Suffer from Migraines and Dizziness? Why You May Want to See an ENT Specialist

Posted in Uncategorized | January 16, 2024

Do you experience migraines? Have your dizzy spells become more frequent?

When you experience these symptoms repeatedly, you may have a vestibular migraine.

A vestibular migraine is a kind of migraine linked to dizziness. It can be disorienting and severe and make you unable to perform routine activities like driving, walking, and even sleeping.

Keep reading to learn more about vestibular migraines and why you should see an ENT specialist if you suffer from migraines and dizziness.

What is a Vestibular Migraine?

A vestibular migraine is a type of migraine linked to dizziness. Sometimes, migraines can impact the vestibular system of the inner ear.

If this happens, it can affect how your brain controls balance and how you experience the environment around you. When the vestibular system doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, you may begin to experience feelings of dizziness or vertigo that can be triggered by movement.

Dizziness refers to sensations like feeling unsteady, faint, weak, or woozy. The sensation of dizzying movement may cause you to lose your balance.

Experiencing dizziness that creates a false sensation of movement is called vertigo. You may feel like you or your surroundings are rocking, swaying, falling, or spinning if you have vertigo.

The symptoms of vestibular migraine usually occur without headaches. If you get these migraines, they’re typically pulsating, one-sided, and worsened by physical activity.

The symptoms of vestibular migraine can last for minutes to hours and might extend to days or even weeks.

Symptoms of Vestibular Migraines

During a vestibular migraine attack, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Neck pain
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Head or ear pressure
  • Trouble finding words
  • A tingling or numb feeling
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
  • Unsteadiness or loss of balance
  • Throbbing, one-sided headaches
  • Sensitivity to sound, smell, or light
  • Temporary vision loss or hearing loss
  • A feeling of confusion or disorientation
  • Visual disturbances like blurring, flashing lights, or spots
  • Intense motion sensitivity that makes you feel dizzy or sick when you move your body, head, or eyes

The symptoms of vestibular migraine may vary in severity. There may be warning signs just before the onset of these symptoms.

For instance, you may see visual disturbances like flashing lights, a phenomenon called an aura.

What Causes Vestibular Migraines?

Doctors are not sure what causes vestibular migraines. There are many theories, but why it occurs still needs to be fully understood. It’s believed that the condition is due to misfiring neurons in the brain associated with the vestibular system.

Certain factors that set off other forms of migraines can also trigger vestibular migraines. They include:

  • Stress
  • Poor sleep
  • Bright lights
  • Dehydration
  • Missing meals
  • Being a woman
  • Lack of exercise
  • Family history of vestibular migraine
  • Fluctuations in barometric pressure or weather changes
  • Hormonal changes like during menopause or menstruation
  • Overwhelming visuals like 3D movies, fast-moving scenes on screens, or busy floor, wall, or ceiling patterns

Some foods and drinks are also known to trigger vestibular migraines. They include:

  • Nuts
  • Dairy
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Aspartame
  • Citrus fruits
  • Aged cheeses
  • Foods high in fats
  • Caffeinated sodas
  • Cured or smoked meats
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Peanut butter, cocoa, or dark chocolate
  • Foods prepared with yeast extract, soy sauce, or vinegar
  • Pickled and fermented foods like yogurt, sour cream, and buttermilk

Is There a Cure for Vestibular Migraines?

Vestibular migraine is a chronic condition that doesn’t have a cure. The frequency and pattern of vestibular migraine attacks often fluctuate.

Some people experience a decrease in severity and attacks as time goes by. However, others have an increase in attacks over time.

It’s hard to predict how vestibular migraine patterns will change for anyone with the condition. Fortunately, when vestibular migraine is diagnosed correctly and the proper treatment is given, most patients experience significant improvement.

Reasons to See an ENT Specialist for Migraines and Dizziness

Frequent dizzy spells, with or without throbbing headaches, could indicate vestibular migraine. Vestibular migraines can be quite challenging to deal with and debilitating.

Without proper management, the condition can adversely affect your quality of life. Vestibular migraines may disrupt every aspect of your daily life, including your ability to work, function as a caregiver, and engage in physical activities.

It’s essential to see an ENT specialist if you’re experiencing persistent balance issues or dizzy spells. An ENT specialist can perform tests to confirm vestibular migraines.

If you have the condition, your ENT specialist can create an effective treatment plan that will ease your symptoms and reduce or potentially prevent vestibular migraine attacks from happening.

Your treatment plan may include:


Your ENT specialist at Specialty Care Institute may prescribe daily or weekly medications that minimize the likelihood of having vestibular migraine attacks.

Alternatively, your ENT specialist can prescribe medication that reduces your symptoms when you have vestibular migraines.

Lifestyle Changes

Your ENT specialist may recommend the following lifestyle changes:

  • Eating regularly
  • Exercising frequently
  • Resting more than usual
  • Finding ways to minimize stress
  • Avoiding certain beverages and foods that can trigger vestibular migraines

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy involves accurately evaluating your vestibular dysfunction and getting prescribed treatment, education, and exercise. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy can equip you with the tools needed to decrease your sensitivity to some triggers gradually.

It can further reduce the severity of your symptoms and decrease the number of times you have an attack.

Get Your Symptoms Under Control

If you’re struggling with migraines and ongoing dizziness, the ENT specialists at Specialty Care Institute can help. We’ll determine the root cause of your symptoms and provide an effective treatment plan.

Do you experience migraines and frequent dizziness? Schedule your appointment today at Specialty Care Institute in Barrington, Elgin, Hoffman Estates, and Arlington Heights, IL, to get to the bottom of your symptoms and find a long-term solution.