Severe dizzy spells (4-5 days)
Hi! I'm a 21-year-old female and I've been experiencing dizzy spells since I was a child. I saw a neurologist when I was little but I couldn't articulate my symptoms as well. My mother says the doctors diagnosed me with a "migraine variant," and I assume the variant is the vestibular migraine. But I'm not sure my symptoms match exactly.
Here's what happens: I usually get woken up by an acute vertigo attack, and my eyes will flicker for a couple of seconds, then I'm stuck with it. After that initial attack, I can hardly move my head without causing another 2-3 second dizzy attack, which makes me vomit. The first day is always the worst, and I have 15-30 dizzy attacks, accompanied by getting sick. I can't even look at a screen or function. I try to sleep to stop the vomiting because if my eyes are open, I'll get a dizzy attack. The attacks can also be triggered by sound and light.
The 2nd and 3rd day can be bad, but never as bad as the first. Usually, by the third day I can have the dizzy attacks without getting sick (well, maybe only 1-3 times). I'll usually experience 3-10 attacks on these days. I still can't look at a screen for too long and I still feel nauseous.
Then by the 4th or 5th day I can function okay, but still can't move my head quickly, see bright lights, or hear sudden sounds without risking a small attack. The longest these usually last are one week.
I made it through high school with only one of these episodes and only one in college. But this past year (2020), I had one in early July, early September, and late October. Now that I've had 3 this year I'm worried it might get more frequent and debilitating. I work in a field with high stress/long hours and I love what I do, so I can't change that.
Does anyone else have these symptoms? Or know of any medication that makes them less frequent? I also wonder if there is a good anti-nausea med to take during the episode. Thank you!
I also just recently have had to fight with bouts of severe vertigo. Last 3 years. About 5 episodes as you describe. I have been able to narrow down that on all occasions I didn’t drink a lot of water but did have a lot of caffeine. I usually can tell when I make the movement turning over in bed that triggers it. I’m 56 excellent health. I don’t know where this came from. I’ve seen a few doctors that tried the eply maneuver without success. I’m going to do away with caffeine and substitute water and take a water bottle to bed every night and see how it goes. I know that there is a central vertigo that doctors don’t know much about that comes from the brain instead of the ears.
Amanda T - sorry for the late reply. I am not a healthcare provider, but your symptoms do sound a lot like vestibular migraine, which you can learn more about here: https://vestibular.org/article/diagnosis-treatment/types-of-vestibular-disorders/vestibular-migraine/ . I would recommend that you use VeDA's provider directory to get a referral to a neurologist who is a vestibular specialist: https://vestibular.org/healthcare-directory/ . There are medications that can help, but as with all migraine-type conditions it's a trial and error process to see what works for you. Dietary changes can also help manage your symptoms: https://vestibular.org/article/coping-support/dietary-considerations/ . Alicia Wolf is a vestibular migraine patient who has a blog called the Dizzy Cook, which you might find helpful.