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History of VM


I realize it’s been discussed before that VM is a newer name for disorders that have existed and perhaps been called by other names. But I am really wondering about something… Did VM (or the collection of symptoms that we all seem to suffer) exist 2 or 3 generations ago? I realize that typical migraine did with it’s unusual associated symptoms. But I wonder about this “chronic” VM, because in talking to my mom and dad who are in late 70s, they don’t recall these types of disorders (regardless of name) back in their day. My mom does suffer atypical migraine attacks like strokes, which is no fun! But they are rare events, and she’s never struggled with any level of chronic dizziness.

I’m just curious if VM is a more “modern” disorder. Have any researchers looked into or discussed this aspect?


It went under different names like “floating woman syndrome”. And most folks got the Meniere’s badge or were told they have BPPV. I also think the migraines disorders have taken center stage because of the current generation’s increased job stress, bad fast food habits and irregular sleep. In a society where stress is worn as a status symbol, i am not surprised these illness become more prime time.


Yes, and I was also thinking cell phone and tablet use as well and msg in practically everything!

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Another point People went to bed with the sun and woke up with the sun before the advent of electricity and with balanced circadian rhythms stayed healthy :slight_smile:

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True! I read on another board about a woman who had MAV like symptoms. I think she was in Japan. When it would become overwhelming, she would leave the city and electronic devices behind, and spend a few months in the countryside. She’d improve just by that. She didn’t mention diet, just leaving the fast paced city and electronics.

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Personally i think it was just misdiagnosed for years. Not everyone’s mav is triggered by stress and diet so we can’t point the finger at modern life. How stressful was life in the 15th or 18th centuries?!! Or during the world wars? People have always had sensitive nervous systems. Women were typically labelled hysterical and sent to mental institutions. Classic literature is full of women and sometimes men who are portrayed as needing to retire to a dark room with a headache or dizziness. It was real centuries ago. It just wasn’t understood or appreciated. Plus, people didn’t live as long. 30 was old age a long time ago. They died before they had chance to develop things. Even now, mav is underdiagnosed, people are told they have sinus issues or an ear problem.

Same with things like autism, mental health, dyslexia etc etc. They weren’t understood but they’ve always been around.


On that note


Key Questions

  • How many women have hormonal migraine?
  • What is the relationship between hormonal migraine and other types of migraine?
  • Is it possible to effectively manage menstrual migraine?
  • Is there a standard treatment for menstrual migraine or should it be customized to each individual?
  • Why is record-keeping so important to treatment when a woman suspects hormonal migraine?
  • Which hormones are involved in hormonal migraine and how does their involvement impact treatment?
  • How can NSAIDs be used in symptomatic treatment and prevention of menstrual migraine?
  • What role can contraceptives play in treatment of hormonal migraine?
  • Are hormone level measurements helpful in treating menstrual migraine?
  • What is the connection between migraine and other conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, or hypothyroidism?
  • What are the safety considerations related to stopping periods as a treatment for menstrual migraine?
  • What factors affect transgender patients in use of hormonal therapy in migraine treatment?

I wanted to watch that video but the site told me it wasn’t available anymore.


It is Day 4 video and it started working couple of hours ago


Interesting you brought this up, I was just reading a book on anxiety that was written a long time ago and it described many MAV patients exactly. They didn’t have a particular term for them, but light/sound sensitive, iron band feeling around the head, headaches, giddiness… etc. It made me feel quite a bit humbled actually that humans have been suffering this for a long time - its not anything new for sure.

Oh and what was the main treatment for these people? Removal of triggers, sedation medication (barbiturates), sleep, exercise, rest and then re-exposure to triggers slowly… Even mention of medications to stop a palpitating or irregular heart from stress (i.e. beta blockers). In very severe cases they would do shock treatment with decent success as well.

Imagine living on a farm with MAV in the 1950s without access to “google” and all the amazing types of doctors we take for granted today. We are actually very lucky!


lol! I was recently wondering about electroshock therapy! Heck if it was a cure, I’d do it.

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I agree with the above points, but I also think that having full-blown 24/7 MAV symptoms is much rarer than we sometimes acknowledge. I’m sure that having migraine episodes (even quite frequently) with a dizziness component is common. However, I think that most vestibular migraine sufferers have relatively decent balance in between attacks.

I think the perception of full-blown MAV as a disorder which is more common in contemporary society can at least partly be explained by the fact that the emergence of internet forums has allowed sufferers, who were previously completely isolated from society, to connect with each other from the “comfort” of their sick beds!

Best, D


Please tell me this was a joke. Surely they’ve stopped using electroshock therapy long ago. It was used alot in the 1960’s/70’s. Quite the latest fad for Depression etc with horrendeous results. Helen


Spot on. That’s one reason it’s misdiagnosed. I used to work with a medical man, a vet, who was always saying ‘Common things are common’. So that’s what gets checked out first and last probably. I think Hain quotes 1% of the population having MAV, a figure I, and I think I can safely say @turnitaround have never believed. Maybe that applies to people experiencing dizziness just within acute attacks rather than 24/7, 365 days a year. Only this last week I read on one of the Menieres sites that quoted MAV occurs in 10% of migraineurs which would seem more reasonable. Helen


Agreed. From what i can see based on forums, there are tons more people with vestibular migraine who present with symptoms 24/7 for years at a time, than any other migraine type. All migraines can do it but it’s rare. Vestibular migraine, on the other hand, seems much more likely to present like that and nobody seems to know why. My neuro-otologist said it was typucal of vestibular migraine. The medical profession has only accepted it as a condition in the last ten years so before that everyone was just misdiagnosed.

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That’s why I don’t think this condition is as ‘simple’ as a migraine, and why I believe this is a peripheral issue (that current telemetry is unable to pick up)

There’s a lot more to uncover about this condition and I think there will be a radical re-think.


Actually, it is still used today, albeit in a much more controlled manner, and with anesthesia. It’s now called electroconvulsive therapy, and is used for severe depression. I actually know someone who’s had it done for severe depression, and it saved her life. She used to be regularly hospitalized for the depression. No more. But yes, I was joking- but only half joking.

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Agree 100%


And this is kind of what I’m getting at. Let’s take away the term “vestibular migraine”, and just say “chronic dizziness/vertigo that is disabling”. There are several threads of that nature that I follow that have well over 1,000 responses. Then there is also the fact that via my pretty small group of friends, I now know of two other people that they know, who have been disabled by chronic vertigo lasting at least one month, and given the diagnosis of VM. Strange odds? I’m saying that while it is not at all common, it seems not as rare as often quoted. If the specialists we speak of on this site base their estimates on their own practice, that would be artificially low as well, because how many end up at these specialized clinics? I believe that vast majority do not go further than their primary Dr, and receive the wastebasket diagnosis of anxiety/depression. And sometimes they get treated for that with drugs that treat VM.
Anyway, my original point was that it seems to me, after researching the heck out of this, that “chronic dizziness/vertigo causing some degree of disability” seems WAY more common in the last 50yrs, than before. And I understand the internet factor connecing us and all. But just going off of in-person conversations, I feel it’s more common today than during my parents’/grandparents’ times- i.e., they didn’t ever hear of anyone with this type of problem. Which leads me to wonder if things such as screen time, cell phones, additives in foods, newer viruses, or even a gene mutation in one or more of the migraine genes may be at play here.


One thing that’s slightly worried me is our modern obsession with pushing hard at the gym. I wonder if some cases might relate to that. There are a surprising number of our members who are personal trainers or amateur weightlifters.

There might also be a link to diet or countless other environmental factors.

There is a potential link between chronic dizziness and diabetes for example.

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