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Diagnosis of Migraine & Headache Types

Aura only for 16 days??

  • By Angela

    Hi everyone. For the backstory, I had Migraines with Aura frequently from the ages of 10-17 and then they just stopped. I am now 29, and 16 days ago I began experiencing what I can only compare to as a migraine aura. It is in my right field of vision only and while it isn’t there 100% of the time it is very persistent. Sometimes its flashing lights, sometimes the kaleidoscope but always in the exact same spot. Of course at first I flashed back to my teens and thought I was just having a regular migraine again, but the headache, vomiting and paralysis never came. I have been experiencing intermittent tingling/numbness in my back, arms and legs, but this started a few weeks before my aura. After day 5 of the aura I went to the ER and had a clear CT scan and the diagnosis was “Headache” even after I told them repeatedly I was in zero pain. I did some googling which led me to “Silent Migraines”. I followed up with my PCP the next day and he had never heard of silent migraines when I told him what I found, but immediately said yeah he thinks that fits after he looked it up himself. He sent me to ophthalmology to be safe and my eyes are 20/20 totally fine and the eye Dr. also jumped on the Silent Migraine train but said that if I still have body tingling I should get an MRI (as I was sitting there with tingling).

    So heres my question/concern. I am totally happy accepting a diagnosis of “Acephalgic Migraine” but im concerned with the duration of the aura. 16 days? My auras previously never lasted longer than 20-30 minutes max. Could I really be having a silent migraine for that long? or could I be having multiple silent migranes daily? Something in me is just really feeling like there is more, or I should be questioning this further, but maybe someone else here has experienced something similar?

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi AngelaMarie,

    I’ve not had this experience, but having spoken with many patients who have prolonged aura can be very unnerving. It is good to hear your eye exam and scan were normal. To read more about migraine aura without headache take a look at this; https://migraine.com/migraine-aura/migraine-aura-without-pain/.

    There is something fairly rare (according to the International Headache Society’s International Classification of Headache Disorders -III, beta or ICHD-III beta) called persistent aura without infarction. This means aura lasting longer than one week, but does NOT have signs of infarct. I would encourage you to seek out help of a doctor who is a true expert in migraine and headache. Your current doctor is may be understanding and very good, he probably doesn’t have time to be an expert in one area. Let me share this information on what makes migraine/headache specialists so different and how to find one; https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/.

    I also wanted to mention if your gut is telling you there is something more, you should probably follow it. There is nothing wrong with seeking out a second or third opinion to set your mind at ease.

    I hope this helps, keep us posted on how you are feeling,

    Nancy

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