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Old 04-08-2010, 10:50 AM   #1
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Drum8on HB User
Post Is this inner ear or something worse?

Hello! I would like to thank everyone in advance for taking time to read my post. Sorry for the length of it! Any answers or suggestions you have I truly appreciate. I realize I can't get a Dx here, but I do frequent these forums and see there are many great answers to questions, so I wanted to post.

That being said, my story begins about a month and a half ago (around mid Feb, 2010). After having a sinus/upper resp illness (one that came back a couple times over the winter) I suddenly became progressively more and more dizzy, eventually near constant. As Feb went on, the dizziness became pronounced and was with me 24/7, however only when up and moving about (sitting, standing, walking, etc.) The only time it subsided was at night while sleeping. Additionally, my ears felt a constant need to "pop."

--A little note on the word "dizzy" too: The feeling was probably more of a surreal feeling or being in a dream state constantly, almost feeling as though I was looking at the world through some one else's eyes. I was never (and am still not) running into things or having any spinning or severe balance issues. I am still doing yoga and am able to hold advanced poses for long periods of time with no problem. It is just more of an uneasiness - inside my head/eyes/ears kind of thing.

Back to my story...This eventually brought me to my family doctor where he did actually find a middle ear infection and sinus infection. He attributed my "dizzy" feeling to a possible inner ear problem, either caused by a virus or some pressure from my middle ear infection. I was given cephalexin and told to get rest, fluids, etc.

Now about this time, I began noticing other things that seem to had all come on nearly simultaneously: small dark gray floaters in my eyes (they look almost like wisps of smoke but never double vision or blurred), tingling in my hands and feet, and perhaps most alarming were my hands were falling asleep at night, seemingly regardless of what position they were in (straight, bent, being laid on, etc.) I began to worry about other things like that horrible word, MS.

I made another appt immediately to see my doctor and he did some coordination and reflex tests and checked my eyes, but said that as far as he could tell, I showed know serious signs of anything. He did order a brain MRI without contrast to be done right away to rule out tumors, lesions, etc, and sent me over to the hospital. It came back completely clean, but did show sinus disease. The doctor at the hospital agreed and said all these should be expected with my sinus issues and my other sensations were due to anxiety brought on by breathing etc. I just found that hard to believe! I really didn't feel anxious! But I suppose it is possible for it to be underlying.

Since then, I have been put on anxiety medication (originally Xanax, but now switched to buspirone which I take 15 mg a day). This seems to have stopped many of the tingling and weird sensations I was feeling in my limbs, however the dizziness is still there 24/7 and does not seem to be improving at this point. I still get the hand numbness, though only at night and it seems to be isolated to my ring and pinky fingers and outside of the the hand. I have heard this is part of the peripheral nerve system, so it could be possible cubital tunnel issues, though I am not sure. I do perform as a full time drummer, so my arms are bent a lot of the time. I am trying to sleep with my arms straight more to see if it helps. It seems to be so far.

The only other strange things I have noted recently are the fact that I seem to have tremor in my left hand when in certain positions like typing with my wrist resting. When I raise my index finger, it really shakes a lot. I have a slight tremor when writing with the left hand too (I'm a southpaw). My left pupil is slightly larger than my right one. My pupils also seem to dilate and shrink rhythmically together even when in a steady light. A barely noticeable buzzing is also present in my right foot from time to time, but it is never constant. I sometimes I wonder if I am just paying too much attention to the littlest things and the buzzing is my own pulse, but it is still there.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but after repeated calls to my doctor and stressing to him that these things aren't going away, he just doesn't seemed concerned. I think the clean brain MRI was what convinced him. Unfortunately, I know from reading, that something like MS is often difficult to determine right away. Additionally, I know how much doctors despise a self-diagnosis, so I am trying my best not to bring that avenue up again, but I do feel inclined to inform him of anything unusual I have going on. I meet with him again in 2 weeks.

I did make an appt with an opthamologist (tomorrow) to have the floaters and pupils looked at. I am taking a copy of my MRI too. My doctor agreed with this decision. I have also made an appt with a vestibular doctor who is a neorotologist to check for whether it is truly an inner ear issue like labyrinthitis etc.

I have been getting more stressed recently. My wife is beginning to see this take a toll on me, and I am finding it hard to talk to anybody because they all think I am crazy if I go on too much about these things. My job requires me to travel a lot and I just want to know if my doctor or I am missing something. It would obviously affect the course of my career if I became diagnoses with MS. Based on what you read here, what is your opionion(s)? Should I be talking to someone else? A neurologist? Do my symptoms seem consistent with other people with inner ear disorders? Does it sound like MS? I have three kids too, so worry a lot about being able to provide for them. Any ideas/thought would be greatly appreciated!

 
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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Re: Is this inner ear or something worse?

Hey Drum8on did your feelings/symptoms come on like a week or two before you found out that you had a ear infection? like the unreal/surreal feeling? i been feeling really odd in a dream state its been 2 months since my ear infection and i still feel weird as ever 24/7 how is your memory and vision ? thx

Last edited by getty4404; 05-24-2010 at 06:09 PM.

 
Old 05-24-2010, 11:49 PM   #3
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Re: Is this inner ear or something worse?

Hey Thanks for writing. I was beginning to wonder if there would be any response to my post. <edited>

Anyway, to answer your question, I did feel dizzy/surreal before finding out the ear infection was there. in fact, it was what brought me into the Dr's office to begin with. I have since been to see a neuro-opthamologist, neuro-otologist, radiologist, and cardiologist. I thought for sure the neuro-otologist (ENT) would find something in my inner ear, vestibular system, though he claims I have a hyper nervous system. I don't really buy this 100%, however he did put me on some anxiety meds and they have helped me calm down and return to some feeling of normalcy.

Funny you posted this just now though. I just went to my PCP today for allergies. he found another ear infection in the same ear and on the left side of my face. I am back on Cephalexin for that again and I got a shot in the rear for allergies which may have triggered the infection again.

My memory never wavered to my knowledge. In fact, I think I may have been even more sensitive to things because I was so stressed. I did feel fuzzy and hazy, but attribute this to the infection. My vision did change right afterward. I had a sudden onset of many dark floaters. After getting these checked out by the neuro-opth, he found NO signs of retinal detachment or anything and said if he had nothing else to go by, he would say I am a normal case of this and it is nothing to worry about. He does want my ENT to follow up with him though.

It is quite frustrating. I can say, and I do wholeheartedly believe that a vestibular issue causing a balance or dizziness can transform into anxiety which can cause the surreal sensations to last long after the initial problem resolves itself.

I have very bad sinus issues and I plan on pursuing this more if I don't get answers when I go back to the ENT. I am feeling better, but not entirely back to normal. I am really making an effort to take care of myself and particularly trying things like fish oil (good quality stuff), liquid b12, vitamin D3 and Glucosamine Chondroitin in addition to exercise and lots of yoga. these things help for sure.

i suggest you see some good docs, preferably neuro docs (opthamologist, otologist, neurologist). If you don't get answers you are satisfied with, keep trying. You'll find someone who gives a care and they will help you get to the bottom of it, though i can not guarantee it will not require patience and time for your senses to compensate and resolve the issue on their own. Things to watch for are fatigue, weakness and vision loss, particularly double vision. These are more serious and need professional expertise to rule out other conditions.

I hope you find relief. I know how unsettling this can be. It is impossible for others to understand too. If I heard one more doc say stress, I was gonna flip. I know the stress and anxiety came AFTER the dizziness and as a result. Very possible that they caused it to continue or to intensify, but they were not the cause of the 'surrealness' initially.

Last edited by mod-anon; 05-25-2010 at 01:25 AM. Reason: promoting other forums

 
Old 05-25-2010, 09:09 AM   #4
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ashes123 HB User
Re: Is this inner ear or something worse?

I know the feeling !!! I am going through the same stuff!!!

 
Old 05-25-2010, 12:24 PM   #5
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Re: Is this inner ear or something worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashes123 View Post
I know the feeling !!! I am going through the same stuff!!!
Hey ashes how long have you been feeling odd? how are you feeling now? its been 2 months since my ear infection and i still feel weird like dreamy/unreal/surreal/foggy/spacey brain dead feeling i started feeling weird 10 days before i went in to the doc i started feeling odd on march 7th and went to the doc on march 16th and 17th (2 docs) the doc on the 16th said that i had a infection in my left ear she gave me (azithromycin antibiotics) i also used peroxide in my left ear later that night and then the doc i went to on the 17th which is my family doc said there was no infection just fluid and that my ear drum was contracted like pushed in so he gave me some claritin and told me to continue the rest of the azithromycin antibiotics) then i went to the er on march 19th because i was freaking out and the er doc looked in my ears and said i had fluid and said i have anxiety and gave me ativan/Lorazepam so i continued to feel weird/off/dreamy surreal detached/slow mind feeling i waited awhile and then on april 4th (easter) i went to the dentist to have a hurting tooth pulled on the same side and he gave me more azithromycin for my tooth so i took more and i still felt odd so i kept waiting a lil longer and then on april 18th i went to the other er here in town because i was freaking out again could of been the azithromycin they gave me a ekg brain ct bloodwork and urine sample and everything was clear so i dont know now at this point. plz reply so we can talk about this.

Last edited by getty4404; 05-25-2010 at 07:40 PM.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 06:53 PM   #6
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getty4404 HB User
Re: Is this inner ear or something worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum8on View Post
Hey Thanks for writing. I was beginning to wonder if there would be any response to my post. <edited>

Anyway, to answer your question, I did feel dizzy/surreal before finding out the ear infection was there. in fact, it was what brought me into the Dr's office to begin with. I have since been to see a neuro-opthamologist, neuro-otologist, radiologist, and cardiologist. I thought for sure the neuro-otologist (ENT) would find something in my inner ear, vestibular system, though he claims I have a hyper nervous system. I don't really buy this 100%, however he did put me on some anxiety meds and they have helped me calm down and return to some feeling of normalcy.

Funny you posted this just now though. I just went to my PCP today for allergies. he found another ear infection in the same ear and on the left side of my face. I am back on Cephalexin for that again and I got a shot in the rear for allergies which may have triggered the infection again.

My memory never wavered to my knowledge. In fact, I think I may have been even more sensitive to things because I was so stressed. I did feel fuzzy and hazy, but attribute this to the infection. My vision did change right afterward. I had a sudden onset of many dark floaters. After getting these checked out by the neuro-opth, he found NO signs of retinal detachment or anything and said if he had nothing else to go by, he would say I am a normal case of this and it is nothing to worry about. He does want my ENT to follow up with him though.

It is quite frustrating. I can say, and I do wholeheartedly believe that a vestibular issue causing a balance or dizziness can transform into anxiety which can cause the surreal sensations to last long after the initial problem resolves itself.

I have very bad sinus issues and I plan on pursuing this more if I don't get answers when I go back to the ENT. I am feeling better, but not entirely back to normal. I am really making an effort to take care of myself and particularly trying things like fish oil (good quality stuff), liquid b12, vitamin D3 and Glucosamine Chondroitin in addition to exercise and lots of yoga. these things help for sure.

i suggest you see some good docs, preferably neuro docs (opthamologist, otologist, neurologist). If you don't get answers you are satisfied with, keep trying. You'll find someone who gives a care and they will help you get to the bottom of it, though i can not guarantee it will not require patience and time for your senses to compensate and resolve the issue on their own. Things to watch for are fatigue, weakness and vision loss, particularly double vision. These are more serious and need professional expertise to rule out other conditions.

I hope you find relief. I know how unsettling this can be. It is impossible for others to understand too. If I heard one more doc say stress, I was gonna flip. I know the stress and anxiety came AFTER the dizziness and as a result. Very possible that they caused it to continue or to intensify, but they were not the cause of the 'surrealness' initially.

Hey Drum8on here is my full story. its been a little over 2 months since my ear infection and i still feel weird like dreamy/unreal/surreal/foggy/spacey brain dead feeling i started feeling weird 10 days before i went in to the doc i started feeling odd on march 7th and then my ears started feeling weird as hell everything started to sound and look like a dream that was a few days after the 7th like the the 10th or 12th or the 13th of march (cant remember for sure) all i wanted to do is sleep! so i went to the doc on march 16th and 17th (2 docs) the doc on the 16th said that i had a middle ear infection in my left ear and fluid in both so she gave me (azithromycin antibiotics) i also used peroxide in my left ear later that night and then the doc i went to on the 17th which is my family doc said there was no infection just fluid in both but worse in the left and that my left ear drum was contracted like pushed in so he gave me some claritin and told me to continue the rest of the azithromycin antibiotics) then i went to the er on march 19th because i was freaking out and the er doc looked in my ears and said i had fluid and said i have anxiety and gave me ativan/Lorazepam so i continued to feel weird/off/dreamy surreal detached/slow mind feeling i waited awhile and then on april 4th (easter) i went to the dentist to have a hurting tooth pulled on the same side so he pulled the tooth and gave me more azithromycin for infection so i took more and i still felt odd so i kept waiting a lil longer and then on april 18th i went to the other er here in town because i was freaking out again could of been the azithromycin they gave me a ekg and looked in my ears, brain ct, bloodwork and a urine sample and everything was clear i also tried sudafed for fluid so i dont know now at this point i still hear something in my left ear when i bend over but its not bad could this be ear related or could it be something psychological/brain related ? plz reply so we can talk about this.
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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Re: Is this inner ear or something worse?

Your problems sound very similar to mine and they've been going on for years, over 15 probably - since I was in Middle School at least. It gets worse. My ears can't handle cold, so ear muffs in the winter. I can't ride a bike or anything else that puts constant pressure from the front like too much wind, or some kinds of rides at amusement parks. If I did do these things without protection, it would sound kind of like I was underwater for about a day. Except, it would also feel like I needed to pop my ears constantly. But they don't/can't pop, and after reading some, maybe it's blockage in the eustachian tube? The cold will give me a huge headache, the screaming kind -what I imagine migraines must be like. And here I get the whole surreal feeling, floating, euphoric if it wasn't for the pain. I've taken cephalaxin, and it seemed to help temporarily. I'll come back, and write more/edit this post. Need to run to the store. I wanted to throw in my opinion that I don't think a tumor is involved. I'll come back and explain.

Last edited by kattekens; 09-05-2010 at 03:39 PM. Reason: i'm dumb.

 
Old 09-06-2010, 05:33 PM   #8
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Drum8on HB User
Re: Is this inner ear or something worse?

I thought I'd post an update on my situation....

I have been getting much better in the balance and fogginess dept. After being on my anxiety medicine, I have seen much improvement. I can't say if this actually helped me ultimately or if it was just my body compensating on it's own....perhaps a combination of both. I am in the process of coming off my meds finally.

Unfortunately, I have had a few other really strange symptoms pop up since. I started having random twitches all over a few months back, especially in my feet and calves. I wasn't sure what to make of it at first, but I eventually got a referral to see a neurologist who looked me over and said they were almost certainly benign and unless any other symptoms changed or came on (such as weakness, or trouble talking, swallowing etc) I was clear. He offered an EMG test for nerve conductivity and muscle activity, but I have decided to decline at this point. I may go back for that if I see any other symptoms like he mentioned.

As for the fogginess, I recently took a trip out west, far up into the Rocky Mountains at times, and sure enough the feeling came back whenever we ventured to higher altitudes. I am almost certain now there must be some trouble with fluid and/or pressure in either my inner ear or my eustachian tubes. Sometimes, I wake up and have the sound of trapped water in my left ear (which is the side I have always had trouble with). I have not seen another ENT yet to have this examined, but I plan to eventually if it doesn't resolve on it's own (I am presently trying a barrage of home remedies to see if I can alleviate the symptoms).

The only other thing I can say I have had come on, is some soreness and pain in my left thigh around the hip/hamstring area and occasional soreness and fatigue in muscles and joints. I am about to turn 33, so I am sure part of this is aging, but it certainly does make me wonder about other things. I am trying to really do a good job of staying in touch with my PCP and that is helping. He is keeping a close eye on me for now. I also started seeing a chiropractor and that has helped quite a bit. They see quite a number of people for sinus and ear trouble. Give it a shot if you haven't because I think it has helped me a little bit too.

How is everybody else doing?

 
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