Common Migraine + Aura Sans Pain = oh noes your brain explodes? (Or, is there an increased stroke risk, and is something to be discussed with a doctor?)
posted by vivid postcard to health & fitness (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
YANMD, I know. But this is more a question to see if one should go see a doctor in this instance, and also to get more info on migraines, which are interesting to learn about, and which seem to understood differently than when some sufferers were first diagnosed.
Based on what I've read and been told (and IANAD), there is an increased stroke risk associated with classic migraines - i.e. migraines accompanied by aura. This risk, apparently, does not hold the same for those who experience common migraines, or migraine pain that is not preceded by an aura. "Silent migraines," or migraine auras without pain, are weird and wacky, involve looking through a scintillating disturbance in one's field of vision, are the equivalent of a migraine aura, but are not followed up by pain. I do not know if they have any association with stroke risk.
Long, long, long ago, I experienced a silent migraine, thought my retinas were detaching, and went to see a nurse about it. She said that it was an aura without pain, was nothing to worry about, and just meant that I wouldn't be able to read for the hour that it takes place. Since then, I've had such auras regularly, but infrequently, about once a year or so.
Since my early twenties, however, I've had menstrual migraines, fairly regularly (about 6-10 times a year). They suck, the pain sucks, the nausea sucks, but they are never, ever preceded by an aura, just the prodome phase. A doctor I had (not the nurse above) basically diagnosed me with simple menstrual migraines, said he was sorry, offered some drugs or suggestions, and that was that.
Never, though, has a health care provider reconciled these two conditions: I infrequently experience an aura, but it is never followed by pain, and I frequently get migraines, but they are never accompanied by aura.
1. Is this something to be concerned about, and should I go to another doctor to get re-diagnosed or re-evaluated?
2. Is there information out there about increased stroke risk with "silent migraines," or about whether any such events should be labelled as classic migraines in individuals who suffer from pain at other times?
3. Is there any recent and groundbreaking research on migraines, of all types, and their long-term health risks, out there? Do you have links? Information? Fun facts about whether or not they make your brain burst, and maybe how to prevent that?