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Ocular migraines are a common type of a headache that can vary from person to person.

Although migraines in other parts of the brain are accompanied by varying severities of pain, an ocular migraine without headache can occur with no pain at all. This is quite difficult to imagine because migraines are usually associated with intense pain, but this does happen.

Since this kind of ailment can occur without pain, some people call them “silent visual migraines” because you may have all the pre-emptive aura symptoms, but the attack of migraine pain never comes.

In fact, an aura is common with this kind of migraine, since it’s heavily related to your eyesight and other senses, which are all linked to nerve centres in your brain.

Symptoms of Ocular Migraine Without Headache

Although some people might feel like it can be a relief to experience an ocular migraine without headache, sometimes the scary aura symptoms are just as uncomfortable.

This is because even though you might not feel pain, there is still a lot of discomfort that comes with experiencing this kind of condition. To clarify, these symptoms can include loss of vision or visual disturbances that can be very unsettling.

An ocular migraine without headache can be a major inconvenience for any sufferer. Symptoms are known to affect your senses and perceptions are much the same as you would feel from ocular migraine stroke.

For example, seeing spots or stars, seeing zigzags, or even partial vision loss is common when experiencing an aura. It’s also possible to experience auditory hallucinations(1), and tasting or smelling things that you haven’t encountered.

Understanding the Symptoms

Because these symptoms toy with your perception of reality, maintaining your normal routine or activities can be extremely difficult.

It can be dangerous for a person who regularly gets ocular migraines to drive because of the visual impairment and general discomfort that can distract them from the road. Reading and writing can also be tedious tasks when your vision is disturbed.

Also, the discomfort that comes with this kind of condition can be very unsettling, and can have emotional effects on a person that are also important to deal with as to not create any kind of trauma.

Seeking Medical Help

It’s recommended to check in with a doctor to confirm these symptoms are from an ocular migraine without headache and not something more serious, like a stroke or a seizure. Although you don’t feel the headache pain, your doctor may still prescribe migraine medication to address the other symptoms.

Your doctor will also likely encourage you to take note of the different environmental and lifestyle triggers that precede your ocular migraine without headache. In many cases, overstimulation of the senses can lead to an ocular migraine with aura. For example, loud sounds, bright or flashing lights, or strong smells.

Our nerve cells that respond to signals from our senses can go into overdrive when overstimulated. Knowing which triggers to avoid can save you the stress and discomfort of having an aura and a migraine.


As we age, our migraines evolve and change with us. For many, this can mean that their migraines are less painful from a headache point of view and more stressful on the body. This is because you might feel other kinds of ocular migraine stroke symptoms.

Elderly people who are used to having ocular migraines tend to have an increase in sensory disruptions and a decrease in headaches. The aura can also begin to cause blackouts or memory loss.

It’s especially important as an elderly person to check in with the doctor because your chance of stroke risk increases and strokes have similar symptoms to an ocular migraine without headache (which involves some kind of sensory disturbance).


It’s difficult to imagine due to the name of the ailment, but an ocular migraine without headache can occur.

In fact, it’s important to note that this kind of pain can be felt with or without a headache too. Also, even if you don’t experience any pain, the symptoms you experience can sometimes be just as uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Although you don’t have to monitor the pain severity of your migraines, which can be quite stressful while it’s happening, it’s wise to monitor the aura and other symptoms you experience. This is so you can know what to expect and be able to decipher your individual triggers.

Also, it’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these kinds of symptoms, as they can be indicative of a more serious problem, for example, a stroke or a seizure.

Everyone is different, and our experiences of migraines are no exception. In order to deal with this kind of ailment, take note of all of your symptoms and experiences to make diagnosis and treatment a lot more straightforward, and timeous for you.