Vestibular Migraine and continual computer use

Edited , 9 users are following.

Hey everyone!

I was diagnosed what was thought to be Menieres Disease about 2 1/2 years ago. Overall, I’m a healthy 31 year old female. A few years ago, when the symptoms first started, I was working as a nurse in a hospital on a busy floor. I initially presented with constant vertigo, tinnitus and pressure to the left year. The symptoms were almost constant for months. I tried Meclizine, Valium, Promethazine, Dyazide and Betahistine, all of which were unsuccessful. Eventually my specialist, moved on to Dexamethasone injections into my ear. I received three rounds with no relief. My doctor was about to send me for another opinion, however, gradually my symptoms began to improve to where I was symptom free for about a year. I unfortunately had lost my previous job at the hospital because I was unable to work for months but eventually I started working again as a nurse but this time doing telephone triage all day. I basically look at a computer screen for 10 hour shifts talking to patients all day. I take multiple breaks through out the day, however, a few months into the new job, my symptoms returned. They weren’t bad a first but have gotten progressively worse over the past 8-9 months. I’m currently in the worse flare I've been to date. The symptoms consist of horrible vertigo, tinnitus, pressure and intense pain to my left ear but now with boughts of intense migraine pains. The symptoms have been on going for three weeks straight with no relief at all. I have been out of work the entire time (three weeks) and have no sick time left. I’m not eligible for FMLA. Unfortunately, there is just no way I can try and work and focus on a computer the way I feel. I saw a specialist today who does not believe I have Ménière’s disease as my hearing and balance tests were all normal. He believes I have vestibular migraines. He referred me to a neurologist (which looks like may take months to get into to see). I’m unaware when I’ll be able to return to work as the symptoms have not let up. I did start on Nortriptyline to see if it will help. My question is do you think that my migraines are further exacerbated from the continual computer use from my job? The symptoms did start up again soon after I started there. I have adjusted the brightness on the computer screen with no improvement. Try to take multiple breaks looking away from the computer. I find I get dizzy (even before this latest flare) if staring at a computer screen for too long. I wonder if I’d be better at a job with less computer time. Please let me know your thoughts or if you have experienced anything similar. Thank you!

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi yes I did for years but I have an auto immune disorder and have also bowel problems presenting like ibs but actually caused by inflammation. Also gastritis and through time got joint pain also. The migraine was destroying my life to be honest and nothing touched it. Most things made me feel worse to be honest. I am now happily in remission. But do watch these symptoms which come and go with relapses and periods of remission can often be linked to underlying disorders which are difficult to diagnose and difficult to treat. Good luck with finding answers.

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  • Posted

    sorry to hear about all you're going through. my 15yo daughter suffers from vestibular migraines and she can't deal with computers for too long. one of her lessons at school requires her to be on the computer all day. her symptoms do become worse but unfortunately, she just tries riding it out, only to suffer later on. she doesn't take any medication as she's either allergic, or immune to it. go see a neurologist and see what they say. I've exhausted all options with my daughter and she basically has to manage her 24/7 vestibular migraines as best she can.

    wishing you all the very best.

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  • Posted


    Sorry to bear you're suffering.

    I was diagnosed with basilar migraine, hemiplegic and vestibular migraine about 7 months ago. I have suffered with 'normal' migraines from about the age of 18 (i'm now 28) and it's only the past 7 months I have had the same symptoms as you, which my neurologist has diagnosed as the vestibular part of my migraines. I'm not sure where you're from but I can reccomend my neurologist who has been brilliant for me.

    I currently take, lamotragine, gabapentin and amitriptyline. I have also recently started having a lot of pain in my occipital nerve, which has been aggrevated by the persistant migraines...for this my neurologist has been administering local anaesetic injections into the occipital nerves. The combination off all this seems to have helped a lot and my symptoms only seem to flare up when I have a lack of sleep.

    As for the computer being a trigger, it could well be, as I work in an office and also spend long hours looking at a screen. I know whilst Im having a flare, my sensitivity to light definitely increases.

    I would say, your medication probably needs altering and your dr needs to find a better combination that works for you.

    I hope you start to feel better soon! Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

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  • Posted


    I worked on a computer for years and I started developing all of your symptoms. I had x rays of neck and spine and early osteoarthritis was diagnosed. My rheumatologist said it was probably triggered by forward head posture through working on a computer all day.

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  • Posted

    hi, it 100% will be and continous eye movement will be one of the triggers x

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  • Edited

    Hi. yes the computer will most definitely be triggering your attacks, this happens to me also.

    There are tinted glasses that apparently help I am looking into them ( FL41 lenses ).

    This condition is so frustrating to live with as it is so debilitating........especially during a bad attack.

    During an attack my whole world spins at a very fast rate. I have to crawl to get to the loo, I am violently ill sometimes for 3 days straight. I am suicidal during every attack and they seem to be becoming more frequent and with more ferocity. I have constant tinnitus and fullness in my ears. For years I didnt have an accompanying headache but I now also have the WORST headache I have ever experienced in my life every time I have an attack. I also get the most intense jaw pain during some attacks also.

    I cant walk too quickly down isles in supermarkets or watch the water come in over my feet at the beach. I cant even lie on a beach and listen to the sound of the waves as this would also trigger a severe attack. I find it difficult at times even preparing meals or doing housework as this involves turning my head or bending down and up again. Even though I have suffered with this from childhood I have only recently been diagnosed. My consultant has prescribed propanalol and cinnarzine. The funny thing is I've been in propanalol before for anxiety and it actually TRIGGERED an attack so I am reluctant to start them to be honest.

    Sorry about waffling about some of my symptoms but it feels good to speak to someone who actually understands how difficult this condition is to live with.

    I hope you get some soon .

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  • Edited

    I have permanent symptoms and am currently riding through a massive flare up. I was at around 80% fine a few weeks ago and bam. Back to how I was when this first started on my 21st birthday (3 years ago). I use my computer frequently to escape life by gaming as the real world is just not an option to have fun in atm, although yes screens and light in particular do exacerbate symptoms. I feel quite depressed but not quite enough to suicide. There are no answers out there of people recovering to a certain level, then going back to rubbish and recovering again. I need any sort of help or opinion from anyone about getting back to the minimally dizzy range.

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