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Vestibular migraines


The blinding pain of migraines is bad enough—but now you also have dizziness, vision problems, and the feeling that the ground is moving underneath you? Yep, you have vestibular migraines, a pretty intense double whammy. Approximately 40% of people with migraines have some accompanying “vestibular syndrome”—meaning related to the inner ear—that causes vertigo and/or dizziness. Your unsteadiness, like your migraines, can be really unpredictable, which means that your head might start spinning during, before, or after your migraine episode. If you think you have vestibular migraines, head to a practitioner with neurological expertise to rule out other conditions that impact the vestibular system. They will ask you a lot of questions about your symptoms, including when and how often you experience them, so keeping a headache diary can be helpful. Even though none of your symptoms are life-threatening, they’re unpleasant and disruptive, and they can make your routines feel a lot more challenging. Severe headaches can also be the byproduct of chronic conditions that cause inflammation, which is just about any invisible illness. What to do? First, consider treatments for both your unsteadiness and the pain in your head. As mentioned, these symptoms often occur independently, and what helps your migraine (like painkillers or preventive medications) won’t help your vestibular symptoms. Eliminating foods and ingredients (aged cheese, caffeine, alcohol, sugar) that might trigger your migraines is a good start, and there are also supplements that might ease your migraines, including magnesium, butterbur, feverfew, coenzyme Q10, riboflavin, and alpha-lipoic acid. For the vertigo, physical therapy that uses balancing exercises can help a lot. This so-called vestibular rehabilitation therapy definitely requires time and effort, but many people who have tried it say it really makes a difference.

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Vestibular Migraine: A comprehensive patient guide

An array of words can be used to describe vestibular migraine: Annoying. Debilitating. Overwhelming. Much of the frustration surrounding vestibular migraine is due in part to the fact that as a relatively new disease in the world of vestibular disorders, we just don't know much about it. As a patient - or someone who interacts with a patient of vestibular migraine - the incapacitating attacks and randomness of the symptoms can complicate the already-stressful aspect of dealing with the condition itself. This book is designed to serve as a resource guide to empower and inform patients for the long and at times arduous journey with vestibular migraine. Topics include an introduction to migraine and vestibular anatomy, outlining what vestibular migraine is, diagnosis and treatment of vestibular migraine, and quality of life aspects. Over 170 references highlight some of the most recent research available, in turn providing ample opportunity for patients to read further in order to gain additional insight into this disease. Written by an individual who has himself dealt with multiple vestibular disorders, Vestibular Migraine: A Comprehensive Patient Guide is designed to provide the vestibular migraine patient a solid foundation of facts and information that they can use to improve their understanding of this disease. Through improving their knowledge of this disease, patients can have productive and focused discussions with their medical provider in order to outline a directed plan of treatment to hopefully reduce the effects of vestibular migraine.

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