Have you been experiencing dizziness with or without a headache? Then you might be having a type of migraine called vestibular migraine. In other words, it is a form of vertigo or migraine due to an abnormality of the vestibular. It is something I have suffered with for many years. Last week I had a migraine that became a week of vertigo. Here are the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of vestibular migraines.
How common is the disease?
Vestibular migraine is common among young adults around 23 years old. However, it rarely does occur in children above eight years of age.
Doctors aren’t exact with the causes of this migraine. They are, however, confident that it results from an abnormality of the vestibule system. This organ is located in the ear and is responsible for balance. Doctors have also proved that the diseases might be due to genetic abnormalities from birth.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of vestibular migraines vary across various populations. The most common ones are headaches, nausea, vomiting, a problem with position, confusion, extreme motion sensitivity, sensitivity to light and sound, and blurring of vision.
Vestibular migraine is also called migraine associated with vertigo. People suffering from the disease might not know because of its similarities with other conditions such as tension headache after stress, hypertensive crises, and others. But the symptoms of this vertigo might take several years before it finally surfaces.
Before your doctor can make a diagnosis of vestibular migraine, there must be;
1. At least, history of 5 previous vertigo episodes
2. Sensitivity to sound or light with flashes of light
3. Headache must be one-sided and pulsing
On getting to the hospital, the doctor might first perform some radiological tests. The essence is to rule out the possibility of other diseases that present, like vestibular migraines. These include stroke, head injuries, and cerebral abscess.
The treatment of vestibular migraine involves several modalities. These modalities are majorly curative and often referred to as abortive therapy. Doctors treat vestibular migraine using;
1. Adequate sleep following a stressful job condition.
2. Good diet might be the treatment in some cases.
3. Some drugs have also been proven to be effective in the treatment of this disease.
Some of these drugs are; an antihistamine, anticonvulsant, Triptans, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, antidepressants, anti-inflammatory, SSRI, and SNRI. These drugs are administered based on the patient’s underlying condition, age, and cause.
Another treatment for vestibular migraine is medical rehabilitation. It is a particular type of exercise that involves changing the positions of the neck and body. It has also proven beneficial in the management of vestibular migraine. Today, there are electric medical devices that can be used to treat migraines. Examples are gamma core, springTM, cafely, Nerivio. These devices are not used for patients at the initial stages. They are only employed when pharmacological and rehabilitation treatments have failed.
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Understanding your triggers for vestibular migraine is crucial to the management of vestibular migraine. Triggers might range from high salt diets, stress, alcohol, chocolate, cheese, and preserved food. Practitioners recommend that patients should keep records of activities and diet to help doctors in the management. An adequate history of these triggers will assist the doctor in a long way.
Vestibular migraine is not a deadly disease. It can be cured with proper treatment and management. However, there are peculiarities. Cases of vestibular migraine vary from person to person. Approaching a doctor is the best way to know what will work for you.
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