Not sure if this is MAV

In August, while sitting at the computer I became nauseous. Initially, over the first day or two, if I stepped away, I would be ok. Gradually over the course of four or five days I developed a more constant non-vertigo dizziness (more like car sickness than sea sickness). Light sensitivity became an issue and there was a slight sense of surrealness or distortion when I was outside, even if just walking the dog. This slight distortion would cause nausea. The computer became off limits, as did grocery stores. My ENT origianlly thought it might be VN, so I did nothing for a few weeks (tried to go outside once or twice a day, but little beyond that). Ironically, I can watch tv fairly consistently. Anyway, come week 6, it dissapated and I had approximately a week and a half of almost normal. I went to work, and could go to the store, restaurants, go jogging, etc. But, then again, over the course of 4 or 5 days, it came on again and was constant again for a few weeks. Then, another week of normalcy, with just a slight residual effect remaining. But again it came back and has been with me since early October constantly.

I had an MRI in September (normal apparently), had basic vision test (normal), hearing test (normal), and a VNG (normal). My dizziness is not vertigo, not disequilibrium (good balance). I’m hesitant to say lightheaded but few other terms to describe it. Basically, if I push it in certain situations, like the computer, supermarket, then I become nauseous and my head feels a little overwhelmed. But there is a base level of “offness” at all times and exacerbated in more light and sunlight. Outside of nausea and light sensitivity, I’ve had less constant symptoms. Occasionally I have had facial sensations/tightness/fullness and ear fullness, but both after I start getting dizzy/nauseous. Sometimes, I get headaches, especially if i am out and about trying to push it (i.e going to store or doing errands).

One neurologist I saw first thought it was hyperventilation and gave me lexapro. I felt that was pretty far off, but followed her advice for a bit then stopped. I admit I have anxiety, but feel it is no doubt a second order effect of feeling like this for so long and not working. MY ENT, after tests, thought it was status vestibular migraine, and another neurologist (a migraine specialist) also believes it is migraine. He has started me on Diamox/Acetazolamide after trying a 5 day steroid (which didn’t work). While skeptical given the constantness (months) and randomness of trigger in August (and I don’t have a history of migraine – although my mother does), I also see some signs pointing that way (photo-phobia, occasional headaches, etc). What I am weary of is going down the wrong path for too long. If anyone has thoughts on the above, or suggestions on what to inquiry about, it would be much appreciated. I certainly need to get back to work but more importantly want to feel healthy. Thank you very much in advance - this forum is great.

Your stuff really reminds me of how mine started. I couldn’t really define how I felt…
It wasn’t dizzy like spinning, but sort of feeling high and/or lightheaded. Lighting was really hard to tolerate… Darker rooms like restaurant lighting was bad, as was fluorescent lighting. That made me feel anxious and then worrying what was wrong with me caused more anxiety and that lead to depression/despair/insomnia. I have no family or personal history of migraine. I had a hard time accepting the migraine diagnosis. Over time I just accepted it and have responded to the preventative meds, now I’m pretty much normal.
Good luck to you,

Thanks. What med(s) worked for you?

Hey Messenger!
Mine started off with nausea also…although looking back to childhood, I dealt with nausea ALL the time…had no idea it was migraine. Here I am 4 years after my big attack, with full blown MAV!!! Anyway, do you have the book “Heal Your Headache” by Dr. David Buchholz? If not get it, this book plus the message forums, like this one, is really what kept me feeling normal, when all my bizarre symptoms made me feel so not normal!!! Hang in there!


Thanks. I did get that book and its quite good, as is the board. I’m wondering if MAV is always vertigo and/or disequilibrium or can it be a visual offness/distortion/surrealness (which makes stores and computer difficult, but also just simply walking the dog). It appears most people here (generalization) have veritgo (spinning or feeling of motion) or disequilibrium (balance issues), which I do not have. I’ve read a bit about chronic subjective dizziness and that is a little bit closer perhaps, but wondering if I’m missing something or barking up the wrong tree.

Hmmmmmm good question. I think MAV symptoms can change though. Like for many years my migraine was just nausea and then when I had my big attack, everything changed. Now I have all sorts of symptoms. A woozy head (not rotational spins) is pretty common for me…sometimes I have balance issues…but that is rare.