Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV)

What is MAV?

MAV is the most common cause of recurrent spontaneous vertigo and the second most common vestibular disorder after benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). MAV can occur with or without the symptom of headache typically associated with migraine.

The exact mechanisms of migraine are still not completely understood but it is likely to be a combination of altered vascular and neural processes.

Symptoms of MAV

Symptoms vary greatly from person to person but may include: dizziness or vertigo; tinnitus; hearing loss; visual symptoms such as blurred vision, blind spots, seeing patterns or flashing lights; altered speech; physical sensations such as pins and needles or numbness; nausea and sickness; sensitivity to light or sound; motion intolerance. This may or may not be associated with headache.

Migraine is usually linked to triggers such as food, drinks, certain situations, stress, medications and hormonal fluctuations.

Treatment of MAV

Medication is usually used as the first line treatment along with identification of triggers and lifestyle modification. Vestibular rehabilitation can then be helpful in the form of eye, balance and task related home exercises. The benefits of vestibular rehabilitation are well documented to reduce symptoms and restore function.