Vestibular migraine is a disorder of the vestibular system; the parts of the inner ear and brain that help control balance and movement. People who have it usually experience vertigo or dizziness, with sensitivity to motion, light or sound sometimes occurring. Tinnitus (ringing of the ears), nausea and vomiting, fluctuating hearing loss or muffled sound may happen.  Some people with vestibular migraine may have a visual aura, as well as a classic headache.

While they usually affect middle-aged adults, some adults in their 70s have experienced them. Visual stimuli like flashing lights, as well as head motion or change of position can aggravate symptoms. Periods of vertigo can occur many times within a day or just a few times a year. The length of an episode can last from five minutes to several hours to three days. For some people, the attacks last for just a few seconds.

A study in the October 2012 issue of Neurology found that among 61 patients with vestibular migraine (ages 24 to 76) most patients (87%) were still experiencing vertigo after a nine year follow-up. Treatments are similar to those for classic migraine and vertigo. Getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding triggers can help. It has also been suggested that avoiding bright or flickering lights may aid in alleviating the disorder……… Johns Hopkins Medicine August  2013

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