Change Silent Migraine to Headache-less Migraine

photo credit: noii's via photopin cc

photo credit: noii’s via photopin cc

photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin cc

photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin cc

photo credit: makelessnoise via photopin cc

photo credit: makelessnoise via photopin cc

I was explaining silent migraine to a friend the other day and for the first time I really thought about the designation: Silent Migraine. I began to wonder how it got its name. Loud noise in ones head is not a symptom of migraine (at least not that I’m aware of). Yes migraines can make us more sensitive to sound – phonophobia – but we do not hear clashing, shrieking or any other sounds as a result of our migraine.

Therefore why not change the name to Headache-less Migraine? That’s really what it is. Wouldn’t that help to stop the stigma that migraine is just a headache when really it’s not? People would be puzzled at the term; they would be moved to research our disease and find out that migraine is a debilitating, genetic, neurological disorder with head pain being only one of its many possible symptoms.

If you agree with this please like, share and tweet this article. Let’s change the name from Silent Migraine to Headache-Less Migraine. Let’s educate and stop the stigma.

– Skylar

For more information, please read 8 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Migraine, found on and How to tell a migraine from a headache on The later link features a video by: Dr. Richard B. Lipton of the Montefiore Headache Center; on it he provides one of the best descriptions I’ve heard of the difference between a migraine and a headache.



7 thoughts on “Change Silent Migraine to Headache-less Migraine

  1. I agree that there needs to be better distinctions, really there is A LOT in migraine diagnostics that minimizes symptoms. Also, diagnostic criteria also often filters out people who are coping with debilitating aura symptoms, etc, because the diagnostic box has been made so small barely anyone fits into it.

    I am fortunate that I am now recognized as having migraine with aura, though the type of aura technically remains ominous, so instead of “silent migraine” I have aura flurries and thank goodness my current neurologist takes it very seriously, since it’s one of the migraine complications that can lead to stroke or death. My last neuro though refused to recognize the symptoms and would either be sending me to ER AGAIN to rule out stroke, and then a week later be calling me a head case.

    I think there is a lot more aura and significant neurological complications that occur with migraine than is noted in the literature, and current diagnostic criteria allows doctors to write off things their patients say. Aura diagnostics are some of the worst, often requiring visual aura symptoms to be present to warrant diagnosis. Even though things like aphasia can occur with aura without visual symptoms and be much more debilitating.

    I think most “silent migraine” are manifestations of aura in varying degrees of severity, but are not diagnosed as such because of crappy ICD criteria and codes.

    • Thx for sharing !!! I’m so happy you’ve found a neuro that’s working as a partner with you and not treating you like a “head case”as the other one did…how awful!!!! Wish we could revoke his/her license.

      I think more and more Headache Neuros and Headache Specialists are dedicating themselves to learning and therefore understanding more about our disease. The key is finding them.

      Wishing you as good a week as possible.

      – Skylar

  2. Migraines can cause auditory disturbances, I don’t know how common it is. My migraines are with pain and they cause me to hear loud high pitched ringing. It can get loud enough I have a hard time hearing anything else. It can also make the pain worse. But it is also one reason I always that that it was weird to call them silent migraines. My mom gets silent migraines. When hers hit she hears ringing. I agree that they should be called headache-less migraines. Calling them silent really minimizes the whole ordeal. The pain is not what makes migraines so unbearable, it is the auras and symptoms that goes along with it.

    • Wow thanks’s for sharing!!!! I really didn’t know about the auditory disturbances, I’ve never experienced them.

      Yes migraine is soooo much more than just head pain. For me my head pain makes my migraines unbearable.

      With my migraines I experience the most common symptom of course – the blood vessel splitting head pain, but I also suffer from photophobia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, difficulty gathering my thoughts, difficulty sharing them, utter exhaustion, stiff neck and soooo much more.

      But to describe a migraine that’s absent of the head pain, but complete with other symptoms as silent just seems odd to me.

      Thanks again for sharing. You’ve taught me something new.

      – Skylar

    • Wow thanks for sharing!!!! I didn’t know about the auditory disturbances.

      Yes migraine is so much more than a headache.

      I don’t get silent migraines. My migraines are always accompanied by some sort of head pain, usually severe to excruciating.

      However my other symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, difficulty formulating thoughts and communicating them, extreme exhaustion, stiff neck, and soooo much more.

      Thanks again for teaching me something.

      – Skylar

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