Vestibular Migraine overview

Abhinav puri
4 min readFeb 16, 2021

Migraine is one of the most common problems found in the majority of the population. Vestibular migraines is a nervous system disorder that makes the person feel dizzy. It is even known as migrainous vertigo by doctors. Repeated episodes of dizziness make the person lose balance. Vestibular is related to the inner ear and is responsible for maintaining balance and hearing. The prevalence of Vestibular migraine is commonly found in women as compared to men between the Age group of 20 to 40 years. It can even be diagnosed in patients.

Vestibular migraines do not always cause headaches like traditional migraines. Sudden bouts of dizziness are the major vestibular migraine symptoms experienced by patients suffering from the same. Other symptoms like disturbing hearing ability, vision, and balance are some of the common causes of vestibular migraine. It is one of the common causes for creating vertigo conditions in patients.

Generally, patients suffering from migraines experience a vestibular disorder that makes it difficult for them to live with it. The person may feel dizzy now and then which creates hindrance and interferes in completing daily activities. A majority of Vestibular migraine cases remain undiagnosed even after rapid advancements in medical technology.

Hormonal fluctuations, foods, sleep disturbances, stress, and weather changes are some of the common conditions that trigger the symptoms of vestibular migraine. As soon as you start observing symptoms, seeking medical help and consulting a vestibular migraine specialist is recommended. He will diagnose the underlying condition and would suggest the best vestibular migraine treatment or vestibular migraine therapy depending on the underlying cause.

He may suggest certain alterations in your daily diet and will prescribe you certain drugs to alleviate the symptoms of vestibular migraine. Let’s have a look at some Vestibular Migraine symptoms to understand the condition in a much better way.

What are Vestibular Migraine symptoms?

It’s not always necessary that patients who suffer from vestibular migraines experience headaches. The major symptoms experienced by patients of vestibular migraines are sudden bouts of dizziness and loss of balance. Vestibular migraine is one such major cause of vertigo. Some patients may experience vertigo signs before, during, or after headaches. The emergence of vertigo symptoms can occur when you enter the later stage of vestibular migraines.

Some patients may find it intolerable to turn the head as it triggers the condition even further.

Dizziness associated with vestibular migraines may last from minutes to hours to days, depending on the severity of the condition.

Other symptoms associated with vestibular migraines are:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Unsteadiness
  3. Balance problems or disequilibrium
  4. Motion sickness, you may feel sick or dizzy when you move your head, eyes, or body
  5. Feeling unsteady or lightheadedness
  6. Becomes sensitive to sound or light

What are the common Vestibular Migraine causes that lead to such a situation?

A lot of studies and research have been going on to diagnose the underlying cause of Vestibular migraines. In spite of research, Vestibular Migraine causes are yet not understood completely by the medical sector.

It has been widely believed that abnormal ‘electric’ messages can cause vestibular migraines in patients. Abnormal ‘electric’ messages can widen the blood vessels in and around the brain along with the vestibular artery in the inner ear.

A large percentage of the audience is living with such a condition but the cause is still undiagnosed completely. The symptoms associated with vestibular migraines confuse it with a lot of other diseases. Unlike traditional migraines, they do not always cause severe headaches in patients. Vestibular migraines are more common in women when compared to men.

Diagnosis of Vestibular Migraine

An expert neurologist will diagnose the condition of vestibular migraine by seeking a complete medical history and asking the patient to undergo various tests.

Your doctor may ask you about how frequently you experience migraine headaches. He would even ask you, have you experienced vertigo spells about 5 times and how long it lasts? It will help the doctor to evaluate the severity of the condition. He will suggest the right Vestibular Migraine treatment accordingly after carrying out the complete examination.

What are the Vestibular Migraine treatments?

A combination of a healthy lifestyle and medications (only if the case is severe) can result in a good recovery from vestibular migraines.

A neurologist would suggest vestibular migraine treatment as per the cause and the severity of the condition. Vestibular migraine specialists may recommend altering certain lifestyle habits by making modifications in dietary habits. It helps in preventing the condition from triggering. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet along with an adequate amount of sleep at the right time helps in alleviating vestibular migraine symptoms.

Reducing the consumption of caffeine, salt, and intake alcohol are recommended by doctors. If the condition is severe, the doctor may prescribe certain drugs like beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, SSRI’s and antiepileptic medications to treat the underlying condition by alleviating the symptoms.

If required, doctors may even suggest you with vestibular migraine exercise to practice regularly along with medications for faster recovery.

Vestibular migraine therapies are even recommended by doctors as it shows effective results in easing out the symptoms. It is recommended when a patient is experiencing dizziness due to movements in the position of the head. Consulting an expert neurologist at the right time helps in combating the issue completely.



Abhinav puri

I am a professional blogger who has written a couple of informative pieces and blogs in various domains starting from the healthcare, Technology many more.