Acephalgic migraines – Definition & Meaning

Migraines are a type of headache that can be incredibly debilitating for those who experience them. One type of migraine that is less commonly known is the acephalgic migraine. This type of migraine is unique in that it doesn’t cause head pain, but instead can cause other symptoms that are just as distressing. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of acephalgic migraines.


Acephalgic migraines, also known as silent migraines or migraine auras without headache, are a type of migraine that do not cause head pain. Instead, they can cause other symptoms such as visual disturbances, sensory changes, or speech difficulties. These symptoms can last for several minutes to an hour and are often followed by a period of exhaustion.


The term “acephalgic migraine” comes from the Greek words “a-” meaning without, “cephal-” meaning head, and “-algic” meaning pain. The term was first used in medical literature in the 1980s to describe a type of migraine that was characterized by aura symptoms without the accompanying headache.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The term “acephalgic migraine” is not commonly found in most dictionaries, but it can be found in medical dictionaries. The Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary defines it as “a migraine without headache characterized by visual, sensory, or speech disturbances.”


Acephalgic migraines are often associated with other types of migraines, such as classic migraines or common migraines. They are also more common in women than men and can be triggered by stress, certain foods, or hormonal changes.


Some synonyms for acephalgic migraines include silent migraines, migraine auras without headache, and visual migraines.


As acephalgic migraines are a specific type of migraine, there aren’t really any antonyms for it. However, antonyms for migraines in general could include headache-free, painless, or comfortable.

The same root words

The root words in acephalgic migraines are “a-” meaning without, “cephal-” meaning head, and “-algic” meaning pain. Other words that share these roots include acromegaly (without growth hormone), cephalic (relating to the head), and algophobia (fear of pain).

Example Sentences

  • “Although she didn’t experience any head pain, the visual disturbances of her acephalgic migraine were still incredibly distressing.”
  • “He had been experiencing acephalgic migraines for years before finally seeking medical help.”
  • “The doctor explained that the sensory changes she was experiencing were likely due to an acephalgic migraine.”
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