Migraine without headache
Last updated: October 2013
I was a bit concerned to see the website suggesting that migraines without headache don't normally need treatment, they do. I was quite lucky when I was diagnosed quite quickly by my doctor as my symptoms were quite odd and I had never heard of a migraine without a headache. I had been having "weird turns" for a while when I would be over come with extreme fatigue, dislike of bright lights, look ghastly and knew I would have a couple of hours to get home and lie down before I started feeling really lousy and would go into a weird restless sleep, with weird dreams.
It was only when I saw the reactions of my boss and a neighbor when they saw what I looked like and their disbelief at how I could be so well the next day did I think it was time to do something about it.
In a way I feel lucky as I would not like to feel so lousy and have a severe headache at the same time.
Unfortunately, I don't have a single trigger, it usually takes a combination and that is variable too. However, I have learned the early warning signs so unless it starts when I'm asleep I can usually take medication in time to stop it becoming too big a problem. I can normally work through them and start to feel normal after about an hour or so if caught in time. My colleagues have got used to me wearing my sunglasses indoor and know I'm not weird just having a migraine.
Sometimes I will get a slight pain or niggle around or behind my left eye but no severe pain. The best early warning sign if I'm not sure if I'm just tired or if have a migraine coming on is to look at my eyes. I get what I call "Hulk Eyes" when I have a migraine. They don't exactly go like David Banners in the old TV series but there is a slight noticeable change in the color of my eyes, that is a good warning it's a migraine.
Along with more common symptoms of light sensitivity and nausea I can get some more weird one which I was quite relieved to find in a book so I'm not a total freak. My nose can run, I need to pee frequently and can cry for no reason, and like David Banner you do not want to make me angry when I have a migraine.
Fortunately, the side that is usually affected, I don't see too well in that eye as I had squint, which was straightened but now goes the other way, but occasionally it will effect the other eye and I can see a slight pixelated effect so when that happens I know its tablet time.
Initially I was put on Naratriptan and something like Migralieve. They helped a bit, but I was still getting them quite often and couldn't really work through them. I was then put on Metoprolol Tartrate along with the Naratriptan which has helped. So I now take a Metoprolol every day and then at the first sign of a migraine take my Naratriptan along with some paracetamol (with caffeine) and some chocolate (a trigger for some but a cure for me). And put my sunglasses on if the light is bugging me. I still get migraines but at least I can get through them without too much disruption.
It is very difficult to avoid triggers unless you can track down something specific but the best thing is to learn the early warning signs so you can take your medication in time, and if your medication doesn't help ask your doctor if there is something else you could try as what works for one doesn't work for all.
Do you have a migraine toolbox for when an attack hits?
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