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.

Click here to read an article from Physician's Weekly, "A Novel Vestibular Migraine Assessment Tool" by  Jeffrey D. Sharon, MD.

VM-PATHI: Vestibular Migraine Patient Assessment Tool and Handicap Inventory

For patients with a confirmed diagnosis with Vestibular Migraine, this survey is a validated measure of disease related suffering. Scores are possible between 0 to 100; with 0 indicating no disease related suffering, and 100 indicating the highest possible disease related suffering. The score appears at the bottom of the form, and is updated in real-time. This tool is not intended for diagnosis; but instead to help guide research into vestibular migraine. If you believe you are suffering from Vestibular Migraine; please contact your local qualified medical professional.

Development of VM-PATHI was generously supported by Hearing Research Inc.

Click here to take the survey

Click here for the Pubmed reference for the manuscript that provides additional information on the development and validation of VM-PATHI