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Old 07-15-2010, 03:26 PM   #1
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Question Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

Ive been what I call off balance for three months. It started in April when I was going to sleep and I feel like I was on a boat and floating. The symptoms would die down after 10 minutes or so and Id fall asleep.

Then in late May, it got to where I couldn't go outside because it made the foating feeling worse and I felt like I was standing on air. I went to the doctor and he did a few simple tests such as making me follow his finger and touching my fingers to my nose, but in the end he said it seems I have a "inner ear disturbance" and he sent me home with 2mg Valium.

That was May 25 and it is now July and the feeling has died down to where I can walk around, but I still float when trying to sleep and I catch myself leaning against the sink to shave and even sometimes I get a feeling (especially in bed) of sinking or falling which lasts for a split second. Sometimes that happens several time within a short time frame. I never have what you'd call spinning or dizziness. I have more what I call off balance sensation.

I do have generalized anxiety disorder and I do have head jerks that I thought were from my anxiety. Anyone have any idea what this could be or have similar experience?

 
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:03 PM   #2
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

I believe I have the same issue as you! I have no dizziness/spinning but just this weird sensation that my body is unbalanced and leaning to the right side. Do you feel like you are leaning to one side or just rocking back and forth on both sides? And do you feel any tingling? I feel a bit of tingling in the back of my neck, arms and legs (but I also have a job where I spend lots of time on the computer so that likely has a lot to do with being in one position for long periods of time).

When I sit very still I can feel it a bit but mostly when I'm walking. I definitely don't have a balance issue because I can walk in a straight line, balance on one foot, get up real fast and still feel normal, etc. Doc says it is not vertigo since I don't feel the whole spinning effect and I can pretty much function normally so he thinks it is anxiety/stress. Whatever it is, I'm getting depressed over it. It's been over 3 months and feeling like I'm drunk all the time is getting pretty darn annoying!

 
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:16 AM   #3
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

That sounds exactly like me. Ive had this for almost five months and it has died down some, but comes back ever-so-often. I stare at my computer for 10 - 16 hours a day for work and it makes it way worse. Staying away from the computer when I can helps. Ill probably have this for a long time since my work depends on me sitting in front of a computer for long hours. The other day I spent 18 hours on the computer catching up on work and I could hardly wlk afterward.

 
Old 08-10-2010, 04:29 PM   #4
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

Go look up BPPV and the Epley maneuver. Your problem could easily be realted to the inner ear. I am no dr., but there, are, apparently crystal like things in your ear and if things get moved around, they can cause vertigo. I just spoke with someone today, who had it and he did the Epley maneuver and is fine.

 
Old 08-11-2010, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

Trust me, I looked into all that months ago, no help at all. People who suffer vertigo "usually" have some sort of spinning sensation, like BPPV which is someone who tilts their head back and things spin. This isn't me at all, I just feel and off balance feeling, not so much off balance. I dont trip or fall, or spin, although I do have to lean against the sink in order to shave sometimes and whatever it is makes me feel bad, or agitated at times. Whatever it is, it sucks.

 
Old 08-11-2010, 09:05 PM   #6
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

This sounds exactly like my symptoms. I doubt it is BPPV because I don't have the sensation of vertigo (spinning), and it does not come in episodes, but is rather chronic, but the intensity varies over the day. It does vary somewhat with my head position, especially up and down, so I don't completely rule out an inner ear disorder.

I feel sort of lightheaded and off balance, but I can also stand on one foot and walk heel-to-toe without problems. I also ride a 700 lb. motorcycle, and I can ride slowly with no control problems. I am concerned that it will get worse so that I can't ride any more. Right now, I would classify it as "annoying" rather than limiting, but nevertheless it scares me. I should add that I've had this for months off-and-on. My next step is getting to my doc and hoping he can diagnose, but I'm not holding my breath.

In the meantime, I'm keeping a journal of major activities, diet, stressful events, meds, and anything else I can think of that could be responsible for this. If anything pops up, I'll post.

 
Old 08-12-2010, 08:37 AM   #7
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

I went to the doctor in May for this and he did the "finger to nose" routine and the "follow my pen" and made me stand up and he held my arms and he noticed me sort of rocking. He ended up calling what I had a "inner ear disturbance" he prescribed me Valium 2mg and sent me on my way. I never took the Valium because it wasnt going to "fix" what was wrong with me.

Either way, Ive had this since April and it hasn't gotten worse, but it hasn't gotten better. I have good days and bad, I still feel like I'm floating when I sleep, but it lasts for a few minutes and its gone for the most part. Im just taking it one day at a time.

 
Old 08-12-2010, 01:02 PM   #8
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

Hello! Well met, this is my first post and I will try to be very explicit in order to help and hopefully bring some relief to fellow sufferers. Im a 22 yr old healthy male, smoker, easily stressed ( a work in progress ! )

I have had the exact same symptoms as you guys so I can definately relate to the feeling. These are NOT in your head they ARE real, but understanding is the best way to beat it.

Back in 08 I've had a first episode of this, went to general doc, MRI scan, clear no problem can be detected but unsteadiness persists. To be honest as this was 2 years ago I cannot exactly remember how long the symptoms lasted, had to be atleast 2 months. Eventually they DID go away, and I never tought about it ever again. Possible causes : Very stressed at the time, new place, new college, new lifestyle, etc.

Now in 2010, around exactly same time of the year, bam, symptoms are back with a vengeance. Possible causes : Extreme straining when working out with weights, intense stress levels at the time the symptoms appeared.

Symptoms that you can all probably relate to:

Feel like walking on marshmellow, a trampoline or any other unsteady surface.

Feel like your body is pulsating on the surfaces it's touching, may it be be your whole body when your laying down, or under the feet when standing.

When standing still, it seems like the body is sensing movement under the feet or receiving OR misinterpreting nerve impulses from the different balance organs, resulting in a ''ground is shifting under my feet sensation''.

Wierd feelings in one ear, like something is going on there (But as we know very hard to know what IS actually going on)

Wierd eye sensations when focusing on an object, resulting in more unsteadiness.

NO spinning going on.

Going better when :

Walking faster outside or with shoes on
Being fast asleep
Sitting down
Driving a car

Worse when :

Moving arms and head when standing without support :
Cooking, shaving, brushing teeth, washing hands, standing in a line at the store, being in a very small and restrained area, exploring new areas, and the worst has to be taking a shower.

As like everyone else here, this does not impair any of my motor skills, can walk heel to toe and do any other type of activity, just feeling awful doing them.


Progress:

1st occurence: Appeared after a cold, could be related and the cold infected one of my ears resulting in symptoms. Symptoms faded away on their own after 2 months or so, have no recollection if the symptoms faded gradually or all of a sudden. Balance was seemless and no wierd feelings whatsoever.

2nd occurence: Symptoms started on July 29th 2010 all of a sudden. The very next day had cold sweats, legs shaking like twigs, almost fainting, unable to eat. Thankfully these dissapeared in a 24hour period. Now 2 weeks later on the 12 of august, can safely say the symptoms have diminished by a good 30%. The unsteadiness spikes when standing seems less severed. This could be attributed to either an ear infection clearing up (2 to 4 weeks usually) or the brain compensating and reducing the symptoms the best it can.

Effects on the mind:

Very intense mental distress.
Insecurity.
Fear of being unable to attain goals.
Fear of moving around to avoid feeling the symptoms.
Pain in legs, back, shoulders, neck, due to the body seemingly trying to "keep balance" even tho we are perfectly stable.
Panicking in crowded areas.
Tension headaches from either symptoms or the psychological backlash of said symptoms.

How to cope, what you can do (This is based on my personnal experience, I'm writing this in the hopes of helping and bringing some hope to fellow sufferers out there):

Get tested: These symptoms may be an indication of something bigger going on in your body. Do not panic, but be responsible and get to the doctor office to be safe. Do not get depressed if nothing is found but be reassured instead ! Refer to top of post to get some help if you have a hard time describing your symptoms precisely.

DO NOT stop daily activities: This is by far the most important point, as stopping activity will cause an avalanche effect and can bring you into depression. Also, staying active, if anything, will give the brain some mileage in order to start compensating for whatever is going on and making you feel normal.

Accept the situation: Right now, this is WHAT you got, DEAL with it. It seems very hard at first, but the more you do it the better it will get.

Embrace the unsteadiness: Think of it as a challenge. We have challenges throughout our lives, and we have dealt with them and succeeded time and time again. Right now, you are unsteady. But in a while, you will get better!

Talk: If you feel down, talk. The forums here are a great way to start, your family and most trusted friends. Be aware they might not UNDERSTAND the symptoms because they are hard to imagine for someone that never had them. But just talking to someone will help you feel you are not alone and will beat this.

Understand: These symptoms are not DISABLING you from going on your daily life. Yes, everything is harder, but still possible. Get relief from that sensation and know this is a fact. What I did is imagine myself this: Right now, I'm living life on HARD mode. In a while, I will look back on myself and be extremely proud I beat it.

Keep your mood up: Try not beating yourself down, we all know these symptoms cause an increased fatigued state, pains, and a myriad of other feelings, but they are just that, feelings. Smile and go on with your routine.

Keep in mind I am still struggling with these symptoms on a daily basis, now going on my 3rd week back with symptoms. Yes it's hard and i'm still very much struggling, but I wrote all this in the hopes of helping and bringing some relief to someone, even if its only one person, just know you are not alone. Yes you may ask yourself "why me?", but do not stop giving up. The human body is an amazing machine and it won't let you down.

 
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:06 PM   #9
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

Very insightful post LucasG. Many thanks for taking the time for such an extensive post. I have always partially attributed the symptoms to the aging process, but this wouldn't be the case with you, so possibly yours is caused by temporary stressful events. I have other common symptoms of stress, such as periodic rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, headaches (not migraines), and intestinal distress. This naturally leads me to conclude that the balance problem is yet another symptom of stress, but there's no way to prove it. It could be something entirely new and needing a separate diagnosis.

Again thanks for your advice and support.

 
Old 08-13-2010, 10:41 PM   #10
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

I dont know about all that Lucas, but there is a point where you have to move on and accept whats wrong and over time the brain does compensate for some of the balance disturbance. I can now shower without holding on to the sides of the shower. As hard as it is, I dont let it stop me. I attribute it to stress and probably eye strain. I sit a lot and stare a lot and dont sleep much and I suffer from panic disorder with agoraphobia, but I dont let none of that stop me.

 
Old 08-14-2010, 08:53 AM   #11
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

I have been having problems for several months now.. Started out with the worst vertigo that I have ever had. Saw a ENT and he gave me a sheet of exercises to do that got rid of the vertigo but I have had a "odd" feeling that replaced it. That odd feeling is not nearly as bad as the vertigo. I went yesterday for the ENG test and the person doing the test found the perfect word to describe the feeling I have been having.. "Swaying".. Could that be used to describe what you have been feeling?

You might want to try these exercisis..

You do these twice a day for 15 minutes then twice a day for 30 minutes..

Eye exercises;
1-Look up then down, start out slow then increase speed. 20 times..
2- Look from side to side, start slow then work into fast. 20 times
3-Focus on your index finger at eye level moving it from arms length to 1 foot from the nose... 20 times

Head exercises-
1-Bend forward, then backwards with eyes open start slow and work into fast. 20 times.
2-Turn head from side to side, start slow, working into fast. 20 times
3-As dizziness decreases, do them with your eyes closed.

Sitting-
1- Shrug shoulders. 20 times
2-Turn shoulders right, then left. 20 times
3-Bend forwards, pick something up off the floor, then sit up. 20 times.

Standing
1-Change from sitting to standing 20 times with eyes open, then 20 times with eyes closed
2-Throw a small rubber balls from hand to hand at eye level. 20 times.
3-Throw the ball 20 times from hand to hand under your knee.

Moving about-
1-Walk across the room and back 20 times with eyes open, then with eyes closed 20 times ...(Yea, right! Not in MY house!)
2- Any game that involves stopping and turning. (I just move about the room quickly, stopping, turning, looking up and down using jerky motions and I think that has got the best results of any of these things.)
**************************************** *****

Within the first week of doing these, the vertigo went away, I had about a week of being normal when this swaying feeling started. I think it is the body correcting itself, adjusting from whatever caused the vertigo and in the process of getting back to normal.. These sure can't hurt you in any way and could possiably help? I just wish I'd known about these from the beginning and not wasted almost 3 weeks with my PCP. (That swaying feeling was just the feeling of swaying.. I wasn't actually swaying)

(At the ENT's office, they said there is a sudden surge of this going around, they are staying booked up every day just for this kind of problem! Makes me wonder what is going on!)

 
Old 09-27-2010, 07:21 AM   #12
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

I have these weird balance issues as well.. when i walk i get a quick sinking or floating feeling that is unpredictable.. also while washing my hands or washing my face, i feel that feeling as well. i had these symptoms for about 2 months, then they went away for about 2 months, now they're back with the addition of "on a boat" feeling while laying down.. a couple months ago my ENT thought it was probably inner ear related, and was hesitant to put me through all the tests.. ie, MRI and such.. now I'm getting worried thinking I have MS or a brain tumor!!! ahhhh!!!

 
Old 09-27-2010, 09:05 AM   #13
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

bklynpanman- Funny you should say that because in looking for answers to what is going on with me, the MRI DID show I have a meningoma brain tumor, however it is very small and not threatening nor the cause of my problems. I am still undergoing tests still and in physical therapy. Those exercises cleared up my vertigo in my ear but in doing so, I still feel like I have lost my center of gravity and the physical therapist had me try a few things that showed me just how off balance I am... so I have lost my center of gravity.

Stand up with both feet on the floor, close your eyes and lift one foot off the floor and stand there.. I couldn't do it, I kept loosing my balance. Had me do it with the other foot and same thing... I kept loosing my balance. Then she had me do that "walk the straight line" like they do drunk drivers.. Again, I could do it, kept loosing my balance. Then she had me close my eyes again, and march, standing in one place... I did good on that, I thought... until I opened my eyes.. I had went sideways across the room.

She said my problem is my eyes and ears are sending mixed messages to my brain and we have to retrain my brain.

Let me tell you, this stuff can really mess up your life! I have been on disability since July because of this and not able to work. Get to a doctor and find the cause and get it fixed! Mine started with a sinus infection that I thought had cleared up. CT scan showed that I still have some real thick infection still in one of my sinuses that 2 week of antibiotics didn't get rid of. I am now on 30 days of antibiotics and other medications. Get to a ENT and get this treated!!

 
Old 09-27-2010, 12:08 PM   #14
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

yes epley manuever,I had that boat feeling laying down for 12 years had crystals in both ears ,,off balance,,did eply with vibrating device it works.

 
Old 09-27-2010, 12:25 PM   #15
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Re: Off Balance Feeling For Three Months?

Jc please click on my name and read my ucsd vertigo balance article ,I have had bppv for 12 years,,,,particles in balance canal ,people are quick to say its not bppv, I did not have spinning 12 years , and worked and held down jobs,but had balance,motion,boat floating feeling ,migraines dizzy stuff , it went away after eply after 12 years check out the article I am seeing one of the best in s.d calif . info only good luck.

 
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