In addition to causing balance problems in some individuals, migraines can co-occur with many inner-ear problems associated with vertigo.
For example, about half of all people with Menieres disease, found in 0.2% or less of the population, also have migraine headaches. Similarly, about half of people with BPPV also have frequent migraines.
It is also important to note that in some cases of MAV there is little or no headache and the symptoms of vertigo are completely primary – a so-called acephalgic migraine.
Common Migraine & Vestibular Syndromes
The most common symptom in acephalgic migraine is visual aura, particularly of the variety known as scintillating scotoma, and sometimes blindness in one eye. The latter can be mistaken for a symptom of stroke.
Acephalgic migraine attacks can last for less than a minute to a few hours in length. Migraineurs are almost twice as likely as headache-free individuals to also suffer from episodes of vertigo, however only about a quarter of these patients had consistently associated attacks of both sets of symptoms and thus qualified for an MAV diagnosis.
Interestingly, the incidence of migraine with aura was much higher among MAV sufferers than among non-MAV migraineurs.