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Old 10-22-2006, 01:40 PM   #1
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Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Hi everybody
I am posting to ask, can you have an inner ear dissorder without vertigo/dizziness? and see if anybody has had similar symptoms to myself, as i cannot get a dx from my doctor or consultant.
This all started back in april of this year with tinnitus which appeard to come from the back of my head. Two weeks previous i had a severe throat virus and also suffered a whiplash injury to my head.
I went through a period of stress and anxiety and maybe a bit of depression too which might or might not be contributing to the symptoms i have now.
Over the following months i have had periods of nausea, a bit of brain fog at times but no vertigo or dizziness.
The main worrying symptom i am getting though is visual. When jogging and my foot hits the floor the horizon significantly jumps, in fact any hard foot stamp causes this. is this a v.o.r. problem?
my perspective on things seem odd, straight lines seem somehow bent and when i tilt my head and straighten it my visual field seems slow to react.
The horizon seems to tilt more left and right when walking.
I also have what can only be described as a tense feeling at the base of the skull.
My G.P. first said it was fluid on the middle ear, he made this without even bothering to look in my ear.then he decided it was an anxiety problem,then eventualy decided it was inflamamed hearing nerve, so i got a referal to an e.n.t. privately as here in the uk the waiting times are months on the N.H.S.
Two hearing tests spread over six months showed no change in my hearing, being normal apart from a slight dip in the top frequency,not too bad at my age of 46.
A ct scan was normal.
The Consultant wanted too call it a day at that but with the visual distubances he has begrudgingly ordered a series of inner ear tests that i am still waiting for, and will be for a fair few more months yet.His parting shot was he is 99% certain it is not an ear problem as i do not suffer vertigo/dizziness.
After reading posts on this board one of the main symptoms seem to be dizzyness/vertigo,so could i have inner ear problems without them and does anybody else have these visual problems with their inner ear condition?
Thanks for reading my post.
Robert.

 
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Old 10-23-2006, 03:01 AM   #2
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Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Hi
I too live in the midlands. . .small world.
The dizziness/ vertigo comes and goes, I can go for days without any symptoms, then all of a sudden one day I have to hold onto the walls to get around. The foggy brain is constant though, mine is an inner ear problem, also my Eust tubes are not good. The visuals come and go depending on the severity of the attack, jumping images, flashing lights, twitching eyes, and loads of floaters, I have been told by my consultant that those are normal for vestibular conditions and basically to learn to live with them! GREAT!

I have spoken with other people that don't get dizziness/vertigo, they describe it as more of a floating feeling, but again not all of the time, do you get what I mean?
Keep on at them to get the tests done, NHS will make you wait the max time which is frustrating, the worse part about having something like this is the not knowing 100% what it is and the waiting. There is obviously something not right somewhere.
Take care of yourself.
The Sheriff!

 
Old 10-23-2006, 05:08 AM   #3
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Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

You don't have to have dizziness and vertigo with inner ear problems - it's a subjective thing, if you had some sort of insult to you vestibular system, you would normally get some sort of vertigo or dizziness, but it easily could have occured in your sleep or caused mild dizziness which you might of just shook off as a head cold symptom etc, the brain then suppresses those vertigo feelings, for some people that process can take as little as a few days, but it leaves you with mild vestibular problems.

Your bouncing vision does sound very much like a VOR type problem. And pressure at the base of the skull is indicative of muscle tension (very common in people with vestibular disorders, as the muscles tense to hold the head in one position as to minimise head movements). Though of course there could be other causes - neck problems for example...

The sad truth is that your average ENT consultant has spent a little under half a day looking into the vestibular system as part of their training, and in most cases that would be 20 years or more ago - so they know next to nothing about the vestibular system, and don't stand a chance at interpreting test results, I suspect any caloric or ENG will come back normal (in one respect this is good because it would rule out central involvment), but on that basis the ENT doc will say it's not inner ear - which is wholly incorrect. The doctor you really need to see is a neurotologist (thats neuro-OTO-logist not neurologist) as they are experts in the inner ear and connections to the brain. Though unless things are changing it's unlikely a diagnosis will change the treatment - which is normally VRT (vestibular rehabilitation therapy), infact if your inner ear is the problem I suspect you are a very a good candidate, and would think that working on VOR/gaze stabilisation exercises for a week or so may resolve most your symptoms (and certainly wouldn't do any harm), so that might be something to try in the interim just to see if it helps..

 
Old 10-23-2006, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheriff56
Hi
I too live in the midlands. . .small world.
The dizziness/ vertigo comes and goes, I can go for days without any symptoms, then all of a sudden one day I have to hold onto the walls to get around. The foggy brain is constant though, mine is an inner ear problem, also my Eust tubes are not good. The visuals come and go depending on the severity of the attack, jumping images, flashing lights, twitching eyes, and loads of floaters, I have been told by my consultant that those are normal for vestibular conditions and basically to learn to live with them! GREAT!

I have spoken with other people that don't get dizziness/vertigo, they describe it as more of a floating feeling, but again not all of the time, do you get what I mean?
Keep on at them to get the tests done, NHS will make you wait the max time which is frustrating, the worse part about having something like this is the not knowing 100% what it is and the waiting. There is obviously something not right somewhere.
Take care of yourself.
The Sheriff!
Hi Sheriff
thanks for the reply, reading some of the posts on this board it seems that the symptoms can be individual to the person so i am pretty certain i have some inner ear problem since april, and as you say its the not knowing, and the miss dx of g.p. and consultant. I had heard the N.H.S. was in a pretty sorry state but to be honest over my 46 years i have never had to call on them for any help until this and have been sorely let down, still looking for a proper dx 7 months down the line.....
I will take your advice and try to chase the inner ear test up, goodness knows where i am on the list,
Hope you get well soon
Robert.

 
Old 10-23-2006, 12:24 PM   #5
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Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybignose
You don't have to have dizziness and vertigo with inner ear problems - it's a subjective thing, if you had some sort of insult to you vestibular system, you would normally get some sort of vertigo or dizziness, but it easily could have occured in your sleep or caused mild dizziness which you might of just shook off as a head cold symptom etc, the brain then suppresses those vertigo feelings, for some people that process can take as little as a few days, but it leaves you with mild vestibular problems.

Your bouncing vision does sound very much like a VOR type problem. And pressure at the base of the skull is indicative of muscle tension (very common in people with vestibular disorders, as the muscles tense to hold the head in one position as to minimise head movements). Though of course there could be other causes - neck problems for example...

The sad truth is that your average ENT consultant has spent a little under half a day looking into the vestibular system as part of their training, and in most cases that would be 20 years or more ago - so they know next to nothing about the vestibular system, and don't stand a chance at interpreting test results, I suspect any caloric or ENG will come back normal (in one respect this is good because it would rule out central involvment), but on that basis the ENT doc will say it's not inner ear - which is wholly incorrect. The doctor you really need to see is a neurotologist (thats neuro-OTO-logist not neurologist) as they are experts in the inner ear and connections to the brain. Though unless things are changing it's unlikely a diagnosis will change the treatment - which is normally VRT (vestibular rehabilitation therapy), infact if your inner ear is the problem I suspect you are a very a good candidate, and would think that working on VOR/gaze stabilisation exercises for a week or so may resolve most your symptoms (and certainly wouldn't do any harm), so that might be something to try in the interim just to see if it helps..
Hi billy
thanks for the reply, When i first got the tinnitus a month later i did get an "off" feeling and slight feeling of inbalance but i shook it off within about 2-3 weeks, proberbly helped because i am an exercise junkie, always have been, running, swimming, boxing(thats how i got the head injury).
The only good thing is that i dont realy hear the tinnitus 95% of the day now and it was pretty horedous at first.
The chances of me getting a VRT course of treatment must be pretty slim as i cant even get a dx and the only way i managed to get the ear tests, when they finaly come through, was to be very direct with the consultant to the point of rudeness.
I will definatly give the eye exersises a go, could you please direct me to a link where i can get some idea how to perform them as i bet ten to a penny my G.P. will be not much help.
Thanks again for your help and take care.
Robert.

 
Old 10-23-2006, 01:25 PM   #6
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billybignose HB User
Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Robert,

I didn't see you also had a head injury - it might be worth reading a bit about labyrinthine concussion as that can also play a part..... VRT can help with that too...

There are a few specialist centers (leicester, southhampton - the leading centre is based at the national hospital for neurology and neurosurgery in london (prof luxon/ roslyn davies' clinic)...

As for exercises try a web search for the cawthorne cooksey exercises - not as good as a custom VRT course but it's a start... They don't include gaze stabilisation exercises so you may want to do them separately, but basically anything involving head motion while focusing on a fixed target is good (try putting a large letter 'A' on the wall, stand a few feet away, focus on it, the move you head side to side quickly, while keeping the letter in focus - it shouldn't blur so you may have to start off slowly then build up the speed over a period of days/weeks, when thats no longer a challenge move further away from the target... repeat while nodding your head - doing a hundred or so reps of each)

 
Old 10-23-2006, 02:41 PM   #7
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sheriff56 HB User
Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Hi Robert.
Same for me really I have only ever visited my GP about 3 times in the last 14 years until the last 12 months and I've been about 14 times since. Every GP/Locum gives a different tale, so frustrating, strange though, wave the £notes and you are in to see someone within 48 hours. I paid privately to get things moving and at the same time asked for NHS referral to see the same consultant, when I saw him privately I could tell him the date I was to see him on the NHS and he got tests on the move before that date on the NHS. . . amazing and well worth the £130.00, even though 12 months down the line I'm still after the final answer, they can easily rule out what it's not, but fail to put a finger on the exact diagnosis.
Fingers crossed Robert that we all feel good soon.
The Sheriff

 
Old 10-24-2006, 01:16 PM   #8
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trebor4460 HB User
Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Thanks for the info Billy,will get on to it pronto.
Sherriff,thats a good tip if you have to go private.I have payed twice now to see the ent consultant, not had much joy with him but after some pursuation he finaly ordered some ear tests so hopfuly they will point him in the right direction.
This weird visual world i am living in at the moment has been getting me down a bit, and somtimes wonder will it ever go? i seem to be up one day full of optimism then the next day i seem to spend most of the day down, is this normal with these inner ear problems?
O well tomorrow is another day, will get onto trying them eye exersises billy, hopfuly they will do a bit of good.
You two kind people have a good day.
Robert.

 
Old 10-25-2006, 12:50 AM   #9
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Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Hi Robert, what you are experiencing is normal.

As well as the exercises, which do help however strange they may seem, try some form or relaxation, Yoga, meditation etc, that calms me down on the panicky days, unfortuately anxiety goes hand in hand with the inner ear probs and sometimes can take over and become the main one!

You are not on your own we know what you are going through.
Chin Up!
The Sheriff

 
Old 10-25-2006, 04:57 AM   #10
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Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Hi Robert

I'm in the UK too, so understand your frustrations with the NHS. Jack of all trades, master of none that's them!. I have been through all the stuff with the ENT and was referred to the balance rehab clinic and came away with a few VRT exercises which I could have gotten off the net! My final dx was VN, but I am not convinced that they actually know what they are talking about. The balance consultant I see says I am a unique case but I have lots of the symptoms that people have on this board and that people I know personally have! When I told him I felt weird and unsteady when I come out of windy conditions into calm, he said it was the first he had heard of that even though it is listed as a symptom on the VEDA website. Strange, seems to me they don't do any research.

The only gaze stabilization exercises I was given was to hold a pen at arms length in from of me at eye level, hold it still and move the head from side to side not taking your eyes off the top of the pen and not jerking your eyes, keeping the action smooth. Do this for 2 minutes. Then turn the pen on its side and move the head up and down, keeping your eyes on the pen and keeping the movements smooth. Next, hold the pen upright again and move it about 5 inches to each side and keep your eyes on the pen top, again smoothly. Repeat this with the head moving up and down for a further two minutes.

I too, have some really good days, then all of a sudden it's back to haunt me. The ground will come up and hit me in the face and I feel like I am going to fall over. I also have tinnitus but it doesn't bother me too much, and not at all through the day so I suppose I am lucky there.

Try to keep positive and keep active.

Mac2

 
Old 10-25-2006, 11:21 AM   #11
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trebor4460 HB User
Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Hi Sheriff56
i have got a relaxation disc and play it before i go to sleep, never get too the end as i drop off so it must be doing some good
Hi Mac2
I too was dx with vn by on of thr G.P. i have seen, no tests done mind you,just off the cuff dx another said middle ear influsion without even lookin in my ear.
needless to say i have moved to another practice now.
Thanks for the eye exersises, how many times a day do you have to perform them?
I too had tinnitus which was quite loud and disturbing , now seven months down the line i hardly notice it, i turned my perspective around on it and kind of treated it as my friend instead of hating it and now i just easily ignore it.
Thanks again and take care,
Robert.

 
Old 10-26-2006, 02:20 AM   #12
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Re: Inner ear problem without Vertigo/dizziness?

Hi Robert

Yes it took me to see at least six doctors at my practice before I sussed out the ones that know a little bit about this thing. Two of them wanted to put me on anti depressants straight away, which of course I refused. One even referred me to a councellor because of the anxiety which I was disgusted at because I knew that this came with the illness. I went to see her anyway just to prove my point, and was discharged within 20 minutes as she realised that I was not suffering from something that was going to be longterm, and I had never suffered anxiety before this illness. I only suffered from this for a few months and it faded away as I started to get better.

The gaze stability exercises should be carried out in the morning and then in the evening. I forgot to mention that if you feel dizzy just do it slowly and go faster when you feel ready.

I really do think that GPs should get a bit more training in stuff like this as it is getting so common. I am sure that if we were given these exercises to do straight away we would recover quicker. After all it is just a sheet of paper and I did not get any specially tailored exercises from the balance rehab clinic, it was just a standard printed sheet obviously given out to everyone! It took me about 8 months to get to the stage where I got the exercises and that is not good enough.

Take care.

Mac2

 
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