Glad I found this site

Hello all,

My name is Taryn, and I am 30 years old. For the past 3 years, for a few months at a time, I’ve been experiencing the following symptoms:

Terrible feeling of head pressure - really makes me so lightheaded at times
Ear fullness, with tinnitus and sometimes a ‘rushing of air’ sound through my ears
Dizziness - it’s not a spinning feeling really, but a lightheaded, feeling faint sort of thing. *Especially at night - for some reason it hits me when I try to sleep, and I see lights flashing before my closed eyes. It’s unbearable sometimes.

Every year the symptoms seem to get worse…the dizziness is really bad this time around. 1 CT and 2 MRI’s (over the years) have shown nothing, and my Dr. said it’s just stress. I AM under a lot of stress lately, and that seems to have triggered this whole round of symptoms this year…but I feel so bad that I’ve started having palpitations and anxiety attacks worrying about it, which I’m sure isn’t helping matters. :frowning: I’d never heard of MAV until coming across this site, and I’m wondering if that’s what I may be experiencing, especially since I’ve gotten the regular ‘throbbing’ migraines for years.

I just wanted to post to introduce myself and say that finding this site has lessened my anxiety somewhat, b/c although I haven’t been diagnosed, it sure seems to fit what I’ve been experiencing.

One thing I was wondering…does anyone ever just get hit with dizziness? For example, I was just sitting and watching tv, and all of sudden - boom - quick feeling of lightheadedness overcomes me. So disconcerting when that happens.

Thanks for reading!

Hi Taryn,

MAV symptoms are very similar to a lot of other conditions, which makes getting a diagnosis quite a chore. It took me 10 years!

I have to say, your doctor suggesting this is all due to “just stress” is a very patronising and insulting thing to say. If “just stress” were so easy to handle then half the world would “just relax”. Anyway, stress can certainly make migraine/MAV worse so anything you can do to manage stress would most likely help. The other thing is that a lot of the meds used for MAV are actually anti depressants and benzos so you may get some relief from your symptoms with a combination of the right med and stress reduction techniques. For me, getting a correct diagnosis was a big relief in itself.

For many of us on here and certainly for myself the vertigo is not of a spinning kind. It is more like a rocking, feeling like you’re falling, being pushed/pulled and walking feels like you are on a spongy trampoline.


Taryn: Welcome to this site. It really is wonderful for support and ideas. I also get dizziness, imbalance out of the “clear blue”. I was sitting here last night watching the Patriot’s football game on TV and out of nowhere I started to tilt to the left and had to hold on to the couch until it passed. After that I just felt off balance for the rest of the night and was unable to sleep. Before all this started I was having the full feeling and pressure in my ears.
It sounds to me like you have MAV especially where you have a history of migraine.
Good luck, hopefully this site will lessen some of your anxiety which you will find helps tremendously.
Hang in there.


That instantainious dizziness you ask about I get all the time. I call them dizzyspells, they can last from twenty minutes to the remainder of the day. I hate them mostly because they are unpredictable and depending on the severity of the spell, causes me to either start adjusting my plans for the to allow for my sudden imbalance or a complete cancelation of the day, because the dizziness is to severe to do anything but lay on the couch, in a dark, quiet room, and just try to rest.

Thank you all for your comments. I do intend on searching for a different doctor, as my current PCP is very quick to dismiss anything I say. In short, she’s not very nice, to the point where I’m hesitant to discuss anymore about the dizziness and other symptoms to her. She did prescribe me Xanax ‘as needed’ for the anxiety attacks I’ve been having. It seems to calm me down, but hasn’t made much of a dent in terms of the other symptoms. I assume because I only take it every so often. Victoria, you mentioned that benzos, etc…seem to help sometimes with MAV. Hopefully I can get a diagnosis and then go from there with a new doctor. I just want to feel like myself again. Thanks again for your support.


Hi again Taryn

Many of us get relief with Valium. It is very effective for both anxiety and as a vestibular suppressant. t is something of a wonder drug. As my neurolgist says “they should put it in the water!”. The down side of course is dependancy and tolerance. In Australia (not sure for other countries) most doctors are reluctant to prescribe benzos daily for those reasons but I believe some people on this forum are on low daily doses. My neurologist said 2.5mg three to four times a week is fine.

Good luck!

Hi there,
I recommend reading teh book “Heal your Headache” and perusing the website by Dr. Timothy Hain called www.dizziness andbalance. I think you will get a lot of information. Basically what we are experiencing comes from brain chemicals gone awry. It sucks and there are so many different manifestations of this disease. But the people on this website are quite helpful and it’s nice to know you’re not alone. It seems depression and anxiety go hand in ihand with migraine, even though it took me a while to accept “migraine” as what I have. I have daily none stop; dizziness in the form of “Lightheaded” with some motion intolerance, and anxiety…really bad. None of this happened before and I am 43. I started getting dizzy while looking down and it came and went…but now it’s just non stop. I take meds for it and I am getting a little better, but the meds have their own baggage. It’s confusing and frustrating and it can get you down. Especially when so few people seem to even know what the heck is going on.
I hope you find a good doctor. At the end of the day you will probablyf ind yourself being your own advocate…that’s what happened to me. I read a lot and have seen many docs. They all have their opinions and I just finally use the neurology info and let me phychiatrist help me in my drug monitoring because he is the easiest one to reach. He really seems to care, and that is helpful and reassuring. I saw Dr. Hain in Chicago a few months back and I really think he knows his stuff, but it’s hard to have a relationship with a Doctor who lives so far away. I don’t know where you live, but if you put it out there, someone might have some advice.
Good luck and welcome to the club!

I am going to check out the website, and certainly the book you recommended as well. This is going to sound awful, but I almost prefer my throbbing migraines, because at least then I knew what to expect, and about how long they would last. With this, I feel like I never know when the lightheadedness will hit, or where the pressure in my head is going to settle. Today it was in my temples all day long. Terrible. I am in grad school now, which I blame for the heightened stress and the anxiety…which has gotten so bad. I feel like I am either worrying about having an anxiety attack, or just dealing with an uneasy feeling. I know my migraine probs and all of this all fits together…I need to get this all under control somehow. Also, I do live in Chicago. So I’ll search this forum for info about Dr. Hain? Thank you so much for your advice!