How did your MAV start?

My MAV (or what I suspect is MAV) started in a very strange way - and I am wondering how other people’s MAV began. I was fine (meaning no MAV) on September 26, 2008. (I had certainly been under some stress due to the financial meltdown.) The MAV started instantly on September 27, 2008 at about 7 AM. I was taking a shower and a little water trickled into my right ear while my head was under the shower and my eyes closed. I immediately experienced a brief sensation of motion (less than 1 second). That was it - after that, I have suffered from MAV constantly. I felt the nausea immediately after this started and it has been more-or-less relentless.

Comments welcome.


Hi Op,

Mine kicked in after a bout of VN. I woke up on the morning of 30 August 2003 feeling stoned and very surreal. I felt dizzy walking to the bus and then I went through 6 weeks of severe vertigo, dizziness and sometimes neck pain not to mention hard core anxiety – it was hell on earth. The severe stuff let up after 6 weeks, but a chronic non-specific dizziness and instability stayed for months and months. The anxiety was horrendous too. At this stage MAV was well and truly entrenched but I didn’t know it. Took me years to get to the truth.


Hi Op,

I have had lengthy MAV episodes (weeks or months at a time) for roughly the last 10 years, and classical migraines (ie with aura - scintillating scotoma) for about 15 years before that. My most recent MAV episode, which started about a year ago (and has been pretty well controlled with meds the past few months) started completely and suddenly out of the blue. Just suddenly felt very very bad. Other episodes have started gradually, got worse, then gradually faded away of their own accord. Sometimes in tandem with (set off by?) some other illness (eg virus), others not. It is possible that at some time it was set off by VN as I appear to have some damage in one ear.

Since this last episode started (12 months ago) I have had three “stand alone” migraines - ie the scintillating scotoma. First during the thick of MAV (which helped with diagnosis), one about 6 months later while on holiday (very hot day and coming down with hideous gastro) and one a few days ago (tired, very hot day, big gym work out and a couple of days after a visit to the dentist).

In short - I think if the conditions are right (eg tired, some other illness going on) then I’m more “at risk” of migraine (either stand alone or part of MAV cycle) but other times there’s no rhyme or reason so I try not to overthink it. May as well consult an astrologer or read the tea leaves!


Very first severe vertigo attack was the morning after a very good party. I had drunk too much red wine, I was 18. I never linked it to migraine. I was used to having a “bad head” as I called it then for two to 3 days after partying and drinking. I stopped drinking alcohol for years, tried one large glass of wine a while back, and “vertigo” again. Obviously one of many triggers for me.


Extremely slowly in my case. It took years for the motion sickness to build up to this point. At first I had some trouble riding the bus now and then, some time later I really disliked it, later yet I started having trouble in cars (driving or not doesn’t really matter) more and more, up to the point where even a minute was unbearable. After that it kept going a bit further yet making me housebound, and even making it impossible to watch TV. I’m partially back to the last part now, though, in moderation and at the right times.

Hi Op,
I NEVER had vertigo or dizziness in my life until Sept 1, 2009. It began then, once or twice a day, didn’t think too much about it. I figured it was from being tired while transitioning from working in a bank back to my presvious profession (teaching). The vertigo gradually became more frequent during the next few months but no nausea.

Then on Jan 6, 2010 I was getting ready for work and fell down the staircase in our house (13 steps) and knocked myself unconscious.EEG in the Emergency Room revealed that I had an “episode” right before I fell. Since then I have had fairly constant nausea and sense that I am out of balance (like being on a boat-good description). I have about 8-10 bouts of vertigo daily now. We are waiting for a neurologist to read the results of my ambulatory EEG sometime over the next two weeks.

In the meantime I think I will have my estrogen level tested. I have read that preimenopuse and menopause can trigger MAV. I am 45 years old, still have my period, but may be entering perimenopause for all I know.

I did have migraines for 17 years. But had an occipital neurectomy in 2003 that stopped me from having the headaches. From what I have read, the migraine or cluster of them may still be going on in my brain, hence the abnormal EEGs, but minus the pain. It is possible that my brain has figured out a new way to let me know I have a migraine (the vertigo/nausea).

There was no one minute I was fine the next I wasn’t for me. It has been a gradual build up all my life. First migraine headache at about 8 or 9 years old. Infrequent but severe migraine headaches for the next 40 years, each one lasting 4-5 days. Probably no more than 15 total. Mild motion sickness when little, slowly increasing to the point where I now have constant motion sickness and every movement makes me feel sicker. Vertigo spells lasting a 2-3 minutes came about 20 years ago, stuck around for a couple years and then left. Severe vertigo spells came 3 years ago lasting hours. I fell and hit my head about one month before these latest spells started - I don’t know if there is a relationship or not and neither do the doctors as one will say there could be, another there isn’t, another I don’t know, etc. Daily “car sick headaches” are the unfortunate norm for me.


Mine started with a bout of BPPV. One morning I rolled over in bed and the room started spinning violently. I was treated for BPPV with an eplily manuver and vestibular physical therapy. I started to get better for about a month but then started getting worse. I had all the ENG testing, hearing tests, etc. and everything came back normal. I also had my hormone levels tested on three different occassions and found they were fluctuating greatly. So my diagonsis was MAV triggered by fluctuating hormones of menopause. It has been 3 years now. I feel about 70% to 80% on most days, the only medication I take is meclizine when the motion senstivity is really bad. I gave up caffeine, I only drink decaf coffee, try to eat more fruits and veggies and get to the gym 4 times a week or so and I also do yoga.
Looking forward to and hoping for the day I feel 100%

My migraines started at 17 I never suffered dizziness at that time just excruciating headache I would have to sleep through them.
Then I had a migraine with aura when I looked directly at sunlight bouncing off a car dont know how I got home as I just could not see there were waves going through my eyes.
Then I got pregnant ironically the head pain stopped but I got a few vertigo episodes throughout both my pregnancys I just used to go to bed and sleep and then it would be gone after a few hours with no after affects. Looking back I realise it was migraine .
I had a remission for about 18 months of no dizziness or vertigo , started getting some social life back and was going out every other weekend with my friends again. I was feeling great until september 09 . I remember a few days before I had a few dizzy spells beiding over and stuff but it was a weird dizziness I’d never had before.
A few days later I went out got quite drunk and woke up to the worst vertigo ever I was so ill for 2 weeks felt weird when I walked everything looked dream like and just constant dizziness.
Gradually I got better I pushed myself quite hard to walk walk walk and the symptoms slowly got better.
Ive had some tests which suggest I may have had labs/VN which has progressed to full blown MAV now .
Im a lot better than I was in september and I wouldnt wish that hell on anyone ever.
Im hoping with meds I can get rid of this residual dizziness that Ive still got.
Cant believe I though I would get better in 2 weeks as the doctor said but that never happened but Im thankful for the recovery I did make Im not 100% and I might never be but Im able to do most things now xxx

Had a vertigo attack in Oct. 2006. They said it could have been from dislodged crystals in the inner ear or an infection. Anyway, after 6 weeks I went back to work and had very little problems until September 2008. My wife and I were walking through a Dept. store and I started to get dizzy. I thought it would subside, but have been dizzy / lightheaded ever since. I have had all the tests and the three main suspects have been Meniere’s, Orthostatic Hypotension and MAV. I have done everything but take medication. I am still trying to control this with diet and exercise. Basically, I am lightheaded everyday and do my best to avoid visual triggers ( Flourescent lighting and checkered floor patterns).

My MAV was a gradual situation. For three straight years late at night or wee hours in the morning i would wake up from sleep and feel as though the room was spinning which was vertigo. I would become extremely nauseated and vomit but within 3 days i was back to normal. Starting the 4th year had another round of waking up in the wee hours of the morning from sleep with an even more intense vertigo spin…literally crawled to the bathroom to vomit. Slowly walked to the couch and sat down for about a half hour and then i began to feel this Rocking Motion & tension in my head. These initial vertigo episodes were twice a year but starting the 4th year the MAV symptoms became chronic. Luckily after many years i have made some progress but still not enough to work full-time.