Vestibular Migraine: Symptoms And Treatment


If you find your world spinning during a migraine attack, it is possible that you suffer from vestibular migraine symptoms. While there are different types of migraine, it can be confusing to differentiate these types of migraine. Hence, understanding some of the key differences between vestibular migraine symptoms and treatment and other types of migraine will help you to take the right action step to cope with the symptoms.

What Is Vestibular Migraine?


As the name “vestibular” suggests, vestibular migraine involves vestibular (or vertigo-like) symptoms. This may mean you may experience giddiness that can last for minutes, hours, or even days depending on the severity of the vestibular migraine condition. However, it is important to note that you may experience these vestibular-like symptoms without experiencing the usual headache that is commonly associated with migraine.

Vestibular Migraine Symptoms

Some of the key vestibular migraine symptoms include:

  1. Vertigo-like symptoms, such as giddiness, dizziness, or loss of balance
  2. Throbbing headache on one side of the head
  3. Sensitivity to light and smells 
  4. Sensitivity to motion (moving your head suddenly etc)
  5. Visual aura commonly associated with migraine with aura

You may also experience ringing or pressure building up in your ears. However, you must take note if you experience hearing loss because that is a common symptom of Méniére’s disease. Also, some of the symptoms may overlap with the symptoms of a “mini-stroke”, which is a transient ischemic attack (TIA). In fact, it is plausible for these conditions to exist together. This is also why it is essential to visit your healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis.

What Causes Vestibular Migraine?

While researchers are still in the midst of finding out what causes vestibular migraine, it is commonly understood that family migraine history plays a role in increasing the risks of us experiencing vestibular migraine. For example, if I have a parent or sibling that experienced vestibular migraine, it may be likely that I will experience it too. This may not be a surprise as research has increasingly pointed to how migraine is hereditary.

Vestibular Migraine Treatment

When it comes to vestibular migraine treatment, it is likely that the migraine doctor may prescribe one of these medications:

  • Beta blockers for migraine

  • Calcium channel blockers

  • Tricyclic antidepressants

  • Serotonin or serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs or SNRIs)

  • Topiramate

Vestibular Migraine Diet

It is important to ensure you evenly space out your food and fluid intake as this helps with inner-ear fluid stability, which is important to alleviate these vestibular migraine symptoms. This may mean having snacks during regular intervals of the day. It is also important to avoid food and beverages that are high in sugar and salt. This might mean avoiding chocolate as chocolate may cause migraine for some of us. Also, it is crucial to avoid alcohol and tobacco as these do not help with alleviating the symptoms of vestibular migraine diet. Caffeine may also be a migraine trigger for some of us too. 

While there is no cure for vestibular migraine, you can still take control of migraine through tracking. Tracking enables you to identify the best coping method and migraine home remedies for you. You can also track migraine attacks and identify potential risk factors that might trigger the migraine attack. Download your Migraine Buddy app now!
Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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