For years (20+) my ears have been “blocked” and nothing relieves it. I also have tinnitus in my left ear and the pain gets so bad I swear I have an ear infection (I never do).
In May 2011 things got worse-I woke up one morning with severe vertigo, nausea and headache. I went to my PCP who gave me a prescription for valium and sent me for an MRI and to an ENT. The MRI came back fine, the ENT said I had a slight hearing loss(could be due to my age 47y). In September 2011 I went to an otoneurologist who did some tests including the rotary chair and goggles. I had to stop the water in the ear test due to severe nausea. Anyways the otoneurologist said I had labyrinthitis and put me on verapamil and butalbital. I also started with a PT who specialized in vertigo.
Throughout this ordeal, I left my teaching job and took a less stressful job in a different field. This illness has really impacted my life as you all know.
By January 2012 I was feeling better(85% normal) and the otoneurologist took me off all medications even though I told him I still had health concerns. Well…..yesterday afternoon the vertigo came on out of nowhere and the tinnitus and ear fullness/pain is unbearable. This is about 6 weeks of no meds.
I took a valium last night and it helped me sleep. This morning the vertigo is minor, but still present and the ear pain is awful. I am drinking lots of fluids as I feel better when I’m not dehydrated.
My questions…..Is this labyrinthitis or something else? Does labyrinthitis ever go away completely? What medications should I talk to my doctor about?