Patient Comments: Vertigo - Cause

How was the diagnosis as to the cause of your vertigo (dizziness and vestibular balance disorders)?

Comment from: Mel, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I"m 30 years old and have been looking for answers to my vertigo for five years now. I"m at the point of depression and fatigue. Along with vertigo I also wake with numbness in my arms and I cannot use my hands due to weakness for a while. I have migraines, nausea, vomiting, ringing in ears to loss of hearing, blurred vision and a constant balance issue. The doctor and neurologist keep sending me on a roundabout of tests that always offer different answers. It"s severely affecting my life.

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Comment from: Michael, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 30

I had a two-hour flight, I'm scared of flying. Five days later, I sat at a table in a restaurant and felt a wave of 'static' attacking my brain like a clamp, causing extreme lightheadedness, and so, I hyperventilated badly, requiring hospitalization immediately. I was diagnosed only with hyperventilation. Later, a doctor guessed it was vertigo related to the flight I had had. Then, weeks later, another hospital said it was hyperventilation, even though I was no longer hyperventilating, or if I was, not much so. I read about VVS (Vasovagal Syncope) and figured that although my electrolytes and blood pressure were normal during medical test times, I should increase my blood pressure to iron out any possible VVS attacks I was having. Within two days of adding much salt to my low-salt diet, the almost daily hours of lightheadedness (almost fainting) practically disappeared. I drank plenty of water with the increased salt intake to increase blood volume (without going to extremes of course). I also stopped sighing whenever possible, which eliminated any residual hyperventilation I was doing. Doing okay now, since that time (about a week), fingers crossed. The whole experience has been the worst, most frightening period of my life. But I have learnt not to fear nature's regulatory response of fainting, and that as all my vitals are fine, the chance of my actually dying from another severe attack of lightheadedness is one in a million, if that.

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Published: July 09

My husband acquired an outer ear infection two years ago. At the hospital, he was treated for a bacterial infection. Three days later, he suffered facial paralysis and severe pain in his ear and right side of his head. After being admitted to the hospital, it was discovered he had shingles and the virus had spread to his brain. He underwent six months of therapy for his accompanying dizziness and vestibular problems. Now two years later, he is still dizzy and has numerous balance problems. He cannot drive or perform normal activities. He only gets relief when he lies down; so much of his life is spent in bed. If he had been given Valtrex the first day he went to the hospital, he may not be as bad as he is. The doctor says that the nerve from the inner ear to the brain is damaged, as well as two facial nerves. He looks like he had a stroke. He must walk with a cane to support himself so he does not fall down. He is taking gabapentin for the pain and meclizine for the dizziness along with an antidepressant. He is soon to start another round of therapy for the dizziness.

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Comment from: Bernice, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

For the past 2 months I have experienced a wavy, unsteady, floating disorientation. I was diagnosed with strep throat and prescribed meds for strep and that is when I recall it 1st started happening. I thought the feeling was a result of the meds. I am afraid to drive and cry continuously because I feel unsteady and blurry. I am afraid to move my head. The feeling comes in waves continuously when I am up and moving, it even occurs when I am laying down if I move my eyes or head. It is quite frightening to me. The meclizine prescribed does not seem to work for me. I have had no relief, but have only been taking it 3 days so far. I do have a history of bi polar disorder (manic depression) diagnosed 10 years ago and take Seroquel, Xanax, Cymbalta and Ambien. I feel increased anxiety daily as the meds continue to disappoint me.

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Comment from: Pam, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 26

I have no definite diagnosis at this time. For over 5 years I have battled vertigo, dizziness, migraines, and actually falling down. First diagnosis was MS. Then that changed to a stroke. Now, an inner ear disorder. My hearing is intact so the ENT doctor could not help me. My neuorologist now believes it is something with the labyrinth. I have tried numerous medications. Now surgery may be in the future with the risk losing my hearing attached to it. Is there anyone with the same frustration over being unable to accurately diagnose the problems?

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Vertigo - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your vertigo?
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