Frequently Asked Questions
People have lots of questions when it comes to vestibular migraine– it’s a confusing and relatively unknown condition that requires very specific management strategies. The answers I provide here come from my personal experiences, plus some of the scientific literature I’ve encountered. If you have questions I haven’t answered, please send me a message!
The signals from the inner ear, along with signals from the sense of touch and vision, enter the brain and result in spatial understanding. If there is a problem anywhere in the system– in the semicircular canals, the vestibular nerve, the corresponding brain areas– then dizziness and balance disturbance can occur.
Vestibular migraines occur in the vestibular system and can cause vertigo, dizziness, balance disturbance, disequilibrium, and motion sensitivity, in the presence or absence of headache. As a disorder, vestibular migraine is extremely common. An estimated 1-3% of people suffer from migrainous vertigo, which is widely accepted as the second most common cause of spontaneous episodic vertigo 6,1. 1%– that’s approximately 3 million people! Even with these staggering statistics, vestibular migraine is still dramatically under-diagnosed.
Not every migraine headache causes intense pain. There is a form of migraine headache that is often misinterpreted by patients as a sinus headache. In one study entitled “Sinus, Allergy and Migraine Study,” scientists revealed that 86% of the study patients diagnosed with sinus headache were actually suffering from undiagnosed migraines. In contrast to a stereotypical migraine headache, I often experience this ‘sinus headache’ migraine.
For my take on the vestibular migraine diagnosis, read my answer to the question ‘How do you know for sure that you have vestibular migraine?’