Vertigo is a relatively common condition that induces a feeling of nausea and dizziness in a person, and it can be caused by a variety of issues. But many patients spend years suffering through repeated vertigo attacks without even realizing that that are actually experiencing a migraine. Contrary to popular belief, not all migraines cause a headache, and it is possible to only experience one or two symptoms without the characteristic pain. If you have been struggling through vertigo for months or even years, a visit to your local neurologist may reveal the real problem behind your symptoms and help lay out a new and more effective treatment plan.
Distinguishing Between the Causes of Vertigo
In some cases, vertigo is the result of a physiological disorder, such as a damaged inner ear that cannot correctly moderate your sense of balance. It can, however, also be provoked by a neurological imbalance, which appears to either be caused by or linked to the same factors that can trigger migraines. Vertigo-inducing migraines are also known as vestibular migraines. An estimated 1 percent of the population will experience vestibular migraines, compared to the approximately 14 percent who experience one or more regular migraines during their lifetime.
Recognizing the Other Signs of a Migraine
Although it is possible for a vestibular migraine to only manifest as vertigo, it is often accompanied by a few of the standard symptoms of a migraine as well. You may, for example, see bright, flashing lights or visual distortions prior to the vertigo, or you may experience headaches around the same time as the vertigo. Light and sound sensitivity and sore neck muscles are also common indicators that a migraine is approaching. If you recognize any of these symptoms, you may be dealing with vestibular migraines, though you may also experience none.
Diagnosing Vestibular Migraines
The fastest way to confirm whether or not you are experiencing vertigo as a byproduct of migraines is to schedule an examination with a nearby neurologist. With the right medical equipment and tests, a neurologist can image your brain and chart your physical responses, preferably while the vertigo is occurring, to discover exactly what changes are taking place and why. With any luck, you will receive a definitive diagnosis either way.
Treating Vestibular Migraines
If you are diagnosed with vestibular migraines, treatment is typically similar to that for regular migraines. Your neurologist can help you identify triggering foods, smells and settings to reduce the frequency of your vertigo attacks, as well as show you how to respond when you notice the first symptoms of a migraine. There is no reason to let vestibular migraines impair your life unless you have exhausted every option, so contact your neurologist today to begin finding a solution for your recurring vertigo.
Reach out to a clinic like Billings Clinic for more information.