I was diagnosed with symptoms of VV by a chiropractic neurologist around the 1st of this year. He made it seem very straight forward to treat and at the time I felt extremely relieved. I endured about 5 weeks of optokinetic stimulation, pursuit exercises, etc but my symptoms were slightly worse (aggravated by working on computer, patterns, noise, movement of objects while I am in motion, etc.). My doctor suggested that I needed to determine the underlying cause of the imbalance between my somatosensory, visual and vestibular inputs. I then went to see a senior neurologist in a balance clinic at a local hospital with a great reputation. He listened to my story and ran me through some physical tests in his office and a hearing test/ear exam. Ultimately he agreed that I suffered from symptoms of VV but basically told me that they really do not know the cause so there was essentially nothing he could do for me. I felt very defeated! Based on a recommendation I then saw an neuro-opthamalogist who was not familiar with VV but was very sympathetic regarding my symptoms and very enthusiastic to try and figure it out. He ran me through his standard battery of eye health exams but could not find anything wrong. He referred me to a local vestibular lab where I underwent comprehensive testing. Other than a minor issue with my perception of vertical (determined in a test where I had to rotate a laser line until it was vertical) they found nothing.
At this point my nearly daily headaches (not migraine/MAV) were really a burden. The only thing that would stave them off was caffeine (my daily Coke treatment). After watching Fat Sick and Nearly Dead I bought a juicer (the same day!) and completed a 5-day green juice fast. After a few weeks I started feeling MUCH better. After a couple of months I had another BAD week with a lot of dizziness. I did a 3-day juice fast and felt better again. I now drink green juice every day or so for maintenance. I am glad this is working but would love other options. What has worked for folks in this group? Thanks for sharing your experience/recommendations!
I wanted to provide the forum with a follow-up on this topic. Last week I saw another neurologist based here in Portland. He ran me through the battery of basic office tests (balance, parity of senses, etc.), looked at my MRI results and talked through my history. He agreed with the diagnosis (which he refers to as "vision dependent balance") and had no other options to offer regarding testing to determine the underlying cause. Thankfully though he did have a recommendation to alleviate the symptoms. I was prescribed a low dosage of Valium (1 mg up to 3x day) to limit my tendency to rely too heavily on and ultimately overload my visual inputs. I have taken it for about a week now and have had good days all except one. Computers had been a quick trigger for symptoms in the past but now I feel almost normal. Rich colors, patterns, etc common in stores are still a lot to take in but even that is better. This is the first I have read about Valium as an option so I wanted to be sure to share. My doctor indicated that he has a lot of success with this and his patients commonly wean themselves off the drug with no return of symptoms. Happy to provide anything else I have learned.
I am writing a visual vertigo entry for Wikipedia in hopes that other folks can figure this thing out more simply than I did. I will post a link when it is up.
Six41, thank you for sharing your success. I too suffer from vertigo and have just learned to cope with it. I just recently noticed that my body copes with it by unconsciously walking with my head down focusing my vision about three feet ahead of me and watch where I go through my peripheral vision. If I raise my head while walking I get dizzy. The funny thing is that I can drive looking forward with no problems. It must be the looking and walking that gets me dizzy. As for the green leaf remedy; have you tried taking vitamin/mineral supplements to see if maybe the greens help you because of a deficiency in your blood? They are high in vitamin A, vitamin K, and Potassium, so maybe one of those is the deficiency?
Last edited by Seekingpeace12; 12-08-2012 at 05:09 PM.
I'm interested in how people with 'visual vertigo' manage their symptoms. I have a patient with this condition & would like to hear about management of their condition.
I found that the cause of my symptoms were the statins that I had been on for about 5 years. One day I had skipped taking them accidently and I felt better, so I tried two days and then three days and I was considerably better. The physical therapist at the rehab that I had been going for Visual Rehab Therapy saw the marked difference.I spoke to my internist and he told me to stop taking them all together.
I haven't fully recovered after stopping them, but I am at about 85% - 90% better. I had been suffering with this for about 7 months. I had a bunch of tests with no real answer. But generally, I would suggest Visual Rehabilitation Therapy with a physical therapist who specializes in it. It was helping before my discovery.
Last edited by BrightestDay; 12-23-2012 at 02:27 PM.