Physicians have noted the potential for dizziness in migraine patients since the 19th century. And yet the 21st century has so far failed to bring any unifying definition to a symptom that is frustratingly diffuse in its intensity and frequency and unclear in its origins.
Explore this issue:June 2011
The market has seen no wonder drugs, and most medications tailored to stopping migraine headaches, like triptans, do not address the primary manifestation of migraine-related dizziness, commonly known as migraine-associated vertigo. Despite the continued absence of rigorous clinical criteria or gold standards of care, however, otolaryngologists are achieving considerable success in treating migraine-associated vertigo, using a more ad hoc strategy that is based on their own experience, anecdotal evidence and therapeutic trial and error.
Eliminating potential triggers, closely monitoring diets and regulating sleep patterns have all proven effective as initial interventions. For more stubborn cases, diagnosis may hinge on how well patients respond to a variety of medications repurposed for migraine-associated symptoms. Using drugs approved for everything from Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy to high blood pressure and depression, otolaryngologists are finding they can provide relief for a clear majority of their patients.