Migraine Dizziness Symptoms

By Rena Sherwood

  • Overview

    Migraine Dizziness Symptoms
    It is common to feel dizzy or have problems standing when under the attack of a migraine. Usually, migraines bring on a host of other symptoms as well as dizziness and head pain. But sometimes the only symptom with the migraine is dizziness so bad that a person is really crippled. This is often called migraine-associated vertigo.
  • Diagnosis

    Getting a diagnosis of migraine-associated vertigo can be difficult because migraines and dizziness are also symptoms of some potentially lethal problems like a stroke, glaucoma, heart attack or an inner ear infection. If you have never had a migraine and dizziness together before, contact your doctor, who may advise you to call an ambulance to be sure you don't have anything more serious. Only after those are ruled out will migraine-associated vertigo then be considered.
  • Vertigo and Dizziness

    Dizziness is usually a term for when you have trouble standing up, walking or generally finding your center of balance. You feel as if your body is out of control. Vertigo is usually when you feel still, but the room is spinning about you. You still find it very hard to move around or find your center of balance. There are different types of vertigo related to how badly you have it and your migraine.


  • Migraine Vs. Headaches

    Migraine pain is located mainly on only one side of the head, often with the pain centering around the eye. With headaches, the pain is more evenly distributed on both sides of the head. Migraines often come without warning, although sometimes they do come with a painless warning called an aura. This happens 10 minutes to a half-hour before the pain and dizziness starts. Auras include hearing things that aren't there and seeing flashes, whirls or blurs that aren't there.
  • Causes

    It is unknown what causes any kind of migraine such as migraine-associated vertigo. The leading theory is that a chemical in the brain called serotonin is the cause. It's thought that not producing enough serotonin also causes clinical depression, which is common in people with migraines. It's also thought that serotonin may help control the body's sense of balance.
  • Treatment

    Migraine attacks with vertigo come seemingly without warning periodically. They need to be treated by a doctor. The attacks will not go away forever on their own. Treatment centers on preventing attacks and painkillers to take during an attack. Anti-seizure medications may be used as a preventative, while strong painkillers like triptans or opiates are used during the actual attack. It's best to take the painkillers as soon as you realize that an attack has begun.
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