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Vestibular Migraines: Everything
That You Need To Know About

Vestibular migraines are characterized by episodes of vertigo in a person who has previously had migraines. People who suffer from vertigo have the sensation that they, or items around them, are spinning when they are not. The term "vestibular" refers to the mechanism in your inner ear that regulates the equilibrium of your body.

Migraines are frequently linked with severe headaches; however, vestibular migraines are distinct in that the episodes are frequently accompanied by no headache at all. Many persons who suffer from classic or basilar migraines (auras) also suffer from vestibular migraines, however, this is not true for everyone.

Vestibular migraines can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes, but they can also linger for several days as they seldom last for more than 72 hours at a time. In addition to experiencing vertigo, you may also have off-balance, dizziness, and light-headedness. It is possible that moving your head will exacerbate such sensations.

A vestibular migraine is a kind of migraine that affects the balance system and this is also the most prevalent reason for spontaneous vertigo episodes, according to the research. The symptoms of vestibular migraines may also be experienced by children in some cases. It is referred to as "benign paroxysmal vertigo of infancy" when it occurs in youngsters. That group of youngsters is more prone than the general population to suffer from migraines later in life.

Symptoms Indicating You Are Suffering from Vestibular Migraines

Vestibular migraines are characterized by episodes of vertigo as their primary symptom. You may also encounter the following signs and symptoms when you are having vestibular migraine attacks:

  • Dizziness induced by gazing at moving things such as automobiles or people walking
  • Lightheadedness caused by feeling unbalanced motion sickness generated by turning your head
  • Being rocked back and forth like a boat
  • A consequence of the other symptoms resulting to nausea and vomiting

How Are Vestibular Migraines Being Diagnosed

The diagnosis of vestibular migraines might be difficult due to the lack of a definitive test for the condition. As an alternative, your doctor will review your symptoms and medical history with you, taking into account variables outlined in the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICD):

1. Have you experienced at least five episodes of mild or severe vertigo lasting from 5 minutes to 72 hours?

2. Have you ever had or do you now get migraines with or without an aura?

3. In addition to dizziness, at least half of the vertigo episodes included at least one of the following symptoms:

  • An agonizing sensitivity to light, referred to as photophobia, or to sound, known as phonophobia, among other things.
  • You can see the presence of visual auras
  • Your headache are being characterized by at least two of the following conditions:
    1. The headache is located in one side of the head and is focused on just that side
    2. The headache is causing a pulsating sensation
    3. The pain of the headache ranges from moderate to severe
    4. Due to routine activities, the headache becomes more severe.

4. Is there any illness that might be causing your symptoms more effectively?

In order to provide you with the best treatment possible, your physician will need to rule out all the following diseases that might be causing your symptoms:

  • Irritation in the nerves or fluid leaks that are from your inner ear
  • Transient ischemic attacks or TIAs
  • Meniere's illness is a type of balance problem or an inner ear disorder
  • Benign positional vertigo (BPV), which is characterized by short episodes of mild to severe dizziness or nausea

How Vestibular Migraines Are Being Treated, Prevented, and Managed

The same medications that are used to treat vertigo can also be utilized to treat vestibular migraine attacks. These medications are used to treat symptoms such as dizziness, motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting, among others.

If you suffer from migraines on a regular basis, your physician may recommend the same medications that are used to prevent other types of migraines. You can minimize your chances of getting a migraine by limiting foods and beverages that are known to cause them. Keeping a meal journal can assist you in identifying what it is that causes your body to react negatively and cause an episode.

Treatment Options That Are Available for People With Vestibular Migraines

If eliminating triggers doesn't really help control symptoms, medications may be recommended to help prevent episodes from occurring. The use of a beta-blocker such as an example, propranolol, a calcium channel blocker like verapamil, an antidepressant (for example, nortriptyline, venlafaxine), and/or an anticonvulsant can all be used as preventative medications. An antidepressant or an anticonvulsant is not a diagnosis of depression or seizures; rather, they are designed to regulate the central nervous system as well as increase the threshold at which episodes are triggered. It is possible that your medication regimen will be adjusted to your existing medical problems. Once symptoms are under control, medicines may be tapered off gradually, and they do not need to be taken indefinitely.

Among other things, vestibular rehabilitation is a form of physical therapy that may be suggested for the treatment of persistent balance problems. Vestibular therapy is a technique that trains your brain to become less sensitive to typical sensory stimuli. The intensity of therapy is often raised gradually over time, and the treatment may be tailored to address a wide range of triggers, including motion, visual perceptions, and postural instability, over the course of treatment.

Treatment for a vestibular migraine episode that has already begun involves rest, monitoring, hydration, and medicines such as anti-nausea, antihistamine, or sedatives, if necessary, to assist halt the assault. However, as previously said, the most effective method of treating vestibular migraine is to prevent an attack from occurring, and it is essential to know your triggers. Many instances can be successfully treated only by avoiding triggers.

Important Things To Ask Your Migraine Doctor

If you believe you should consult a doctor to help you manage your migraine attacks, you may want to consider the following during your conversation:

  1. Should I maintain a migraine symptom notebook, and if so, what information should I include?
  2. Which treatment choices are available to me and how will they influence my pre-existing medical condition(s)?
  3. Is it necessary for me to get a hearing, balance, or imaging assessment?
  4. Do I require the services of another specialist?

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