December 2, 2015
Anyone ever experience vertigo with their migraines? I have had migraines since I was a teenager, they have gotten increasingly worse in my 30s and now 40s. I recently not only was getting the dizzy/light headed feeling. I also am getting what I believe is vertigo, like everything else is spinning around which makes it hard to do most things. If anyone has suggestions or knows anything more about vertigo with migraines I would greatly appreciate hearing more
Nancy Harris Bonk37 Moderator
December 3, 2015
Hi Amy Thomas,
Thank you for posting your question and welcome to the discussion forum!
Yes, there are people who experience vertigo with migraine attacks and at times it may not be easy to deal with I'm sorry to say. When you have a chance take a look at this information on vertigo and migraine; https://migraine.com/blog/vestibular-migraine-under-the-updated-migraine-classification-system/and https://migraine.com/migraine-types/vestibular-migraine/.
If you've not seen a "true" migraine/headache expert I would encourage you to do so. These doctors are experts that treat one condition all day, every day - migraine and headache disorders. Neurologists may be fine doctors but have a hard time being experts in one condition because they treat so many conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson's' and others. True migraine/headache experts are board certified in headache medicine whereas all neurologists are not. Here is more information on how these doctors are special and how to find one; 1. http://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/really-find-headache-specialist/.
March 9, 2016
Nancy gave some great information, but in case you haven't yet gotten any relief, I thought I would share my experience with vestibular migraine or migraine with vertigo. I started with a severe vertigo episode after what I thought was a sinus infection, doctors said no, about 10 years ago. After that I continued with mild episodes of vertigo and sinus infections, or so I thought. What I thought was a sinus infection due to ear and teeth pain with nasal pressure probably was a form of migraine. I had another bad episode of vertigo 6 years ago. Then when I approached menopause, the migraines hit with force. About 4 years ago, I started with daily headaches that if I didn't take my treatment, 6 oz of a drink with caffeine and 3 Tylenol tablets, within an hour I couldn't function - I had severe pain and everything would spin. I was teaching seventh grade at the time. Occasionally, I only had vertigo, but it was debilitating, so my primary care doctor setup appointments with an ENT, brain MRI, and neurologist. I some temporary relief from vertigo by doing the Epley Maneuver with the ENT. The neurologist said I was having rebound headaches because of my treatment with caffeine and Tylenol, so he wanted me to take nothing for the migraines for 6 weeks except to start on magnesium and using lavender and peppermint oils. It was a very rough six weeks. I had to go home early the first week as I couldn't make a full day teaching. The students were wonderful, but I left at the end of the school year.
I have since been seeing an otoneurologist who specializes in vestibular/balance disorders and headache disorders. He started me on vestibular therapy, which is a form of physical therapy to retrain the brain to listen to all senses for balance. At first I left those sessions feeling worse and had to take my abortive before the session to prevent a migraine, although the vertigo tended to be worse. Many people give up on this type of therapy for that exact reason. I also had to have a ride to each session which was 30 minutes from my home. I started wearing sea bands to help with the nausea on the ride home. I still take a daily preventive, go to therapy sessions once a month, but I do my series of exercise daily, and I get a migraine episode (sometimes vertigo and pain, sometimes just one or the other) twice a month. This is fabulous and my doctor thinks it would be better than that if I didn't have the stress of a terminally ill husband.
I didn't mean this to be so long, sorry about that. I hope you were able to get something that will help you.