Has anyone heard of acute vertigo lasting 2 weeks as a symptom of migraine?

I have been suffering, intermittently, with acute vertigo since 2004. Attacks occur approx every six months and last for 8-10 days. during the attack I cannot stand upright without the aid of two sticks. I have had various diagnosis over the years but no answers. this is the latest one by a hospital consultant. He is suggesting an exclusion diet. I have already cut out caffeine and chocolate.

14 Replies

  • I don't get severe vertigo any more ("just" migraines) but I went through a phase of having vertigo episodes every few months over a couple of years some 10 years ago. After seeing an ENT specialist, I was diagnosed with BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) and luckily the same specialist was able to carry out a treatment called the Epley Manoeuvre. There's a test called the Dix Hallpike test which confirms the diagnosis prior to the treatment. I have had the manoeuvre twice and have been free of the worst symptoms for the past eight or so years. I'm not sure they ever affected my migraine attacks, but it might be worth looking into BPPV - there's masses of info online!

    Good luck! Patti

  • Hi Patti. thanks for reply but I've already been there! I had a mini-stroke in Feb in the middle of a vertigo episode & while in hospital consultant diagnosed BPPV by him doing the Hallpike manoeuvre. Have had the Epley too & during subsequent attacks did Daroff exercises. But at follow-up consultation a different physician has completely ruled out BPPV, saying my symptoms are not consistent with this. that's when he suggested it was a type of migraine. I just feel I'm back to square one.

  • I frequently had dizzy spells - not as bad as yours which for ages I put down to side effects from medication for chronic pain. My GP referred me to ENT for tests just to make sure, and they diagnosed migraine. I was getting the dizziness without the headaches which can happen, and in my case it was occurring a lot and often lasting for days (my last migraine last week went on for 6 days). I had my first migraine aged 19 and although I had the full works in terms of symptoms it was the acute dizziness that lasted for days that made me see a doctor - and I was diagnosed with wax in the ears!

    I was also told to cut out chocolate, red wine & cheese so I did for 3 months but it made no difference. I tried keeping a detailed migraine diary (there are lots online) and decided in the end that it was hot weather, lack of sleep and unmanaged pain, including neck problems that caused my migraines & dizziness.

    I'd agree with Patti that ENT is a good place to get dizziness checked out. There are also physios who are specialists in treating dizziness. I was prescribed medication for it too but it made me very drowsy so I couldn't keep up with it.

    Good luck.

  • Hi teadrinker. your reply gave me some hope. I have spent hundreds over the years on physios + osteopaths as I was sure it was neck and shoulder problems that were causing this. (I've been doing Pilates for 7 years). One ENT consultant was adamant that it was not my neck and told me I was wasting my money. I too have been prescribed medication which had no effect. Mine cannot be hot weather or lack of sleep, but I'm trying to have an hour's rest every afternoon to see if that helps.

  • There is an illness called MAV migraine associated vertigo. Ive suffered 10 years with chronic migraine and tensions headache and until 2 years ago name 4 times when i had weird dizzy spells that would go away easily. two years ago vertigo kicked in and hasn't stopped near constant but has reduced greatly since original symptoms. They could be linked they might not be. There is a group the daily spin on facebook they really helped me and dizzy times a forum for dizzy people. I would say that seeing a neuro otologist would be the best bet, not just a neurologist. They deal with neurological and inner ear problems. Think they are mainly in London but can be referred on NHS.

    So far it appears mine is due to my thyroid and i do notice improvements when i change my dosage. Also being at a computer does not help.

    Hope this helps x

  • Hello Beryl. thanks for suggestions. I will try the daily spin. living in Yorkshire. went to a neurologist several years ago but he could find nothing. As wondering if it's stress. working on this at present.

  • There are various reasons for vertigo apart from migraine, so if it's new symptoms or old symptoms that are really bothering you I would go back to the doctor. At my local hospital they held a "dizzy clinic" - I could hear the poor doctor through the door repeating the same advice to all the patients over and over, and then it was my turn!

    But I agree with Elizabeth, I really do believe my neck is a main culprit. Even putting my head in the "wrong" position can spark off flashing lights or other visual disturbances, and I have had loads of checks on my eyes which say they're OK. I tried osteopathy for months but got nowhere. I could see the relationship between head & neck problems and migraine as I used to get migraines on the way out of the osteopath's office.

    I am finding physio helpful for managing my pain. She hasn't touched my neck but is working on my bad shoulder, and if I can keep this in check it seems to prevent the migraines. That and botox, but that's another story. But there are times when nothing can stop a migraine coming, and when it's bad not only does the world spin, the ground turns to jelly.

  • Hi teadrinker. Between vertigo bouts I am not in pain (doing twice weekly Pilates helps). hardly sitting at my PC now as retired but spent too many years chained to the thing so t's probably responsible for all sorts! Elizabeth. .

  • you really summed this up in a nutshell, thank you. I have Menieres Disease in my ears, coupled with hemiplegic migraine, osteoarthritis, and lymphoma on my back.

    I really struggle with it and the tons of tablets that make my digestive system do somersaults.. The ground really does turn to jelly.

  • My Doctor showed me how to help myself with vertigo. Lie on your bed so that when you like back your head will go over the end. Get someone to stand behind you and as you go back, turn you head to the right and hold it there. Get the person to hold you head below your body level. You will get very dizzy but it places the little crystal back in the right place. Sit up and then repeat the same thing turning to the opposite side. You stay in this position until the spinning stops. Sit up and repeat again in about an hour. Put something under the head of the bed so that you are not lying flat on the bed. This helps to stabalise the little crystals. Have do this for my daughter, she does it for me and it is amazing how it helps. I hope you find this beneficial to your own problem with vertigo.

  • hi Gaysie - thank you for your message. I'm advised that this is only helpful to those who have BPPV. Before now I have done this procedure but now I'm told it's a type of migraine and definitely not BPPV. Glad you've found a cure. I'm in a good spell now so trying not to stress out about it. M.

  • Hi Elizabeth - I've just joined this group/community and this is my first post but I feel I have to write something...you'll understand why. I had horrendous vertigo attacks about 2 to 3 years ago. I could be sitting watching TV and just keel over. I would often have to crawl along the floor..The extreme attacks like that were not frequent but really frightening. More often than not the 'dizziness' was frustratingly debilitating and nauseating. I only learned that these attacks were related to my migraines after I eventually saw a neurologist who explained my many symptoms - various auras, fractured/double vision, loss of vision, loss of balance etc etc - could be migraines. However the meds she put me on were useless. Stress however I think was one of the biggest culprits. This all came to a head - excuse the pun - for me last year when I suffered a 'migrainous infarction' - a stroke. It seems the various 'turns' I was having in the preceding months were like mini-strokes leading to the big one. Now I'm at pains to say that this is apparently a very rare occurrence, but it happened. In fact the MRI scans show 2 areas of brain damage. I have been left with a permanent visual aura in my field of vision. The meds I am now on - Topiramate and Half-Inderal - are keeping my symptoms largely at bay, however recently they have begun to resurface which is actually why I have sought out the National Migraine Centre. My Neurologists have pretty much washed their hands of me - but I am not convinced yet that I will not suffer another stroke. So the quest continues. I'm not saying these meds will necessarily work for you, but they have helped me. Best of luck. x

  • Yes, I have had loads of episodes of this. In this year alone. There is a definate link with the vertigo and migraines, I have been diagnosed with Menieres Disease after the vertigo died down.. They know about the migraine, but investigated further and found out more. I still can not claim money for it and i am practically housebound because of it.

    Really,,, you should go back and get another opinion like I did, perhaps the inner ear is to blame.

    Good luck


  • I reallly dont know if this will help you but my husband used to get terrible headaches from being in his late twenties but were always preceeded by neck ache. then when he was about 35 he just keeled ove said he was parylised down one side and he felt really dizzy then started to vomit. i thought he had a brain tumour or stroke it took months to get a diagnosis which was that it was a type of migraine/ which starts in the neck as the blood vessels contract stopping the blood flow properly to the brain. But it can be controlled with Epilum which is for epilepsy. I just thought it may be worth mentioning it may help you if you havent tried this kind of medication it worked for him hasnt had one since he has been taking them and that was 15 years ago. take care hope you find something that helps soon kind regards maria

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