General Question

chelle21689's avatar

Is it possible to have migraines without a headache?

Asked by chelle21689 (6831points) October 25th, 2013

For the past several months I’ve been feeling light headed, nausea, and sometimes a pounding headache. I went to a neurologist and he diagnosed me with migraines and prescribed me nortriptyline 10mg. I’m only taking 2 pills at night slowly increasing dosage.

It seemed to have worked but today I started feeling very light headed again. I didn’t take my pills yesterday, I wonder if that’s why.

But sometimes I feel light headed and nausea without any head pain. Could that still be a migraine?

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13 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

Yes. Migraines come in a number of versions. Mine have no pain at all, but suddenly part of my vision will be obscured with diamond shapes of glittery silver. If the area is large enough, I have to stop driving my car because I can’t see around the shimmering patch of silver diamonds. I was surprised to find the occurrence was diagnosed as Migraine. I haven’t had one for several years. Follow your doctor’s directions.

JLeslie's avatar


That drug is a tricyclic I think. It is common for those type of drugs to be prescribed for chronic pain. Personally, I don’t love the idea, but as you know I am not a doctor. Certainly if it helps it is worth a try. It isn’t really a “migraine” drug, but those drugs are prescribed for migraines. That is if I have the drug right.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. On rare occasions, about 2x per year, I get Ocular migraines. My peripheral vision goes slightly off. There is no headache and I don’t take any meds for it.

hearkat's avatar

Yes… migraine aura without headache.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Yep. During puberty, I was diagnosed with migraines and put on meds for it. However, I never had that horrible head-splitting pain everyone with migraines talks about. I have vision issues, like blurry splotchiness blocking my field of vision, along with light headedness. Sometimes it’ll turn into a small throbbing headache and sometimes it won’t.

glacial's avatar

Yes! The only migraine I’ve ever had occurred with no headache. It scared the crap out of me – I thought I was having a stroke.

snowberry's avatar

And then there is a rare type of migraine that actually causes strokes. My son in law has that kind and he has had several strokes now.

downtide's avatar

Yes, absolutely. My sister gets them like that. Always with the nausea and ocular disturbance but never a headache. I’m not prone to migraines but I did have one like that once. It was frightening.

Smitha's avatar

Yes, some people may not have the normal migraines,they may experience prolonged headaches or they may not have a headache at all. They are called “silent migraines”. The treatment for these type of migraines is similar to the typical ones
You can read more about silent migraines here:

susanc's avatar

Like @snowberry‘s son in law, I’ve had two migraines that are closely similar to strokes. Ocular stuff, also inability to find words, inability to spell words. Scarey. No drugs. I don’t think the experts really know what the hell migraine is, because so many mysterious events are diagnosed as migraine – it’s kind of a catch-all. Good luck.

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