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Old 11-17-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
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Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

Early last week one evening I got sort of dizzy for maybe 20 minutes or so. It went away so I didn't think much of it.

The problem returned on Thursday and lasted almost a full six days. I was able to be up and around some of the time but I couldn't really work since the vertigo was so bad. It felt like I was just an inch away from becoming nauseated most of the time. The vertigo wasn't very extreme but everything just kept moving a tiny bit.

The actual cause of my dizziness and vertigo has not yet been determined. It doesn't appear to be any of the common causes. My hearing was not affected, it was not a positional problem, and movement didn't trigger the vertigo. That leaves very few options, possibly migraine (no pain) or some type of nerve problem - maybe vestibular neuritis.

It seems the vertigo is mostly gone but the imbalance (disequilibrium) is not. I can walk around, climb stairs, get in and out of the car, drive, etc. but when I'm walking I feel tipsy. When I sit I often feel as though something is pulling me, usually towards my left and downwards.

Occasionally I think I experience the vertigo again only very mildly. Sometimes I think it's my imagination, especially since I'm struggling with anxiety which can bring on or exacerbate these symptoms.

Could my imbalance and occasional vertigo be sort of "residual" or left over from the original problem? It's really kind of scary because I don't know when it's going to get worse or better or how long it will last.

 
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:13 AM   #2
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

My problem sounds very similar to yours so I had to respond. I'm going into my tenth month though. The one symptom that hasn't left is the disequilibrium. Like you I can function but walking feels a little funny and sitting or standing still is the worst, I feel it most then. So I try my best to always be moving! I still don't know for sure if it was vn, Mav or a combo of both. My biggest concern is ruling out anything life threatening, they thought ms, but MRI was fine but I still wonder. I just keep hoping with more time it will fade?! How long have you been dealing with this?

 
Old 11-18-2011, 07:27 PM   #3
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

Quote:
Originally Posted by breazie View Post
My problem sounds very similar to yours so I had to respond. I'm going into my tenth month though. The one symptom that hasn't left is the disequilibrium. Like you I can function but walking feels a little funny and sitting or standing still is the worst, I feel it most then. So I try my best to always be moving! I still don't know for sure if it was vn, Mav or a combo of both. My biggest concern is ruling out anything life threatening, they thought ms, but MRI was fine but I still wonder. I just keep hoping with more time it will fade?! How long have you been dealing with this?
If you feel worse while sitting still and better while moving, an inner ear problem is extremely unlikely. I would look into central disorders instead (like mav).

 
Old 11-20-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

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Originally Posted by bindar View Post
If you feel worse while sitting still and better while moving, an inner ear problem is extremely unlikely. I would look into central disorders instead (like mav).

Bindar,

Just curious, why did you mention central nervous for this? I have recently been diagnosed with VN & BPPV. I'm in my second month of VRT. I always feel better when moving & worse when sitting, (IF my symptoms are acting up). And there are times, I'm so off balance, I am forced to sit down.

Geneva

 
Old 11-21-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

A VN patient can feel symptoms when sitting still, but only during the first few days (the acute period) of the illness. This is caused by swelling in the inner ear. But once the swelling goes down after a few days, you will only notice the symptoms when you start moving around. BPPV will only cause symptoms when you put your head in the trigger position, which is looking up at the ceiling, or rolling over in bed.

Im not a doctor, and I am not responsible for your treatment, but I feel that you need to see another specialist. Its possible that you had BPPV, but I think VN is extremely unlikely. I think MAV is much more likely than VN.

 
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:15 PM   #6
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

During my acute period which lasted about six days, I also felt better when moving than I did when sitting. Sometimes when I was driving or walking I almost couldn't tell I had any problem. I noticed that when I took a walk in the park near my house I was fine until I reached close visual stimuli. I felt fine out in the open but the vertigo would hit when I reached the trees. It would also hit when I looked down at the path and saw all the colorful leaves strewn on the paved path. Then I started to notice a similar phenomenon when I came back to my house. I would walk inside and the symptoms seemed to return immediately. Walking through doorways and opening doors seemed to affect me the most. As already mentioned, sitting was very uncomfortable - it's hard to explain what I was feeling because it wasn't the room-spinning vertigo that most people describe. It was just a very disconcerting feeling. Of course, my anxiety would kick in full force which seemed to make the problem even worse.

I don't know if it was merely coincidence or not but my symptoms started to disappear when I started taking Advil. I took (2) 200mg Advil (ibuprofen) about every 4 to 6 hours for 1-1/2 days and after that the worst of the dizziness/vertigo was gone. That basically got me to where I am today which I shall now further explain.

As stated in my original post, I'm now suffering from disequilibrium, a feeling that I'm off balance as I walk around. But I also have to mention that every now and then the dizziness/vertigo starts to return.

It's not clear to me yet what brings on the vertigo even now that the acute phase is over with. It doesn't really hit suddenly or at any predictable time (for example, after eating a certain food) and it doesn't necessarily land me in bed although it has gotten quite near to that a couple times. I do know that it seems to have something to do with visual stimuli and perhaps smells such as cologne. I went to church on Sunday (yesterday) and I wore cologne. About the time I got home and walked it my house I started to notice that I was really off balance and that it seemed like the vertigo was coming back. I had some really nasty rotting food smells in my kitchen due to my negligence while I was sick (or otherwise busy) last week. But I think it may also have had something to do with me wearing cologne. I took care of the rotting food, washed off the cologne, and I took two Advil. I didn't notice any marked improvement in how I felt. I took a walk out in the woods and had somewhat of an "acute attack" out there that seemed to have something to do with all the trees so close by. But I walked on a narrow "road" trail for quite a while before I felt that hit.

I got home and noticed that I did have kind of a low-grade headache so I took two more Advil. I never really did feel too wonderful on Sunday but I have felt OK today (Monday) other than still being off balance.

I'd have to say that I wasn't really off balance when the vertigo first hit, as well as I can remember, but that off balance feeling has never left me since I did have that "acute" vertigo (relatively speaking).

My eye doctor found a white "cotton wool" spot (ischemic optic neuropathy) on my left eye that can be indicative of high blood pressure or migraine. I think mine could have come from either one but I'm leaning heavily towards the possibility that this whole episode was MAV (migraine associated vertigo).

Does anyone know, is MAV considered to be a chronic illness?

 
Old 11-22-2011, 06:42 AM   #7
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

Bindar, I am grateful for your opinion. I understand that you are not a Dr, but you are extremely informed on inner ear issues. I am new to this, and just learning, which is what we all are forced to do when we have a medical problem. That's why I am here, to learn!

My ordeal started in Sept, in the dentist chair, after being supine for 3 hours. Woke up the next morning spinning. First saw my GP. I had a mild fever, right ear infection. Called a specialist that is Otology, Neurotology, & Skull Base Surgeon. He also saw inflammation in my right ear, & nystagmus. Prescribed an anti viral med, & sent me to a Vestibular Therapist, which found my problem was the right side, horizontal canal, cupulolithiasis. They performed the BBQ roll, and succeeded the first time. I am currently in VRT. The Dr did not directly tell me I had VN. He did say I have BPV, caused by a viral infection. I am seeing the ENT again next week, and have several questions for him now that I have educated myself enough to know what to ask. I was so loony the first time I saw him, there's no telling what I did, or did not hear.

Are all viral infections of the inner ear in the nerve?

Now I'm having anxiety attacks for the first time in my life, and it's difficult to tell which symptoms are anxiety/fatigue related, & which are vestibular. How do you know the difference? Mornings are my worst. When I first get up, I start shaking, and feel spaced out (brain fog I've heard it called?). Once I start moving around, I start to feel normal. After my morning VRT's, I wobble around for about 10 minutes, then feel better.

My Dr has not sent me for an MRI or VNG...yet. He did say that in 40% of the BPV cases, they never find out what set if off. In mine, it was the infection. My PT's told me that a central problem will usually show up in nystagmus.

This Board has helped tremendously. Any advice from anyone is greatly appreciated!

Happy Turkey Day,

Geneva

 
Old 11-22-2011, 07:16 AM   #8
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

dyyzee, When you say vertigo, do you mean actual spinning? Or just off balance? Did you spin at the beginning?

 
Old 11-22-2011, 07:33 AM   #9
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

None of my vertigo has been the reeling, spinning kind. It's only been a mild rocking sensation. When I sit in a chair it often seems that the room is just moving slightly although I can't always say how much or in which direction. Walking results in an off-balance feeling and the vertigo is generally less obvious there although things still seem to move a little bit. If and when this moving sensation does increase during walking, it can get bad enough that I start to feel dizzy and sick and have to sit or lie down. At that point nothing really seems to help the dizzy/vertiginous feeling go away although I also admit that it usually improves enough that I can either sleep or at least get up and walk around.

Sitting is often the worst when I'm experiencing vertigo. I just can't get rid of the feeling that everything is moving/rocking just slightly. But just to recap, it's not the wild spinning that most people are talking about when they talk about vertigo.

I've been researching Migraine Associated Vertigo and it certainly lines up the best with the symptoms I've been dealing with.

 
Old 11-22-2011, 12:34 PM   #10
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyyzzee View Post
During my acute period which lasted about six days, I also felt better when moving than I did when sitting. Sometimes when I was driving or walking I almost couldn't tell I had any problem. I noticed that when I took a walk in the park near my house I was fine until I reached close visual stimuli. I felt fine out in the open but the vertigo would hit when I reached the trees. It would also hit when I looked down at the path and saw all the colorful leaves strewn on the paved path. Then I started to notice a similar phenomenon when I came back to my house. I would walk inside and the symptoms seemed to return immediately. Walking through doorways and opening doors seemed to affect me the most. As already mentioned, sitting was very uncomfortable - it's hard to explain what I was feeling because it wasn't the room-spinning vertigo that most people describe. It was just a very disconcerting feeling. Of course, my anxiety would kick in full force which seemed to make the problem even worse.

I don't know if it was merely coincidence or not but my symptoms started to disappear when I started taking Advil. I took (2) 200mg Advil (ibuprofen) about every 4 to 6 hours for 1-1/2 days and after that the worst of the dizziness/vertigo was gone. That basically got me to where I am today which I shall now further explain.

As stated in my original post, I'm now suffering from disequilibrium, a feeling that I'm off balance as I walk around. But I also have to mention that every now and then the dizziness/vertigo starts to return.

It's not clear to me yet what brings on the vertigo even now that the acute phase is over with. It doesn't really hit suddenly or at any predictable time (for example, after eating a certain food) and it doesn't necessarily land me in bed although it has gotten quite near to that a couple times. I do know that it seems to have something to do with visual stimuli and perhaps smells such as cologne. I went to church on Sunday (yesterday) and I wore cologne. About the time I got home and walked it my house I started to notice that I was really off balance and that it seemed like the vertigo was coming back. I had some really nasty rotting food smells in my kitchen due to my negligence while I was sick (or otherwise busy) last week. But I think it may also have had something to do with me wearing cologne. I took care of the rotting food, washed off the cologne, and I took two Advil. I didn't notice any marked improvement in how I felt. I took a walk out in the woods and had somewhat of an "acute attack" out there that seemed to have something to do with all the trees so close by. But I walked on a narrow "road" trail for quite a while before I felt that hit.

I got home and noticed that I did have kind of a low-grade headache so I took two more Advil. I never really did feel too wonderful on Sunday but I have felt OK today (Monday) other than still being off balance.

I'd have to say that I wasn't really off balance when the vertigo first hit, as well as I can remember, but that off balance feeling has never left me since I did have that "acute" vertigo (relatively speaking).

My eye doctor found a white "cotton wool" spot (ischemic optic neuropathy) on my left eye that can be indicative of high blood pressure or migraine. I think mine could have come from either one but I'm leaning heavily towards the possibility that this whole episode was MAV (migraine associated vertigo).

Does anyone know, is MAV considered to be a chronic illness?
The fact that you feel better when moving makes vestibular damage unlikely, so I still wouldnt suggest anything like VN or BPPV.

The fact that visual stimuli gives you vertigo, makes me suspicious of MAV. This is called "visual vertigo" and its very common with MAV patients. Patients with vestibular damage (like VN) will feel off balance and dizzy with visual stimuli, but they should not experience actual spinning vertigo like a MAV patient can experience.

The fact that cologne stimulates your symptoms is VERY significant, because that is major support of your suspicion of MAV. There is no other cause of vertigo that is triggered by smells.

The mention of headache (even a mild one) is further support of MAV. Its possible that this mild headache is caused by migraine.

You need to speak to a doctor about trying a migraine preventative.

 
Old 11-22-2011, 01:32 PM   #11
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

Thanks, bindar. You're really just confirming my suspicions. I've been spending quite a bit of time reading the forum and it's also helping me sort things out and answering some of my questions.

Last edited by moderator2; 11-22-2011 at 02:38 PM. Reason: posted disallowed website - please read the posting rules

 
Old 11-22-2011, 01:55 PM   #12
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Re: Disequilibrium After Vertigo Episode

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geneva1 View Post
Bindar, I am grateful for your opinion. I understand that you are not a Dr, but you are extremely informed on inner ear issues. I am new to this, and just learning, which is what we all are forced to do when we have a medical problem. That's why I am here, to learn!

My ordeal started in Sept, in the dentist chair, after being supine for 3 hours. Woke up the next morning spinning. First saw my GP. I had a mild fever, right ear infection. Called a specialist that is Otology, Neurotology, & Skull Base Surgeon. He also saw inflammation in my right ear, & nystagmus. Prescribed an anti viral med, & sent me to a Vestibular Therapist, which found my problem was the right side, horizontal canal, cupulolithiasis. They performed the BBQ roll, and succeeded the first time. I am currently in VRT. The Dr did not directly tell me I had VN. He did say I have BPV, caused by a viral infection. I am seeing the ENT again next week, and have several questions for him now that I have educated myself enough to know what to ask. I was so loony the first time I saw him, there's no telling what I did, or did not hear.

Are all viral infections of the inner ear in the nerve?

Now I'm having anxiety attacks for the first time in my life, and it's difficult to tell which symptoms are anxiety/fatigue related, & which are vestibular. How do you know the difference? Mornings are my worst. When I first get up, I start shaking, and feel spaced out (brain fog I've heard it called?). Once I start moving around, I start to feel normal. After my morning VRT's, I wobble around for about 10 minutes, then feel better.

My Dr has not sent me for an MRI or VNG...yet. He did say that in 40% of the BPV cases, they never find out what set if off. In mine, it was the infection. My PT's told me that a central problem will usually show up in nystagmus.

This Board has helped tremendously. Any advice from anyone is greatly appreciated!

Happy Turkey Day,

Geneva
I would trust whatever the otologist says, but one thing confuses me a bit. If your otologist saw inflamation when he looked in your ear, he is probably talking about a middle ear infection (otitis media), not the inner ear. It is impossible to see an actual inner ear infection. I would guess that after your dentist visit, some germs or viruses entered the middle ear through the Eustachian tube, and caused an infection. It is very common to have dizziness with a middle ear infection. So it sounds like your vestibular nerve is not infected (which is caused by VN, which is closely related to Labyrinthitis)

It is possible that BPPV was also caused by being in the dentist chair, since they do often lay you almost upside down.

 
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