Full Question: I am recovering from my fourth bout of vertigo, the first three years ago, and the last three within the last 12 months. (I am an athletic tennis player and musician just turned 70, having just had a perfect physical) Each time the vertigo is triggered by being on my back doing sports exercises and turning my head to the right at just a certain angle. Suddenly everything spins and I have to get into bed where I will spend at least four days. The first phase is about 12 hours of nausea, not able to turn my head even slightly without vomiting. After a few hours of this, a terrible headache comes onto the right temple.
Then when the nausea leaves, the headache is almost worse than the nausea and lasts for two to three more days. I have had the headache before, maybe twice a year, without the vertigo, but never the vertigo without the headache. Recovery requires me to stay in bed until about one week has gone by and my full equilibrium restored. Is there a medication that I can safely take that will prevent the whole experience. I just take Aleve for arthritis. Aspirin seems to help the dizziness but Meclazine does nothing. Diazepam puts me to sleep. Also is a diuretic ever prescribed in this case? I have had my hearing checked. But during the episodes I hear a lot of ‘whining’ sounds in my ears, background noise one might say.
I would appreciate any information, since these episodes stop me in my tracks and make normal life impossible for the duration.
Thank you very much for your time, R.K.
I am not a otolaryngologist, but your symptoms sound like cases I have seen where a suspected dislodgement of a calcium carbonate crystal from the inner ear otolith apparatus was the likely culprit. I’m not sure if there is any specific testing for this. Often, a clinical examination can reproduce the symptoms nicely (using a Dix-Hallpike maneuver). Treatment is marginal at best, but I have had folks try an inversion table for 15-30 minutes per day, with relief.
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
If you need to find a headache and Migraine specialist, please see our listing of patient recommended specialists.
Another good source of information and support is our forum. To post to the forum, you’ll need to register, even if you’re already registered on the main section of our site. You can use the same email address and password for both registrations.
About Ask the Clinician:
Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.
If you have a question, please click** HERE. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers here. Due to the number of questions submitted, no questions will be answered privately, and questions will be accepted only when submitted via THIS FORM**. Please do not submit questions via email, private message, or SharePost comments. Thank you.
Please note: We cannot handle emergencies or diagnose via the Internet. Please do not ask us to diagnose; see your physician for diagnosis.
We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q & A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer.
© Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2007.
Do you have questions about Migraine? Reader questions are answered by UCNS certified Migraine and headache specialist Dr. David Watson, and award-winning patient educator and advocate Teri Robert. Questions may be submitted via our submission form. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers in our Ask the Clinician column. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can’t answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.