Vestibular Migraine

Vestibular Migraine

What is Vestibular Migraine?

Vestibular migraine causes repeated episodes of dizziness or vertigo. Alongside, you may also experience usual migraine symptoms like headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea.

What Symptoms Do Vestibular Migraines Produce?

Vestibular migraine symptoms differ among individuals. Commonly, they include:

  • Vertigo: This feels like you or your surroundings are spinning, even when they’re not.
  • Dizziness: This term covers various feelings like lightheadedness, unsteadiness, and even faintness.
  • Imbalance: Many people face balance and coordination issues.
  • Visual Issues: Some report symptoms like blurred vision or sensitivity to light.
  • Nausea: Like other migraines, these also often trigger nausea and vomiting.
  • Sensitivity: Light and sound can become overwhelmingly intense.

Not everyone experiences headaches, and the duration of episodes can differ. Consult a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis if you experience these symptoms.

What Triggers Vestibular Migraine?

Triggers differ from person to person. Common culprits include:

  • Certain Foods: Aged cheeses, chocolate, and alcohol are a few examples.
  • Hormonal Shifts: Women especially may experience migraines due to hormonal changes.
  • Stress: Emotional tension can be a trigger.
  • Sleep Patterns: Lack of sleep or irregular patterns can induce migraines.
  • Environment: Bright lights, loud noises, or even changes in weather can act as triggers.

Identifying and avoiding triggers can help you manage episodes better.

How Do Professionals Diagnose Vestibular Migraine?

Diagnosis usually involves medical history, physical examination, and ruling out other causes. Tests may include:

  • Medical History: Your provider will ask about symptoms, frequency, and possible triggers.
  • Physical Examination: This assesses your overall health and symptoms.
  • Diagnostic Criteria: Guidelines from the International Headache Society often aid diagnosis.
  • Further Tests: Blood tests or imaging may help rule out other conditions.

Consulting a specialist in migraines is crucial for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

How is Treatment Administered for Vestibular Migraine?

Treatment aims to manage symptoms and prevent future attacks. Strategies include:

  1. Acute Medications: For immediate relief during episodes.
  2. Preventive Medications: These reduce frequency and severity of migraines.
  3. Lifestyle Changes: Consistent sleep and stress management can help.
  4. Vestibular Therapy: Specialised physiotherapy may improve your balance. See Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy.

Working closely with a healthcare provider helps tailor your treatment.

What’s the Prognosis for Vestibular Migraines?

Outcomes differ. You might face infrequent episodes or more debilitating attacks. Key points include:

  • Chronic Condition: Expect repeated episodes over time.
  • Variability: Symptoms and frequency differ among people.
  • Treatment Response: Proper management can reduce frequency and severity.
  • Impact: These migraines can interfere with your daily life.
  • Self-Care: Stress management and a regular sleep schedule can improve outcomes.

Consult experienced healthcare providers for effective treatment and a better quality of life.

Article by Shane Armfield

Discussing Vertigo & Dizziness Causes

Navigate Your Way to Steady Ground

Battling vertigo or dizziness can make even the simplest tasks feel daunting. These unsettling sensations can disrupt your routine, making it a struggle to walk, drive, or simply stand up without feeling unstable. Recognising the causes behind vertigo and dizziness is the first step towards regaining your balance and resuming life as usual.

Vertigo & Dizziness Information

Our vertigo and dizziness articles on this website discuss the common origins of vertigo and dizziness.

From the dislodging of tiny crystals in your ear that leads to benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) to the fluid build-up in Meniere's disease, we cover the spectrum of conditions that might be tipping your world upside down.

We also tackle cervicogenic dizziness—a less known but equally significant cause stemming from neck issues.

Vestibular FAQs

In addition to outlining potential causes, we address frequently asked questions to help you understand the nuances of vertigo and dizziness, their symptoms, how they're diagnosed, and the treatment options available. By equipping you with this knowledge, we hope to empower you to take control of your symptoms.

Read more: Vestibular FAQS

vertigo causes

Vertigo Causes

Vertigo frequently surfaces as a symptom of underlying ear or brain problems. Key triggers include:

Inner Ear Disorders:

BPPV, where ear canal crystals go awry, inducing dizzy spells.

Meniere's Disease:

Characterised by inner ear fluid imbalance, triggering vertigo bouts. read more: Meniere's disease.

Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthitis:

Inner ear infections that lead to inflammation and dizziness.

Identifying the exact vertigo cause allows health professionals to customise treatment, potentially reducing or resolving the dizzying episodes.

Dizziness Causes

Dizziness arises from a variety of sources, which can be mild or more severe. These include:

Cervicogenic Dizziness:

Often overlooked, this stems from neck problems disrupting sensory communication to the brain. Read more: Cervicogenic dizziness.

Low Blood Pressure:

Sudden drops can result in momentary light-headedness.


Certain medications list dizziness as a potential side effect.

Anxiety or Stress:

Can lead to bouts of dizziness during periods of heightened stress.

Grasping the causes of dizziness is imperative for practitioners to advise and manage symptoms effectively.


Tracing the roots of vertigo and dizziness is intricate. While many causes are benign and manageable, others may hint at more serious underlying conditions. It's crucial to seek professional input. Vestibular specialists, including ENT doctors and vestibular physiotherapists, are here to help you navigate through these choppy waters to find solid ground.

Your Next Step

If vertigo or dizziness is disrupting your life, don't hesitate to book an appointment to assess your vertigo or dizziness. For more information and practical advice on managing the causes of vertigo and dizziness, peruse our Vestibular Physiotherapy section and explore our FAQs.

Ready for a Change?

Make an appointment with us today and take the first step towards a steadier tomorrow.

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

How to Improve Balance

A Physiotherapist's Guide


Improving your balance is not only possible, but it can also be remarkably straightforward. Recent scientific research underscores the effectiveness of balance retraining. Remarkably, you can see significant improvements in just a few weeks by incorporating progressive balance exercises. These exercises work to normalise your balance and corrective reactions, essential for everyday activities and sports performance.

The Importance of Balance Assessments

A crucial first step in improving balance is undergoing a professional balance assessment. Physiotherapists are skilled in safely evaluating your balance and prescribing tailored exercises and equipment for balance improvement. These assessments form the foundation for a personalised balance enhancement program.

Read more: Where Can You Get Your Balance Assessed?

How to Improve Balance
How to Improve Balance

The Best Exercises for Fall Prevention

One of the primary benefits of improved balance is fall prevention. This is particularly important as we age. Exercises that enhance strength, balance, and righting reactions are central to fall prevention. Safety during these exercises is paramount. A physiotherapist can tailor a safe, effective fall-prevention exercise program to your needs. This personalised approach ensures a steady progression as your balance improves. For professional guidance on starting a fall-prevention exercise routine, consult your physiotherapist.

Utilising Balance Enhancement Products

Over the years, clinicians have developed a range of products that effectively enhance balance. These products have shown success in reducing falls plus also ankle and knee ligament sprains and improving daily and sporting performance. Many of these can be used conveniently at home to boost your balance, reduce injury risk, and alleviate joint pain.

Some recommended balance enhancement products include:

Incorporating these products into your balance training can maximise benefits, leading to improved balance and stability.

For more details: Balance-Related Products

New Research and Developments in Balance Training

Recent studies have brought to light new insights in balance training. These include the importance of multi-directional exercises, the role of core strength in balance, and the benefits of proprioceptive training. Integrating these elements into balance training can lead to more comprehensive improvements.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Improving your balance is an achievable goal with the right approach. Starting with a professional assessment and following through with tailored exercises and the use of enhancement products can lead to significant improvements. The evolving field of balance training continues to offer new strategies and insights.

What to Do Next?

Seek professional advice from your physiotherapist. They can guide you through a safe, effective balance improvement program tailored to your needs. Remember, the journey to better balance starts with a single step – reaching out to a professional!

More Info