Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can migraines cause vertigo?"

ZocdocAnswersCan migraines cause vertigo?


Can a migraine bring on an attack of vertigo, or is it all the same thing? Sometimes if I have a mad enough migraine, I'll be bedridden, nauseated and end up vomiting. Someone in my family has vertigo, which sounds similar. Are they related?


Migraines are a particular type of headache that is caused by changes in blood flow through the vessel inside the head. The have a typical character to them, with pain that is often on just one side of the head, pain that is throbbing in character, and multiple other associated symptoms. Some of these other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, flashing lights, wavy lines and other visual symptoms, and dizziness. In other words, all the the symptoms you have, including the nausea and vomiting, fit very well with a migraine attack and are probably not a different problem. The most important this is that if you are indeed regularly bedridden by your migraines, then they are not under control and you should speak with your doctors about potential controlling medications. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your neurologist as soon as possible is highly recommended.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.