Vestibular Migraine

Vestibular migraine (aka MAV- migraine associated vertigo) is one of the most common and least appreciated causes of dizziness. Migraine is a complex neurological disorder, and while headache is the most common manifestation, dizziness is another very common symptom and it does not have to occur with headaches. Patients are often very sensitive to multiple stimuli, including lights, sounds, smells, touch, and motion during episodes. A prior personal history of migraines, and/or a family history of migraines, is common, but sometimes if enough “migrainous” features occur with the dizziness (such as headache, light or sound sensitivity, or aura), a diagnosis can be made without a previous history of migraine. Migraines are incredibly common, affecting ~30 million Americans, and ~1/3 of those will experience dizziness at some point. While many patients will experience episodic dizziness, where symptoms come and go, some patients will experience constant symptoms, with a sense of imbalance that is there all the time. Treatment is first aimed at lifestyle changes, including avoiding foods that can trigger migraines, stress reduction, and promoting good sleep. Patients who are still experiencing dizziness despite those measures will often need a medication as well to help prevent dizziness, and the specific choice of medication depends on several factors, including the patient’s health, other medications that they are taking, their blood pressure, and whether or not they have any co-existing psychiatric Anchorconditions such as anxiety or depression.

Click here to watch a video on the subject of Vestibular Migrane.