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Vertigo in children

Vertigo in childhood

Vertigo and balance disorders are also not rare in children. The frequency distribution of their causes, however, clearly differs from that in adults. Migraine-associated forms of vertigo (benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood, vestibular migraine) occur very often in children, accounting for about 50% of the diagnoses. Acute unilateral functional disorders that occur in connection with infectious or parainfectious labyrinthitis, motion sickness, and perilymph fistulas are also more common in childhood than in adulthood.

In most cases the causes of vertigo can be determined by a simple clinical examination without any additional tests being required. The most frequent causes of vertigo in children take a very benign course or can be treated successfully.

Special office hours for vertigo in children:

PD Dr. Klaus Jahn

For an appointment, call 089/7095 6676.

Vertigo syndrome


Migraine-associated vertigo


  • benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood (BPV)

Drug prophylaxis for migraine only in frequent and very debilitating attacks (favorable natural course)

  • basilar type of migraine (vestibular migraine)

Avoidance of triggers, techniques to relax, endurance sports)


Prophylaxis for migraine in frequent (< 3) and severe attacks (> 72 h)

Benign peripheral positional vertigo (BPPV)

Liberatory maneuvers

Motion sickness

Visual control as prophylaxis


Avoidance of heavy meals


Sufficient fresh air


Drug prophylaxis

Acute unilateral labyrinthine deficit


  • labyrinthitis of viral, bacterial, or autoimmune origin
Acute symptomatic therapy
  • trauma

Early mobilization (central compensation)

  • vestibular neuritis

Specific therapy according to cause

  • Menière’s disease


Vestibular paroxysmia


Perilymph fistula

Therapy for the underlying disease

  • external fistula to the middle ear

generally conservative treatment, wait-and-see

  • inner fistula to the middle cranial fossa

operation rarely necessary

Bilateral vestibulopathy


  • congenital

For all types:

balance and gait training as well as strengthening of the visual and somatosensory systems


  • post-infectious (meningitis)


  • toxic / malnutrition

Specific therapies according to etiology

  • autoimmune


  • degenerative


  • neoplastic


  • idiopathic


Central vestibular syndromes


  • neoplastic


  • degenerative / hereditary

Therapy according to etiology

  • inflammatory


  • vascular / traumatic


  • epileptic (vestibular aura)


Psychosomatic vertigo

  • information


  • desensitization for avoidance behavior


  • behavioral therapy