Silent Migraine

By bowhunter86 Latest Activity May 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm Views 5,607 Replies 11 Likes 2


Hello. I am a 26 year old male and I have been diagnosed with silent migraines.

Migraine with no pain - the pain is replaced by increasing the severity of the other symptoms -

I have 'bubble' vision.
The feeling of walking after being on a trampoline.
My head feels full.
My jaw becomes numb on the side.
Severe attacks I have slurred to incoherent speech.
I get very confused or 'space out'.
My wife says my attacks are very similar to a stroke.
I get auras taste of metal in my mouth.

Stress seems to be my biggest trigger. Weather changes (rain, pressure changes and high humidity) extreme sensitivity to sound (barking, hammer, shrieks - 3 yr old toddler at home).

Took about 1 year of trips to er, neuro consults, eeg, ekg, ct, mri, ent and dozens of blood tests all showing i am perfectly healthy. No answers.

Episodes would last from 2 days to 2 weeks. Relief came only by taking a diazpham that i was previously prescribed for back issues and sleeping for 12-24 hours straight.

My wife spent hours researching online all of my symptoms and found so many similarities to the silent migraine. She printed everything off including recommend medications and presented it to our family Dr. He shook his head in shock and started treatment that day.

Treatment included everyday Lyrica as preventive and for bad attacks a Zopimed. I also found relief with taking Advil cold & sinus. That seems to be the best to relieve the smaller attacks. The Zopimeds when i have to take a full dose knock me out for hours.

I still get small attacks 3-5 times a month. But with watching for my triggers and taking my preventives i have made serious progress from where I was a year ago.

  • Report Report as inappropriate
  • Share
    Email Email
    Print Print Twitter Twitter
    Facebook Facebook

Replies (11 replies)

Add your reply Reply Down
    CHILLI TACO July 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm   

    Thanks so much for the info I get about 3-4 migraines a week and know that. Light sensitivity is at least half my battle. :)
    I'm definitely going look into the glasses, I wasn't aware you could buy this stuff. Thanks so much!!!

  • SiMi-X
    SiMi-X June 22, 2012 at 1:26 am   

    First, I'd be worried that your toddler is barking and using a hammer! ;-) Anyway, I, too, had never known there were migraines without the headache symptom (I wouldn't call them "painless"!) until recently. I was misdiagnosed with depression for 15+ years. While looking up info. on migraine treatments for a friend, I came across the symptoms for silent migraines. I was floored that they were what I have been going through (at a progressive rate) all this time! I had almost every symptom on the list. So, I saw a neurologist who has one of his specialties as migraines and got diagnosed and put on a preventive. I'm on nortriptyline. I also use migraine glasses and (for outdoors) migraine sunglasses, as my trigger is light (any type, but especially fluorescents). My symptoms are the traditional ones you'll find on Internet symptom lists for silent migraines, so are different from yours, but yours definitely are not fun-sounding! :-( I get the nausea, diarrhea, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness, sinus pressure/pain, filled sinuses/need to clear out my nose at least once a day or I wouldn't be able to breathe, head pressure, leaden limbs, joint pain, etc. I thought the filled sinuses/need for tissues was an allergy and that the sinus pressure times were sinus headaches (especially since taking the herbal sinus pill Sinupret always worked up until my most recent time). I didn't know sinus headaches are rare (90% of what people think are sinus headaches are actually migraines) and only happen during sinus infections. My silent migraines are constant, but the glasses help (fixed all the sinus issues, nausea except from movement/head or hair touch, and diarrhea) and so far the med has helped on top of that (fixed the rest of the nausea, firmed up poops even more, and fixed the leaden limbs and joint pain and painful bottoms of feet [felt as if I'd walked a ton of miles when I'd not walked at all or not much]). I'm sensitive to meds (get bad side-effects from them, never was able to stay on meds for what they thought was depression), but so far haven't had side-effects from the starting low dose of this one, though I just upped the dose tonight (as prescribed) and feel a bit sick. Hopefully by the morning I'll be fine. I've always been sensitive to light, but attributed it only to another condition I have. I didn't know it even could make me physically ill, especially with such progression. I'm so glad I know now, as I'm sure you're glad to finally have a diagnosis!

    CHILLI TACO July 2, 2012 at 11:00 am   

    That's amazing I didn't know silent migraines existed either!

    I must ask what you use exactly for light sensitivity???

    I get a lot of my migraines at home after cooking or walking in an overcast day. Yet I can go all day on a over in a light room. I know light sets me off as an hour in a movie theatre and I'll get one every time.

  • SiMi-X
    SiMi-X July 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm   

    The first thing I did was get glasses and sunglasses that are designed specifically for migraine light sensitivity. I wondered if there was such a thing, since I knew about the Irlen colors for things like autism and dyslexia, so I Googled it. There are a few companies that make them, but the one who makes full-coverage wrap-around glasses/sunglasses is TheraSpecs. I bought their indoor migraine glasses and, since I didn't want the same frame for the outdoor migraine sunglasses, bought my outdoor pair from MigraShades, who uses trendy women's style frames (there are several to choose from). I wear the MigraShades when I go outside (including in a car) during daylight hours and wear the TheraSpecs at all other times except while sleeping, which is when I use an eye mask. When I started wearing the TheraSpecs, several of my symptoms went away, including nausea (except that caused by head/eye movement and head/hair touch) and diarrhea (which I'd had for years, so it couldn't have been a coincidence). A few weeks later, my neuro put me on nortriptyline (starting dose at 10mg, increase by 10mg every week until 30-50mg is reached - whatever dose works) and that has taken away other symptoms, such as dizziness and the movement/touch nausea. The med is still in the new stages (third week), so isn't perfect yet, but I feel a lot better! I still have tinnitus, but I'm not sure if that is from the migraines or because of a wayyyyy too loud concert I went to a long time ago (that's when it started).

  • Jadzea
    Jadzea July 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm   

    Thanks for the info. I knew you could get wrap arounds, I do for my hubby. For the tinnitus, I think your right. Loud music can do a lot of damage.

  • SiMi-X
    SiMi-X July 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm   

    TheraSpecs are specially tinted for photophobia (light sensitivity) with a tint called "FL-41" that studies have shown works. They're not just regular wrap-around glasses/sunglasses. They block the harmful wavelengths of light that the eyes of photophobics cannot, such as those from fluorescent lights. They have an indoor pair and an outdoor pair. Yeah, the concert that I went to when the tinnitus started was one whose volume was designed for an auditorium, but in this location it was set in a half-gymnasium (half a basketball court). Dumb idea!

  • Jadzea
    Jadzea July 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm   

    So these are even different than the photo grey I have added to my prescription glasses to deal with my light sensativities? Can you have your tri focals made in them too?

    I can imagine the damage to your ears. I have never gone to one but have had tinnitis since my early 20's. Possibly due to my TMJ, Food & airborne allergies, MCS and Fibromyalgia.

  • SiMi-X
    SiMi-X July 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm   

    Yes, the tint is different - FL-41 is a reddish-brown color to block the blue-green light wavelengths. This is different from just a darker lens - and wearing dark lenses indoors too much can make photophobia worse because your eyes adjust to the darker shade. TheraSpecs don't currently have an option for prescription eyeglasses, but there are two other companies that can apply the coating to your eyeglasses or make you new ones with your prescription (used lenses are not preferred due to tiny scratches and such that won't work well with the added tint, plus some coatings on lenses may not take the tint). Neither company does prescription wrap-arounds, due to the nature of the bend in those lenses, but AxonOptics has a wrap-around fit-over pair that you wear with your eyeglasses (or you can wear the fit-overs alone), if you need full coverage but also need prescription glasses. Otherwise, they can do eyeglasses (either a frame they sell or you send them one you got elsewhere) with the FL-41 tint. There is also another place that you can send your eyeglasses (including lenses) to and they'll add the tint for you - Moran Eye Center in Utah - and I think they may be your best bet for your trifocals. They do respond to e-mails if you need to e-mail them a question (I did that, wondering if they could tint non-prescription swim goggles). The tint has worked for me, so if you're photophobic, I'd say it is worth it to get the tint, even if you have to buy new lenses. (If you're only photophobic during a migraine, get the fit-overs or a second pair of glasses to use at those times.) I don't know what you should do for outdoor sunglasses unless you get FL-41 tinted eyeglasses and use clip-on shades for outdoors (be sure outdoor sunglasses are polarized, but indoor lenses can't be or you'd have a hard time viewing TV, computer, and cell phone screens). If you currently wear non-prescription sunglasses, you can get the outdoor TheraSpecs. (The sun gives off harmful blue light, too.)

  • Jadzea
    Jadzea July 29, 2012 at 12:20 am   

    Thanks a lot for the added info. I'll check it out.

  • SiMi-X
    SiMi-X July 29, 2012 at 12:49 am   

    No problem. I hope it helps you! :-)

  • amystar1
    amystar1 June 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm   

    I have never heard of this. Amazing how these migraines can take many forms. Good for you and your wide for finding out what they were. Glad u are finding some relief.