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Old 12-15-2011, 10:45 PM   #1
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Unhappy BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

Hello!

I have been following this board these past few weeks since having my first ever vertigo attack and really appreciate all the experiences/advice that people have been sharing with one another. I don't feel so alone anymore.

I had my first ever vertigo attack on 11/21/11 during the middle of the night when after going to the restroom, came back to bed, laid on my right side, but when turned to my back, suddenly saw the room literally spinning around. It would happen when I would look to my left or right, but noticed that the spinning wouldn't happen when I would get up straight. It was one of the most scariest experiences I've ever had!

I went straight to my primary care physician the next day and he immediately diagnosed it as BPPV in my left ear. He asked me to try the Modified Epley Maneuver at home and if there were no improvements to come back in a week. I did the Modified Epley Maneuver at home (after Googling how to do it as the doctor didn't show me how!) and the actual spinning subsided in 3 days. But after the vertigo went away, I was left with immense brain fog (that feeling you get when right when you wake up in the morning x 100 worse), radiating head pressure (as if someone is pressing down on the front side of my head) and some headache associated with it.

I went back to the doctor's office and shared with him my symptoms which at that time he referred me to see an ENT (ear/nose throat) doctor. He also sent me to get an MRI of my left ear and head. The ENT also diagnosed me with BPPV, but also has asked me to go get an Audiogram/Impedance/and ENG, which I will be getting tomorrow (Friday). The ENT also switched me from doing the Modified Epley to Brandt-Daroff. The MRI came back clean and I continued doing the Bradt-Daroff for almost a week until one morning I woke up, took a shower and then almost fainted! Since then, I haven't done any exercises.

The tension band in the frontal part of my head seems to have gone away now, but instead is replaced with head pressure which comes and goes on both of my pressure points on the left and right side of my head and coupled with headaches here and there (I am usually one to rarely get any headaches), especially when I'm thinking about something, talking to someone face to face for too long of a period or stressing out a little about something. And I'm talking very minimal stress. The brain fog hasn't gotten any better and if anything, today is a bit worse along with it being my first day of my monthly cycle, which is usually coupled with cramps. Not fun. With this i'm feeling more unstable today as far as things feeling like they are swaying. Along with this, it is hard for me to concentrate on things for a long period of time, look at the computer screen, go in a car ride for more than 15 minutes, be at places with lots of light or stimulus.

Is this normal to people who suffer BPPV? I am at lost as to how this might have happened... I'm a 30 year old female, very healthy eater, but have tendencies to not be able to handle stressful situations well. Right before the vertigo incident, I had gone through a bit of a stressful situation, but my doctor said that BPPV is not directly related with stress.

I am at lost as to what to do or if this is really normal for BPPV sufferers? Is brain fog/feeling disconnected/unable to focus/not being able to go outside the house/feeling like you're swaying normal to persist for so long after the actual dizziness goes away or can it be something else? Is this related to stress? Is there anything that anyone can recommend to make this go away?

I am hoping that I can be as specific as possible to share my symptoms in hopes that this thread will help someone else with a similar situation feel that they are not alone and cope with their situation to the best of their ability. I am still hopefully and positive that things will get better. I just need reassurance and guidance that this feeling is true. Thank you for reading and I hope I'll get better soon as I don't know how much longer I can go like this.

Thank you.

 
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:47 AM   #2
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

I have these symptoms with Meniere's. If I am having fluid in inner ear I will be tired, almost lethargic. I feel like my head is too heavy for my shoulders & there is a feeling of fullness/pressure in my jaw (s) & head. I can't think clearly, almost as if my brain was water logged. Sometimes I will have migraine also.

Do you have tinnitus in either ear? I'm sure your ENT told you this but for some people taking a dieuretic helps. Most people say taking an antihistamine helps because it helps dry up fluid. Also, limit your salt intake &
don't eat dairy products especially cheese. If you have any food sensitivities
you will soon find out which foods are your triggers. Stress is definitely a trigger with Meniere's. Also, try sleeping with a couple of pillows instead of laying flat.

After saying all that I know BPPV is not Meniere's but some of your symptoms are similar. Have you done research on Meniere's? I'm sure that's more than you ever wanted to know but hope some of it helps.

 
Old 12-17-2011, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

thanks for your reply sammi2 & sharing your thoughts! any information is good to know.

i went to get the testing done yesterday & got a call immediately from my ENT about the results. she says that my hearing is good, no problems in my inner ear, but that the test showed that they couldn't determine which ear was being affected. most likely they said it's in my left, but also have some symptoms in my right ear.

she is now going to send me to see a physical therapist to get Vestibular Therapy (?) to help me with my brain fog.

after hearing back from my ENT and although my doctors say that the BPPV is 100% not related to stress, something in my gut is telling me that it was caused by stress. i don't know how to deal with stress very well (seeing a therapist for it currently) and trying to figure out a good work/life balance. even before this episode, i was feeling very overwhelmed, almost to the point of complete breakdown, so i have a feeling that something like this might have been a long time coming. were you diagnosed with meniere's immediately or was it after other misdiagnosis'?

i don't have any tinnitus in my ear currently, but do have it from time to time, mostly in my left ear (the side that i thought the vertigo was happening on). i also found out recently that i'm intolerant to gluten and have been on a gluten free diet for about 2 months now. i also have a feeling that i'm lactose, so your suggestion about now eating dairy products might be a good thing to try. did you take a food allergy test to find out what you are allergic too? or was it more trial/error? i've also been sleeping with two pillows every night since this triggered and although a bit uncomfortable, rather that than have another vertigo attack.

if you or anyone else has any tips on how to prevent this from happening again or how to get rid of brain fog, would love to hear! i'll also be sure to keep you posted on how things are going so that hopefully this will be able to help someone else in the future.

i started to exercise in the morning a bit (more walking in place/stretching) and a little bit of gardening. i read on some other postings that exercising helps with the brain fog. i'm feeling pretty out of it this morning, but not so much the rocky/on the boat feeling. more the feeling you get when you wake up in the morning...

 
Old 01-02-2012, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

Hi, Jackie!

It's funny, but I share some of your problems: BPPV, which recurs frequently despite doing the at-home exercises, brain fog, headaches, etc. Here is what has worked for me:

I feel that the BPPV will be a never-ending source of problems for me, even though I will be making an appointment with an ENT to see if somehow, some way, he or she might be able to 'fix' it with the Epley maneuver, which is supposed to work in about 95% of cases.

As for brain fog, I am not sure it is related to the bppv, but it might be as it seems to be worse when I am having episodes of bppv. What I do is keep myself hydrated and concentrate on eating a diet of mostly protein and/or fat. Whenever I eat something that is mainly protein, say a hard-boiled egg, a tuna salad with chopped hard-boiled egg, a piece of chicken -- even Chicken Selects (breaded) from McDonald's -- my symptoms of brain fog will soon dissipate.

As for the headache and tension, etc., I have found that if I am quite slow about doing so, laying down slowly on a hard floor or surface -- tile or wood works best -- and then moving my back around -- up, down, sideways -- until I hear a 'pop' works wonders! Do not concentrate ONLY on your back -- be sure to move your legs around in their hip sockets -- they might 'pop' too -- and reposition your arms so that they are over your chest, behind your head, whatever. Just keep moving while your back is on that solid surface and if you hear pops and cracks, so much the better. You will soon learn that a certain 'pop' is associated with relief in a certain spot of your head and/or neck: my hip popping will mean relief in the front of my skull from pain and/or pressure. You have to try it and see how well it works. It has truly been a lifesaver for me. These maneuvers have literally made my life worth living again. But be careful that you don't initiate another bout of vertigo; that is why it is best to move slowly when you are getting down into position on the floor. Good luck!

 
Old 01-03-2012, 10:55 AM   #5
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

The mention of brain fog, head aches, head pressue, and worsening symptoms during menstrual cycle leads to suspicion about migraine involvement. I would sugggest visiting a neurologist.

 
Old 01-03-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

No, in my case anyway these symptoms have nothing to do with migraines. They might not have anything to do with my BPPV, either, but it seems like there is a connection since they are worse when I am experiencing symptoms of BPPV.

My symptoms may be unique to me and me alone, but Jackie was asking for help from anyone who had experienced similar symptoms and I thought I should at least tell her what has worked for me.

 
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:55 PM   #7
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

hi rams2050!

thank you for your reply! i only just saw it right now.

it's nice to know that someone else can relate to the symptoms that i was/am experiencing. as for your brain fog, does it only come after a bout of BPPV? i'll be posting an update on how things are going, but wanted to write back & say thank you! i'll definitely be trying the exercises that you mentioned to see if it will alleviate the symptoms.

thanks again!

 
Old 01-03-2012, 04:03 PM   #8
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

hello!

it's 1/3/12 now & i wanted to write an update on how my symptoms were for anyone who might be reading this thread to see if it might be something that they can relate to.

i began physical therapy sessions on 12/22/11 after being evaluated by my therapist & was told that i was clear of BPPV. she did say that having brain fog/tension/a feeling of swaying is normal for people who have suffered BPPV & that it is possible to clear it with exercises. after my testings, they found that my right ear had a bit of damage to it (3%? or so) and that even with a minute difference, it could cause the body to feel unbalanced. it's strange that it's on my right ear as the vertigo originally happened when i turned to my left in bed.

the first week i was assigned at-home therapy exercises which consisted of looking at a targe (in my case i used a post-it with the letter "A" on it) and was asked to shake my head "no" (right/left) for 30 seconds while looking at the letter and then "yes" (up/down) for 30 seconds also looking at the target. the point of the exercise was to be able to move my head without losing sight & focus on the target/letter. that week my head still remained foggy up until the following week when i went to see the therapist (i see her once a week).

the day of the appointment, surprisingly my head felt the most clearest it has ever since the BPPV episode (about 75% clear) and she decided to push me a bit more to do harder exercises.

this week along with the above mentioned exercises, i'm now doing more movement (closed eyes while tip-toeing 10 times/1 time a day, walking up and down the hall way at home a few times while looking up and down, right and left, and some eye coordination exercises). today i'm feeling a lot clearer (not so much head fog today, but more tension in the temples), but definitely feeling better every day. the head fog seems to be the worse when i'm tired or when i wake up in the morning, but other than that, it's getting better every day. i haven't tried driving yet, but my therapist thinks i might try just driving around the neighborhood to start building up my confidence again. we'll see how things go on that. not quite comfortable yet.

although this has been going longer than what i had originally hoped for, i'm happy to see some more progress in how my head is feeling.

will keep you posted!

 
Old 01-03-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

Hi, Jackie!

It is my firm belief that having the brain try to deal with the symptoms of BPPV really does tire you out! When I have BPPV symptoms, I, like you, feel far more tired than when the BPPV subsides.

Your brain has to try to compensate for your inner ears making you feel dizzy. I think that's a pretty tough job, and one that leads to fatigue.

At least I HOPE that's why I'm fatigued when suffering the symptoms of BPPV!!

But I am almost positive that it is the reason. I've been battling BPPV for more than 20 years, off and on, and fatigue always accompanies the most severe symptoms and, indeed, even lesser symptoms, although not to the same degree.

Great that you're feeling -- and doing -- better, Jackie!

 
Old 01-04-2012, 11:40 AM   #10
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

Not really after a bout with BPPV, but during a bout with BPPV. I, unfortunately, usually have at least some symptoms of BPPV most of the time. Sometimes they are less, sometimes more. Right now it's a good time: not too bad right now.

I was surfing the web and learned that, contrary to what I'd been told, sleeping on TWO pillows is preferable to sleeping with one's head cocked slightly to the side and mostly flat. That trick seems to have really worked, at least for the time being.

The brain fog or feeling of just not being with it seems to worsen when I haven't eaten a proper amount of protein or if I've gone too long without eating. Like I mentioned earlier, it might be all in my head (no pun intended) but grabbing a hard-boiled egg, a piece of deli turkey or a few bites of low fat cottage cheese really seems to do me wonders when I find myself 'lost in a fog.'

 
Old 02-19-2012, 12:16 AM   #11
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

02.18.12

hello,

i wanted to try & continue posting & updating this thread as a way for someone else, if they might be going through the same symptoms, to know what it is/was like for me to go through it.

it has now almost been 3 months since the vertigo incident (happened on 11.22.11). i've been seeing a physical therapist who specializes in balance disorders every week since the beginning of december. the physical therapy sessions have been really great for both my anxiety as i get to ask specific questions about my symptoms weekly & also for my actual symptoms.

current symptoms:
- no more vertigo
- head fog hovering between 85%~60% clear (the clarity diminishes as the day goes on & is at it's worst at night)
- head squeezing feeling & head ache comes & goes, but now i notice i usually get it when i either over exert myself (i.e. have too long of conversations with people/in social situations, on the computer for too long = usually over 6 hours, at the supermarket for too long, definitely if i try driving although i've been trying to build up my tolerance.) i feel the best when i spend the day at home doing chores in between my computer time as i work on the computer a lot and taking a nap during the day)
- going to bed has become easier. for the most part no more swaying feelings when resting my head at night as if i'm on a boat
- inner ears sometimes hurt, but that seems to be when i'm either sick or on my monthly cycle
- the symptoms seem to worsten when i'm on my monthly cycle
- when i'm tried, bright lights, high contrast situations (watching tv in the dark) and being in the car at night or bright daylight seem to still be a bit tough for me

the good news is is that i'm now able to watch a bit of tv without feeling overwhelmed (i used to not be able to as it would make me feel sick or i would get immense head pressure/head aches). i'm also able to hang out with friends for a set period of time (usually around 2-3 hours is the max i can take) without feeling like i need to go lie down.

but due to my head fog and head tightness lingering, i went back to my ENT and he has recommended me to go see a neurologist to see if there might be a possibility of there being a linkage to migraines. i'm currently waiting to get an appointment with a neurologist.

other than that, i do some balance exercises 2-3x a day and have a balanced diet rich in veggies/fruits and do stretching exercises every morning. some meditation and/or naps daily and try to remind myself to only do one thing at a time (i am a chronic multitasker).

i hope this helps someone who is going through a similar situation & will continue to post to this until i fully recover. i believe in my heart that this will pass & i will be back to my normal self.

 
Old 02-19-2012, 09:25 AM   #12
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Re: BPPV/Brain Fog/Head Tightness & Tension HELP!

Try getting checked for low aldosterone and/or hypoadrenia which can cause mineral/water imbalances.

 
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