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Old 11-04-2011, 11:47 AM   #1
yokid yokid is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
yokid HB User
Unhappy incapacitated with vertigo

Hi there,

I am a 24 year old male who has been suffering from chronic vertigo for just about the last 4 years. I get very serious spinning vertigo every couple of days and for the rest of the time I am off balance and have oscillopsia in my vision. I have no hearing loss or tinnitus only vertigo / balance symptoms however I do sometimes have ghosty vision but I think that was the bi-product of recent LASIK eye surgery. I am in-shape and not overweight, I don't smoke or drink and eat a balanced diet.

Essentially it all started 4 years ago with a massive violent vertigo episode that left me stumbling to the washroom trying desperately to keep my balance amongst a spinning room. Since that point on, my life has never even remotely been the same. My vertigo is completely objective everything spins round and round at very fast speeds to the point where I can't see anything but blur. I've had nystagmus a few of the times but for the most part I don't usually get it. I am completely incapacitated during these times. It literally feels like a pressure is building deep in my brain and that I'm having a stroke.

Since late 2008 I've had a barrage of tests and still have no firm diagnosis. I've been to the ER a few times and let off with a misdiagnosis of BBPV. This vertigo is not triggered by positioning or specific movements. It comes about at various times, watching a movie, waiting in a waiting room, at a restaurant, while walking etc.

Here is a timeline of the tests I've had:

2008 CT SCAN (clear)
2008 Neurologist appt (found nothing other than bad balance)
2008 MRI (clear)
2009 ENT appt (diagnosed me with TMJ, I have no jaw/face pain at all)
2009 Various blood testing (all fine)
2010 Neurotologist appt (EEG, Rotary Chairs, Audiogram - finds bilateral vestibular loss, no idea what caused it)
2011 ECG (clear)
2011 Neck ultrasound (nothing abnormal)
2011 Holter monitor (nothing abnormal)
2011 MRI #2 (clear)
2011 More blood tests (all fine)
2011 Caloric Testing (no nystagmus)

I've tried a whole bunch of drugs to try and tame this vertigo but nothing at all has even come close to slowing it down. I've tried Diazepam, Ativan, Betahistine, Gravol, Serc, Antivert, Flunarizine, Verapimil etc.

With all this I've never been diagnosed. My neurotologist (otologist + neuro) has found bilateral vestibular loss which means my inner ear balance systems are next to dead on both sides. This should mean that my vestibular hair cells shouldn't have enough juice left to trigger massive episodes of vertigo. This only leads us to think that the problem must be a central one.

Now, my question is: Is it possible for this to be caused my a neurological mechanism that hasn't picked up on MRI? What could I be looking for / what tests can I have left to do?

Here I am entering my fourth year and I am completely battered by this disease. I know a lot of people disregard vertigo as an insignificant symptom but it has honestly ruined my life for the last 3-4 years. Everything I do is effected by this.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Thanks