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Extreme vertigo, and other symptoms my mother just reported?

Hello, I am hoping for some insight with regards to my mother’s health. She is a 64 year old fitness/rehabilitation coach with a primary focus on personal training for Parkinson’s patients. She is extremely healthy and active. This episode occurred this morning and lasted 3-4 hours. It is the 3rd or 5th in the last year. She woke up with extreme vertigo and only able to see a bright “kaleidoscope” of colors. No discernible shapes and very diminished hearing. She does not take prescription meds (ibuprofen and Benadryl occasionally). Very little alcohol. Please advise.

Female | 64 years old
Complaint duration: 210 at least
Medications: None
Conditions: Migraines

2 Answers

Since she didn’t have past history of migraines and assuming no family history of migraine, her physician should consider ordering a brain imaging to rule out a venous or arterial malformation or a stroke, which most likely will come back negative as I believe her symptoms are strongly suggestive of migraine auras. I strongly doubt an ear cause. Prolonged migraine auras can be a risk factor for future strokes.

Thanks,

Hussein, MD
Vertigo can be an inner ear problem or a brain problem. ENT physicians and Neurologists see patients with vertigo. Testing typically consists of a brain MRI and various hearing and inner ear testing. The treatment is typically medical, not surgical. The combination of the visual abnormality and vertigo is highly suggestive of a type of migraine, “vertiginous migraine,“ even if no headache occurs.
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