View Full Version : Vertigo- anyone had it?
Well, I've had it for about 2 weeks now. It started out that I'd be dizzy and nauseus after standing too quickly, but it progressed to the point where I couldn't even get out of bed! Or open my eyes! I have never had such a miserable feeling.
Today is the first day that I am able to read since Thursday! Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this nastly little problem. I am taking AntiVert now along with a diuretic, and things seem to be improving SLOWLY...the antivert makes me sooooo sleepy and dopey.
I am really anxious about getting better because I am supposed to start back to school on Friday, and I haven't been able to get in to set my room or even send out my letters to my new class!
Sorry, for the vent. Thanks for listening.
08-19-2003, 02:34 PM
Have you seen the doctor? Inner ear infections can cause this.
08-19-2003, 02:39 PM
Sorry to hear you are not well. I am assuming that the Dr. has told you that it is vertigo. What does he prescribe or advise you to do about it. If you have not seen a Dr. you should go - it may be something else.
08-19-2003, 02:53 PM
I think it is very important to go to the doctor to have this checked out. It could be something as trivial as Benign Positional Vertigo, which is caused by debris in your inner ear triggering the sensory hair cells and causing those neurons to send chaotic signals to your brain regarding your balance. However, it could be a very serious problem as well, so you really must go see the doctor.
I had Benign Positional Vertigo, and the room would spin around in a very psychedelic way when I moved my head too fast. Some people get so nauseated that they vomit, but I don't vomit easily so I just felt really, really bad. There is a very simple treatment for this--I can't remember the name of the manoeuvre but this is what you do:
You sit down on your bed or the ground, and then lie down quickly, immediately turning your head to the side (it helps to know whether it is your left or right semicircular canal is affected, because you turn your head in one direction or the other depending on this. If I remember correctly, you turn your head to the right if the left inner ear is affected, and to the left if it is your right inner ear). Then you slowly roll your entire body in the OPPOSITE direction that you turned your head, a full 360 until you are facing upwards again. The object of this manoeuvre is to first dislodge the offending debris, and then ease it along the semicircular canal by rolling yourself, until the debris is (hopefully!) lodged at one end of the canal, where it will not keep brushing up against the nerve cells. You may have to repeat this process several times. The first time the doctor made me do this, I was even MORE dizzy, and it was terrible! But I did it several times at home and the problem was basically solved. Every so often over the following few days I would have to do it again since I felt dizzy again.
But please do go see a doctor to find out what is wrong. Hope this helps and I hope you feel better soon! :)
08-19-2003, 03:15 PM
Boy, I know exactly what you are feeling like. I had my first instance of vertigo when I was in high school. I was running around outside, and either sat down or something and everything started spinning. I felt "off" for a few days or a week, or something like that. The doctor said inner ear infection.
Then, it came back when I was in college. I woke up, and my dorm room was spinning. It basically would happen if I slept on my left side.
Still happens every once in a while. The worst was this past winter. I had one millisecond at work where everything spun, and then for a few weeks afterward, I just felt spacey. Don't know how else to describe it.
I still don't think I've been diagnosed properly. Seems like the doctors are always quick to pin it on "inner ear infection," when it seems like this is something chronic with me. Just happens in very infrequent intervals.
I did a lot of reading about this, and vertigo can be caused from many things. Go to the Mayo Clinic Web site and do a search for more info.
I hope you feel better soon. It's a rotten, rotten feeling.
Oh yes, I've been to the dr. I was on vacation in NY state when this first happened, and it was so bad I fell over. So, I went to the emergency room. They told me it was vertigo and to take the antivert.
Then my local dr. ordered an MRI which I had yesterday. Nothing showed up, so we have deduced that it is indeed a middle ear thing and will eventually work itself out.
cindyluwho- my doctor did not tell me your "trick". Just reading about that makes me feel nauseus. Maybe I'll give it a try. Right now, I am grateful to be able to sit upright and read!
Thanks for your thoughts!
08-19-2003, 03:22 PM
I developed vertigo last fall. Mine came on suddenly after a car accident -- I was fine, and then all of a sudden I could hardly even stand up. The antivert helped some, but I still had a couple of pretty rocky weeks where I couldn't stand for long, read, drive, etc. and felt nauseous all the time. My doctor told me "bed rest" (not really an option with 2 small kids:rolleyes: ). The initial dose of antivert didn't seem to help much at all, so they doubled it and that helped. If you aren't getting much relief you might see if you can take a higher dose.
For me, the vertigo has just been slowly subsiding. I started feeling less dizzy when I was laying down, then was gradually able to be up and around more. Even when I wasn't feeling dizzy all the time, I still got dizzy really easily -- seeing flashing lights or anything moving quickly, turning my head or changing position too quickly, etc. would all make me very dizzy. Now (almost a year later) I have gotten to the point where the only things that still bother me are turning in circles (like when DD wants to play ring-around-the-rosie) and sometimes looking down from a height (so stairs are still sometimes a challenge). I don't know if that will ever go away, but it is manageable so I don't worry about it too much.
I don't mean to scare you, this is just what happened with me. If your vertigo is caused by an underlying problem that can be treated, you will probably be able to get rid of it more quickly. In my case, the doctor thinks something in my inner ear was damaged in the impact of the accident, so basically I just have to wait for that to repair itself. If you haven't seen your doctor, I agree that you should, so that you can find out what is causing the vertigo and how to treat it.
08-19-2003, 03:28 PM
FYI - my MIL suddenly came down with what docs initially said was vertigo a couple of years ago. After many months of testing and woes and motion, balance, and dizziness problems, she eventually found out that she had Lyme Disease. Long-term, the disease can cause problems with nervous system, balance, etc.
NOT trying to cause you concern, just tossing it out since I see your location is western PA. If it persists, definitely see an ear doc to determine if in fact there is an ear problem or not. [MIL had several doctors insisting it was an ear issue - and she knew her ears were fine. Extensive audiology testing eventually supported her convictions] And consult a doctor who has experience with Lyme and can rule it out or in for you.
Again - I'm honestly not trying to cause you further concern, but just thought I'd toss out the fact that at times "vertigo" can be the symptom, caused by another medical problem.
Hope you feel better VERY soon!!!
08-19-2003, 09:08 PM
Kim--It may be that your general practitioner doesn't know about this little exercise. It only will work if what is causing your vertigo is indeed a loose piece of debris in your inner ear. My doctor didn't know what was wrong with me and sent me to a neurologist, who figured it out immediately. I think this exercise is a relatively new thing--it used to be, apparently, that they would recommend that you lean from side to side repeatedly, making yourself sick from the dizziness, in an effort to get your brain to stop processing the cues from your inner ear. I guess it would usually work after awhile, but that would NOT be fun!!!
For me, I had vertigo for a few days, but then it went away by itself. Then it came back with a vengeance, which was when I went to the doctor. All this was consistent with BPV, since the debris probably re-lodged itself temporarily, then got dislodged again and was floating about.
As others have said, vertigo can be caused by many things, some of which are very serious. I suppose if they have done an MRI they have at least ruled out a brain tumor, for example. I would keep pursuing it though, because you do want to be sure it is not something serious.
08-19-2003, 09:25 PM
Menieres Disease runs in my family, so I thought I'd mention that as another possibility. My dad had it bad for several years recently, but they've got the symptoms under control by inserting a shunt and modifying his diet. The only thing I remember off hand that he can't eat anymore is peanuts.
Here's more info on Menieres from WebMD.com (http://my.webmd.com/content/healthwise/138/34289?UID=%7B0D056320-AFE1-4A84-A94D-ACCCFF8F6625%7D)
Good luck, and I hope you get better soon! :)
08-20-2003, 09:05 AM
Are you on any medication? I had a nightmare with vertigo several years ago. It came out of the blue; I began experienceing extreme dizziness where I would fall down and vomit uncontrollably. I had to drive and hold a job depsite all this because I was single and had no one to help me out. I saw a GP, ENT, psychiatrist, and neurologist. They ran all their tests. They all said I was fine. Despite the fact that when I saw the ENT I got sick there and had to stay in the office all day, vomiting and unable to see straght or walk. One day I was taken to the ER after collapsing at work. They said I was fine. My MD told the hospital I was having panic attacks.
I would get ill about 30 minutes into the day, and it would subside close to evening.
Finally I collapsed at school, and the physician at the student center didn't believe the old panic attack theory. He put me on Claritin, and -- poof -- the vertigo went away. Months later I titrated off a medication I'd been taking for a year or more, Tegretol, and stopped the Claritin. Poof -- all gone.
I suffered these debilitating symptoms for at least 6 months. I am furious that the MDs all wrote me off as a nut case basically. I was falling down in the streets for goodness sake, and even passers-by wouldn't stop to help me up. They probably thought I was drunk! All the while I was being poisoned by my own medication.
So check your meds. Sorry for the vent!
08-20-2003, 01:33 PM
Vertigo and dizziness are really generic symptoms that can be caused by nearly anything. First thing is to get a full workup by your doctor. If you're taking medications, look at their side effects. Get checked for serious stuff like infections and tumors.
Now, let's say you're like most people and "you have nothing wrong with you" (easy to say when the room isn't spinning for you!), now what? I run into complaints of dizziness and vertigo on a daily basis. I have about a dozen patients who come to me (I'm a doctor of chiropractic) specifically for vertigo, in fact.
The three most common causes of dizziness and vertigo I come across are, in order:
1) Cervicogenic vertigo
2) "Chemical" (usually dehydration, otherwise side effects of medications)
If it's a medication, get it changed. If you're not drinking 5-10 glasses of water a day, start and see if that changes the vertigo. Otoliths (literally "ear rocks") are what have already been discussed a bit here. They are little tiny precipitations in the inner ear that settle in a part of the ear and stimulate the hair cells there. This results in a false sense of movement to your brain which is vertigo. An osteopath developed a method of dealing with these called the Epley Maneuver. You should be able to find instructions online, which is how I learned about this. Basically it's a series of assisted motions (you have to be careful doing this on your own because you can fall or pass out... have a therapist or doctor who knows how to do this help you) that allow the otoliths to settle into a different part of the ear. Usually 1-3 treatments takes care of the problem.
The most common kind of vertigo I run into is cervicogenic. This can happen "all of a sudden" or after trauma( Mine came on suddenly after a car accident). It's no coincidence. Problems with the joints in the neck cause prorioceptors, special nerve endings that relay positional information to your brain, to send incorrect information. The result is vertigo, particularly when your neck is in a specific position or when you move your neck. Chiropractic adjustments take care of this problem very easily. I have lots of patients who my services it specifically for it.
So, make sure you see your primary care doctor and go through the medical hoops, including whatever it takes to see if prescriptions are causing the problem. Drink more water for a couple days, and if the problem is still there see a chiropractor. You'll be glad you did!
08-20-2003, 01:40 PM
Why were you prescribed a diuretic? Is your physician thinking it is Meniere's?
I am an audiologist and I do work with vertigo patients. Feel free to PM me.
Wow. Thanks for all your input, everyone. I do feel fairly certain that my vertigo is a middle ear thing. I recently (within the last month) had a pretty bad cold along with clogged ears- so could this be a result of that?
Mlasley- My Dr. told me the diuretic was to reduce the amount of fluid that has built up in my ear. Does that make sense?
I was feeling much better yesterday, but today I have made little or no improvement. It sounds like there could be so many reasons for this vertigo, that it's overwhleming me. Again, thanks for your input, it's nice to have this information.
08-20-2003, 06:08 PM
I have seen patients feel off-balance with middle ear infections, but not usually experience full blown vertigo. Middle ear fluid is usually the result of eustachian tube dysfunction (the eustachian tube runs from the middle ear to the throat and vents pressure in the middle ear space). A bad cold, allergies, even severe reflux can cause eustachian tube dysfunction.
Middle ear fluid is usually treated with antibiotics (if infected), decongestents, and in severe cases a pressure-equalizing tube is surgically inserted in the eardrum.
If this does not resolve, request a referral to an otologist or otolaryngologist who is experienced in diagnosing and treating balance disorders.
Keep us posted, and I hope you feel better.
Just wanted to post back and thank you all again for your posts. Hearing your different experiences helped me to finally figure out what was wrong with me. Today is the best I've felt since August 14. I still have the dizziness but my dr says it will go away soon. It turns out I have Meniere's disease. It is such a relief to at last have a diagnosis! I think I mentioned this above, but I am a teacher and I wasn't able to work for the first 6 days of school! I was miserable not being at work, miserable that no one could figure out what was wrong...anyway, I guess it's just a matter of finding the right doctor sometimes. I was able to get an appt with one of the most knowledgeable dr's in the "ear" field- and I loved him. He told me some things to do to get better- including going back to work! No driving tho, until this is all cleared up.
Anyway, thanks again!
09-01-2003, 02:14 PM
I'm glad you finally got a diagnosis! Whew. I know how miserable and dibilitating it can be since my dad suffered for years. If you don't mind sharing, I'm curious what treatment you're receiving that has alleviated your symptoms...
So glad you're feeling better! Enjoy the school year. :)
Hi Lisa. No, I dont' mind sharing...thanks to everyone else sharing on this board, I was able to seek better treatment.
My doctor told me that I do not have textbook Meniere's, but rather a "cousin" of Meniere's that he called hydrops. In researching it further, I have deduced that hydrops in a form of Meniere's that can sometimes manifest itself as terrible pressure in the ear (usually one is affected), or loss of hearing (again, usually one ear), dizziness, nausea, vomiting. There is one type of hydrops that is WITH the dizziness, and one that is WITHOUT. My doctor seems to think that I have been suffering from this for years, but with a recent bad cold and a horrible sinus/ear infection it went from bad to worse and that brought about the dizziness. He said that since the pressure and infection has been building in my ear for so long, that it is only natural for it to take a while to heal. Hence, my life has been on hold now for 17 days!!!
Anyway, that was probably more than you wanted to know. He prescribed a different diuretic than I was on- a common presription to Meniere's patients. He also put my on a different anti-dizzy med (Clonazepam) which is typically used as anti-seizure. He likes this (in low low doses) better than the AntiVert I was on. So do I! I HATED the Antivert and decided that it was making me worse, not better. He also told me to watch my salt intake, and my caffeine intake. And he gave me some balancing exercises to do: moving my eyes around, my head back and forth- which would have literally made me fall over a week ago. He also told me that I was to start back to work and resume my daily activities as much as I could, and that would help me get better too. He's right! It was scary walking around and moving around so much at first, because it was so awkward feeling, but now I am getting the hang of it- I just hope no one thinks I am drunk, the way I stumble around!
Sorry to ramble- can you tell I'm excited to be feeling better and to be getting back to work tomorrow?
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