Vestibular Migraines Are Not Just A Form of Dizziness

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When you hear the term “migraine,” your first thought is usually “headache.” However, if you experience a history of migraine headaches as well as dizzy episodes, you could have vestibular migraines – which are quite unusual in that they may not include headaches at all. 

Although a history of migraines and dizziness are indicators of this illness, identifying vestibular migraines is not as simple as that, according to a renowned neurologist. He further averred that having vestibular migraines are analogous to stating that if a car is quick and red, then it is a Ferrari. 

Basic Facts About Vestibular Migraines

To diagnose vestibular migraines, doctors seek at least five to eight years of history of migraine symptoms including growing dizziness which is also referred to as migraine-associated vertigo, migraine-related vestibulopathy, and migrainous vertigo. Vestibular relates to the inner ear including balance. 

It has been noted that vestibular symptoms are extremely varied because they may include a whirling sensation, a sense of movement, or the illusion that objects are moving inexorably relative to their surroundings. 

Symptoms might range from a few minutes to many days. Additionally, they have the ability to knock you off your feet. 

It was further explained that vestibular migraines have the potential to be extremely debilitating, while a headache is not always present, the dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, and/or nausea can be extremely incapacitating. 

It’s difficult to estimate the prevalence of vestibular migraines. According to one research, they may affect 1.7 percent of the general population. 

Difference of a Vestibular Migraine From The Classic Form of Migraines

A migraine headache is characterized by moderate to severe discomfort and a proclivity for recurrence. Often, the pain starts on one part of the head then pulses or throbs. You may have increased sensitivity to light, sound, and smells. You may feel nauseated and vomit as there are certain individuals who experience a warning sign or aura which are visual signals such as brilliant flashing lights prior to developing a migraine. 

They are typically inherited, but there are other causes – emotional stress, susceptibility to chemicals as well as preservatives in food, coffee, and sleep deprivation. Vestibular migraines exhibit a number of these symptoms in addition to dizziness either with or without a headache. A physician also explained that they look for symptoms of inner ear issues or some other potential causes of dizziness in order to support a diagnosis. 

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How is Dizziness Given Weight in Vestibular Migraines?

Dizziness is a rather frequent illness in and of itself because each year, around 15% of the overall population suffers from dizziness, with the prevalence being greater among older individuals.  It has also been noted that it is one of the top five exhibiting symptoms to a primary care physician.  In certain circumstances, it results in falls and fainting, but with vestibular migraines, you will experience vertigo or a feeling of spinning. 

It was further explained that dizziness is usually not significant and might be caused by medicines, heart issues, or inner ear disorders in the case of vestibular migraines.

How Are Vestibular Migraines Being Treated?

In general, migraines as well as vestibular migraines identically. However, there are three common strategies that have been proposed in treating vestibular migraines: 

  • Identify and eliminate your triggers – whether they be stress, particular meals, or insufficient sleep. 
  • Letting you take vitamin supplements such as riboflavin or magnesium. 
  • Reduce or avoid headaches using over-the-counter or prescription medications. 

Additionally, your doctor may prescribe vestibular rehabilitation, a form of physical treatment that can assist with balance and dizziness management. The rehabilitation staff will create an exercise program tailored to your unique needs, such as neck stretching and visual stabilization exercises. 

Qualities of Migraine Doctors That You Should Stay Away From

The doctor does not take serious consideration of your illness

There are renowned neurologists and ENTs that may just tell you that your vertigo attacks, continuous dizziness, and sensations of falling or walking on marshmallows are just results of stress and therefore recommend that you just take some time off to unwind. 

If you feel like you are not getting the right kind of care from your doctor, then you may want to look for another one and consider getting a second opinion especially if your doctor is dismissing your symptoms that are causing you to lose your freedom or is substantially hurting your work. 

You should also see it as red flags when the doctor refers to your migraine attacks as just “headaches” or they minimize their intensity because the truth is, migraine is a neurological disorder and it should be treated properly 

Your first appointment with your physician is very brief

Unless you’re consulting your doctor for routine check-ups, your appointment should take at least ten minutes.  A brief initial meeting will not enable you to address any new symptoms or modifications to your treatment plan, nor will it allow them to pick up on signs that you may be neglecting to communicate. 

In an ideal world, your initial appointment would include a comprehensive examination and an in-depth discussion of your symptoms with your physician. 

Bringing a notepad with questions might be beneficial, especially if you have any cognitive fog, but dialoguing with your physician is critical. You should feel comfortable addressing the potential adverse effects of prescription drugs, as well as any concerns you may have about initiating a new one.

Your physician is not really that interested to listen

With the appropriate migraine expert, you will create a relationship – one in which you both listen to one another. 

As with any relationship, it’s impossible to advance if you feel as though someone is simply speaking at you andante is also not listening to what you’re saying. 

This was a major difficulty for me initially, and I’m aware that many physicians dismissed me as a “dramatic lady.” They would only speak or listen to my husband while he was in the room with me. 

What you are experiencing with a migraine condition is genuine, valid, and deserving of someone’s undivided attention. 

If your expert is not attentive to you, particularly when you bring research or suggestions, they may be overlooking some significant signs that might aid you in finding the correct drug or treatment.