Hi and thank you for taking the time to review my question. I am a 43 yr old woman with a history of migraine with aura (never the headache) I get flashing lights about every 6 weeks, last only minutes. I am not menopausal. I have had the aura for about 20 years now.
About 16 years ago I had an episode of spontaneous vertigo (room spinning) I was pregnant at the time and the dr's chalked it up to the pregnancy. Three years ago I had a very brief (2 mins) episode of diplopa. This weekend I had another brief epsiode of spontaneous vertigo that lasted 3 mins followed by extreme nausea for the rest of the day. None of these non-flashing light episodes were followed or preceded by a headache or any other type of aura.
Does this sound like migraine behavior..or should I be concerned that it is something else?
I should mention I have no other notable symptoms during these episodes.
Please advise when you have a moment.
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.
Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
Vertigo can have several causes. Since you describe room spinning sensation, the vertigo may be originating from the inner ear or the brain. Inner ear causes of vertigo most commonly include benign positional vertigo (BPPV), which is due to small particle in the inner ear that moves out of place, and can be repositioned with simple head maneuvers. The symptoms often include vertigo that occurs with turning of the head, often while turning over in bed. Another cause, if your symptoms are associated with tinnitus (ear ringing) and hearing loss is called Meniere’s disease and can be treated with medications and sometimes surgery. And so on, several other causes from inner ear problems exist. As mentioned, vertigo can also be due to problems in the brain. The most common is a benign tumor called a schwanoma (also called acoustic neuroma). This is diagnosed by MRI of the brain. Multiple sclerosis can cause vertigo, but often, other symptoms are present as well. A normal MRI of the brain excludes multiple sclerosis. Thyroid problems can also lead to vertigo. Your symptoms may be consistent with a variant of migraine called basilar migraine. Basically this is marked by several hours of vertigo associated with nausea, light-sensitivity, and sometimes other symptoms. Headache may or may not be present. The treatment is different from that used to treat other migraine types; the treatment in this case is a type of medication called calcium channel blocker, such as verapamil, which is actually used to treat blood pressure but works in type of basilar migraine as well.
I suggest you follow up with your primary physician to examine you and search for causes of vertigo. You may benefit from a referral to a neurologist.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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