Positional Vertigo in MAV

Hi all,

Although fairly definitely diagnosed with MAV I still have an occasional freak out that all this rubbish is due to something else entirely that the Dr’s have missed such as Chiari Malformation.

Can I just check with you all that despite having fairly continouous symptoms, it is normal for your symptoms to be much more severe in certain positions. I’ve had a water leak in the house and am consequently having to do a bit of DIY and just find it almost impossible to be on my hands and knees looking at the floor (or face down generally unless my face is resting on a pillow). It just feels as if my head is full of tiny glass marbles that rush to my face and go crazy and send me into a dizzy nightmare. Likewise looking directly upwards is very hard, and although I can sustain it for very short periods it then sends my dizziness out of control and I have to go sit down for ten minutes until it returns to baseline level.

Just sometimes find it hard to believe that all this can be due to migraine :frowning:

Hi Dizzy, your problem is my reality too. I also can not turn my head right or left and hold in that positon without getting really dizzy.


I’ve had similar symptoms infact my condition in some respects has similarities too Benign Positional Vertigo but i had the Epley maneuver done a number of years ago and it did not help. Moving my head up and down while talking too one or more people can aggravate my symptoms. All if turn my head left, right, left, right…this also is an aggravator. Looking for something under the bed sometimes can mess me up.


I experience the same thing looking up at something or bending down, especially to get something from the lower shelf in the fridge, going from standing to sitting on a low surface. I too was tested for BPPV, had the positional vertigo and an atypical type of nystagmus that is also seen in cupulolithiasis—a kind of BPPV where the crystals get stuck on the cupula rather than free-floating in one the semicircular canals. The treatment didn’t help the dizzies. The nystagmus fatigued, but the dizziness didn’t. Later on, I read a study that said while it could be cupulolithiasis, that type of nystagmus could also be found in MAV. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1668 … dinalpos=1

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it is normal for your symptoms to be much more severe in certain positions.

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Dizzi – yes, this is the case for me when lying horizontally on my left or right side. The effect is a subtle shift in movement but more so a sudden increase in anxiety and agitation just from lying on one side which escalates over 5-10 minutes. The right side is the worst. I’ll suddenly find myself having to take deep breaths. It’s bizarre. I can only sleep flat on my back facing up.


I havent been able to sleep on either side for years. I lay on my back with 3 pillows so I am semi propped up and then the top pillow has to be feather so I can fold the two sides in so my neck cant roll from one side or the other.

Sometimes if I have laid there too long and not slept, I turn onto my side briefly to get sleepy (seem to get more sleepy more quickly laying on my side) then quickly flip onto my back. I have made the mistake of falling asleep on my side and then turned onto my back and had proper vertigo, this has happened several times.


Thank you all of you, even after all of these years it’s still such an odd one to get your head round…

I get exactly this but it varies in intensity and some nights I simply don’t feel it but when I do I do exactly that - have to sleep flat on my back only. It’s so annoying that you can’t even enjoy your sleep properly! I’d never have thought a day would come when I considered being able to sleep on ones side as a luxury!

I really wonder if part of our condition is due to trapped air that gets into certain chambers sometimes … I wonder how long bubbles of air could stick around?

It’s interesting how Dr. Hain describes how BPPV can come with migraine … and a complication of BPPV treatment can create Hydrops … well that might explain A LOT!


I’ve often wondered if MAV is just a name for a condition that includes BPPV and Hydrops. That would explain all the symptoms and the Hydrops might be a result of the BPPV.

I have exactly the same as you, I have trouble putting the shopping away in cupboards both up and down, trouble cleaning the bathroom and even feel dizzy and nauseous chopping vegetables! Some days are better than others and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the difference.

Margaret I’m convinced this is down to air moving around in the labyrinth. Every night you lay down it moves out of position and then bubbles up somewhere new in the morning. I don’t buy the otolith story.


There seem to be as many theories about the cause of vestibular migraine as there are symptoms.

I was told by my doctor that the cause is the blood vessels in the brain going into spasm which decreases oxygen levels temporarily after which the electrical activity goes haywire. This makes sense to me. What do other people think? I am most interested to know.

My basic problem with that is that symptoms persist despite successful prophylaxis.