you take them early while the pain is still moderate, according to the American Migraine Foundation.
- Gepants and ditans are new kinds of acute migraine medications that target very specific receptors on sensory nerves.
- Integrative and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, physical therapy, mind-body approaches like mindfulness, and certain supplements have various degrees of evidence and safety profiles supporting their use for the management of tension headaches and migraine symptoms.
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