This is my first post. I'm sorry this post is long, but I've started to doubt myself, and I want to run my experiences by you to get some thoughts.
I have had mild vertigo for about five months. I had a break at one point, but it's been more noticeable the last three or four weeks. It doesn't bother me too much. I get the feeling that I'm rocking like on a boat, tilting, falling forward or backward, or a head rush feeling like after spinning in cirlces. The "episodes" only last a couple of seconds to a few minutes most of the time, but in between I feel unbalanced a lot. I can walk OK, and I can carry on normal conversation even while dizzy. I've never thrown up... My feelings aren't very violent or fast-feeling. Sometimes it's hard for me to stay sitting up straight or focus my eyes while I'm feeling vertigo.
In the past couple of weeks I've also noticed my left eye twitching sometimes. This is new for me, and it hasn't been while tired or stressed. I've had a few instances where my left temple felt tingly and like pins-and-needles. I have ringing in both ears, but I only notice it when I'm at home away from college when it's quiet. I'm not sure when it began; I may have always had it. Though it may just be that I've been paying more attention, in the past week I've knocked things over while going to pick them up, and I missed the light switch.
I went to my college's health center today, and I saw a nurse. She spent a long time looking in my ears, and she said they looked fine. She did a couple of quick neurological things (nose to finger touching, walking heel to toe, standing with my eyes closed feet together), and they were all OK. I tried by myself and found out that I can't walk heel to toe at all with my eyes closed; I'm not sure whether that's normal.
She was very nice, and I liked her a lot. She said, though, that there was nothing wrong with my brain, nothing wrong with my ears, so it was probably stress. I told her that I didn't feel very stressed and was normally easy-going, but she said my body speaks otherwise. I admit I was nervous to be in the doctor's office, but I told her that, so I'm not sure she can factor in my nerves at the time to the dizziness I've been having for a while. She also had me get my thyroid checked, but I looked online, and I don't have any of the symptoms for over or under-active thyroid.
She said that if this was continuing in a month that I should see a neurologist. My parents think I'm perfectly healthy (which I generally am).
I haven't felt any specific feelings of vertigo today, though I do feel some head pressure and that "head rush" feeling a bit. I'm starting to wonder whether this really is stress. I've never heard of stress as a cause of vertigo, though, even if the rest is incidental. I feel like my parents will think that I'm making it up or just paranoid, but I think back and know that I've been feeling vertigo. But what does it mean if it really does just go away?
I just don't know what to feel, I guess. I'm posting this in this section just because if something is wrong, it is probably neurological. I looked online a lot, and vertigo from the ears is usually very intense (which mine isn't). The most major ear causes of vertigo don't fit me at all.
I'd appreciate really any thoughts you have at all about my symptoms, my insecurities, any further steps I should take--anything! Thank you so much.
Hi there! There are a bunch of us on Healthboards that have the same problems. If you check out the Headache board, you will find a post called "Chronic Tension Headaches". It is now like 29 pages long. There is another poster "boxerlover227" that I talk to a lot. We have the same problems you do. I have been suffering with this for over 4 years! I have had so many tests. They can't find anything wrong with me. Yet I am lightheaded and off balance all the time. Go read our post. It might help you some. I just wanted to let you know that you're certainly not alone. Take care!
i am wondering just how this nurse knows your brain is fine without actually looking inside it???tho you 'passed" some very minor neuro exam tests,that says absolutely nothing about what may or may not be possibly wrong or just not right,inside of your actual brain,not by a long shot.there can be many many possible reasons for vertigo,some minor some not so minor.i really do think seeing that neurologist at this point may be your best bet for now,and possible obtaining an MRI on the brain and the c spine area would possibly reveal some sort of an issue going on in either area.vertigo can stem from brain issues and c spine issues and ear issues,and even metabolic type issues.like i said,many possible causes.even just seeing a regular primary doc for an actual exam and some blood work(all the many different labs,espescially metabolic)could reveal a possible problem somewhere.remeber,you only actually saw a nurse,a far cry from a very real doctor.you would also most likely need an actual referral from a doc just to even see the neuro to start with.
i don't think at this point,since this has already been going on for quite some time,that waiting a month to see a neuro would really do anything for you either way.seeing one at this point,as soon as possible would really be a much better idea.making that appt now vs later would really be the best thing since with alot of specialist type appts,it can actually take about a month or sometimes even longer,just to get in for that initial appt.so doing this now,by starting with that primary doc appt really would be advisable.
you just need some answers to your ongoing symptoms,thats all.i think you have let this go more than enough time and it would appear that stress really wouldn't be causing this,at least it seems that way to me.you are also having a new symptom with your eye.you really DO need a full in depth neuro evaluation by an actual neurologist who knows what they are doing.a nurse is not even near the actual knowledge and experience of a neurologist.she shouldn't be telling people that they are just fine when she really has no clue as to what may be the cause of someones actual real symptoms.this could just cause some unsuspecting patient to blow off symptoms of a possibly very real medical problem or condition.you just need to know whats up.seeing a neuro would be a big help with this.the MRIs too need to be done.i would really have a talk with your parents about this and have them help you thru all of this.they really do need to know what is going on with you.if you were my child,believe me,i WOULD want to know what you are dealing with.i wish you lots of luck in finding the cause of all this,please keep me posted on anything you find out,K? marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
I have been dealing with vertiginous symptoms for thirteen years; some of my symptoms also feel neurological in nature. Although obviously, vertigo can be the result of a specific condition, some of which can be serious, many times these symptoms are benign (harmless) even though the symptoms and sensations can feel scary, strange and be limiting.
Vertigo can be caused by things like viruses, inner ear congestion, allergies, a fluctuation (for women) in hormones, and migraine headaches (and you DON’T have the headache to experience the related dizziness part) – to name a few. And yes, vertigo can also be caused by stress and anxiety, believe it or not. Stress and anxiety can impact a person in many big and small, and in obvious and not so obvious ways – vertigo being one of them.
Symptoms of vertigo can sometimes be difficult to diagnose or put into one category, as these symptoms can parallel or mimic similar symptoms caused by other conditions. Sometimes a determination of symptoms for a cause is made by ruling out all the known conditions that can cause it. This is not a bad thing, but finding a root cause for vertigo can sometimes be time consuming and a best guess. Many times, if a “reason” cannot be determined, it is recommended to treat the symptoms rather than pursue looking for a bottom-line cause.
At this point, it probably would be a good thing to have a complete physical by a doctor (to include blood - and yes, thyroid: get it checked - and urine). If your examination shows that you are healthy, you may want to speak to your doctor about obtaining a referral to a cardiologist and a neurologist, as these two specialists also deal with vertiginous conditions – seeing these two specialists would simply be another part of the ruling out process.
Vertigo can be in many forms and sensations – it’s doesn’t necessary have to be violent spinning or vomiting, although in some definitions, that may be what defines true vertigo from other wooziness or dizziness. Symptoms can range from a feeling of spinning, to floating, falling, dropping, leaning, swaying, moving, oozing, to feeling or being unable to walk or sit “straight”, to being unable to lie down or turn in a certain position – to name a few. Some people feel better being still, some people feel better when they are moving.
Many times, a person dealing with these kinds of symptoms may also experience other sensations that can appear as a visual, neurological, or mechanical problem. Note: your eye twitching probably has nothing to do with your current imbalance symptoms, however, since the majority of people who deal with “head symptoms” also develop anxiety on some level, you may be worrying about other parts of your body or become concerned if you notice something else going on. Dealing with imbalance can make your whole body feel “off”, awkward or strange – so it’s easy for that worry to ripple into other anxieties that may or may not be body-related.
You definitely should tell your parents what you are currently dealing with. Sometimes it’s hard to deal with something on your own, especially if it’s scary or unknown. Unfortunately, in today’s society, if someone can’t “see” that you are not feeling well, then you are “faking” it. So if a person is dealing with an imbalance symptom or sensation, the fact that they look and sound “fine” might make it harder for them to get across to someone else that they are “dizzy on the inside”. Be your own advocate and listen to yourself – your symptoms are NOT all in your head and you are NOT being paranoid.
Another good idea to think about is that if you are dealing with some stress or anxiety, you may want to think about a way to alleviate or find an outlet for it because stress and anxiety can play a major role in how a person physically feels. You may want to think about some short-term counseling, not only to deal with whatever you need to externally, but to deal with how you are feeling with your symptoms, which can be depressing as well as scary and bothersome. It's always good to look at ALL possible causes for a symptom before chalking it up to stress or anxiety, so there is definitely no harm in searching for an answer or even obtaining a second medical opinion if you feel that is necessary. Remember, too, that what you ARE dealing with IS stressful and anxiety producing/provoking, so even if stress/anxiety isn't the root cause, it can surely add to how you feel and ultimately how you do or do not cope.
Take a look at the Inner Ear, Headache, and Stress boards. You may find something helpful and/or reassuring in some of the posts. I am usually on the Inner Ear Boards under this current user name, and my older user name (Wowwweee). I also have a few comments on the Headache board under the same thread as Leela_C (“Chronic Tension Headaches”).
Take good care. xo
Last edited by Wowwwweeee; 03-04-2007 at 11:40 AM.
Thank you guys so much for your wonderful responses! I'm open to it being stress-related, but I don't really feel stressed out unless I have a big paper or exam the next day, but that seems normal. I'm going to wait and see how it continues in the next few weeks, and if it's still happening after spring break, I'll go back to the student health center. I had full blood work up done earlier this fall, and it was all normal. My thyroid was normal, as well. The last few days I've been getting a vibrating-like feeling in my eye and sometimes my head, so I'll be paying attention to whether that continues, too. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer me. Thanks again!