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Weird Symptoms of Vestibular Migraine

3 Weird Symptoms of Vestibular Migraine

When most people think of migraine they typically think of symptoms like headache, light sensitivity and noise sensitivity. But not all migraines look the same and there can be a wide variety of presentations. Vestibular migraine is one variation and it differs from typical migraine in that it affects your sense of equilibrium and balance. The lack of awareness and strange presentation of vestibular migraine makes it notoriously difficult to diagnose. Patients have often received multiple incorrect diagnoses prior to finding out that what they are suffering from is in fact migraine. Here are three weird symptoms that may indicate you have vestibular migraine. 


Vertigo refers to the illusory sensation that you or your environment are moving when in fact they are not. During an attack, it may feel like the room is spinning around you when it is actually still. There are many disorders that cause vertigo although vestibular migraine is actually the second most common cause of vertigo in adults according to the American Migraine Foundation. Even so, vestibular migraine is often under-diagnosed due to its varying presentations. 

Brain Fog

Brain fog or mental fog is an extremely strange sensation often described as a “cloudy headed feeling”. It’s often accompanied by confusion and forgetfulness impacting a person’s mental clarity and ability to concentrate. People who experience brain fog with vestibular migraine can even experience symptoms so far as having difficulty finding words. Other common descriptions include feeling dazed or in a unpleasant trancelike state.

Ear Pain

Vestibular migraine can often be accompanied by sensations of ear fullness and ringing. People often describe it as a pressure in their ears, similar to how they may feel on a plane. Ear ringing, known as tinnitus, is also a highly distressing symptom of vestibular migraine. Given these symptoms, people with vestibular migraine often first go to see a ear nose and throat specialist before eventually making their way to a neurologist. 

It’s important to remember that migraine is a neurological disorder and not merely a headache. Believe it or not, vestibular migraine can actually occur with or without a headache being present. If you suspect you have vestibular migraine, it’s important to have a thorough work up with your physician. The American Migraine Foundation has a Find a Doctor tool to help you find a headache specialist to diagnose your condition. Click here to learn more about different migraine and headache disorders. 

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