National Migraine Centre

Are these vestibular migraines?

I've suffered with vertigo for about nine years. For the first five years it was intermittent, happening maybe 2-5 times a year, for short periods of time. On a scale of 1-10 I would say it was at an 8-9. It would always be upon waking up, and was the only symptom. Would only be present when standing, not lying down. For the past four years I've had relentless, chronic vertigo that has varied in severity depending on multiple factors, including transit buses, alcohol, MSG, caffeine, salt, physical exertion, excessive head movement, getting out of bed, loud noises and large crowds, lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, running/walking, concentrating too hard on one thing, barometric pressure (raining), excessive usage of computer/phone, escalators, elevators and focus-intensive tasks (such as studying). It's best when I get some movement in, but not too much. I hate laying still with it, i used to be in cadets a Loooong time ago and had to drop it. The vertigo can vary from a feeling of being on unsteady, moving ground, like being on a boat, to feeling as if the room is spinning. At best I can describe this as faux movement, like my body thinks the surroundings are moving, etc. Occasionally it will become exacerbated. Along with this I've noticed over the past 4 years that I've become susceptible to headache, tunnel vision, cranial pressure and fatigue. The headaches are generally caused by head positions, stress, head/neck movement, using computer/cellphone, physical exertion, and the more physical activity I get the worse they are. Following the headaches are feelings of lethargy and cranial pressure. I find that closing my eyes helps a lot when it's sudden onset, then after that it just becomes a dull pulsation. Occasionally I will feel tunnel vision, though I've only had it due to physical exertion, either bending down for too long, straining my neck, etc. I have a very physical job so I tend to experience it there the most. Generally it will look like this: Quick bout tunnel vision > intense feeling of cranial pressure > headache > lethargy > dull throb/pulsation. Running is the worst. If I run for longer than 5 minutes I'll get a massive headache and horrible vertigo. Vertigo returns to normal vertigoness after about an hour, headache will reside to a dull throb. I've had an MRA (clean), a CTAngio of Carotid (clean). My ENT doesn't think it's ear related at all, but is checking for SCCD, though it's unlikely. My neurologist thinks it's vestibular migraines, but it's not episodic really. I guess what I mean by that is if I can control stress and movement then I can go days without headache, but life just isn't like that. The vertigo, albeit, is always there.

Hopefully I'm descriptive enough. Also I've tried Serc and it didn't help. Only drug I'm on is ativan, which I take about 7mg/month of on average.

On a side note, has anyone else ever experienced relentless vertigo? Most cases I've heard of have been episodic..

Also I was just prescribed Propranolol, but found a study where it didn't actually help at all with the vertigo. I don't really care if I have the headaches but I'm tired of the vertigo, so that's unfortunate.


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