I've just spent the last 2 days feeling quite off balance again and overall not well, walking around drunk today wondering what on earth was wrong with me. The cold is long gone and then I realised why. Another dose of herpes. I can't believe that at 11 months it can still cause lab symptoms this strong. And I can't help wondering if the herpes has become a systemic thing causing havoc in my central nervous system or worse was the source of the labyrinthitis (perhaps flaring up in the inner ear too?). Gosh, I hope not because that sounds like a lifetime drama. Maybe I'm jumping the gun here.....but it's hard to imagine not having these increased symptoms everytime herpes comes along or a cold for that matter - it happens every time.
How do you know it's a herpes infection? Don't fret. If hepes is systematic in your system there's got to be some kind of medicine you can take to control it and reduce the effect it has on you. Don't jump the gun yet...I do THAT every day.
Last edited by OhioRocker; 07-13-2004 at 09:14 AM.
Doubtful your Herpes flare-up has anything to do with your disequilibrium symptoms increasing - from a purely Herpes standpoint. Meaning, that depending on how long you've had it, Herpes outbreaks initially (usually) results in flu-like symptoms, but as time wears by, usually the lesions are worse than the flu-like symptoms.
However, for me, when I get sick with almost anything now, the first place it "hits" me is in my balance system, so even with a summer cold, I am likely to feel my disequilibrium symptoms more. So that's not to say that when you get a Herpes flare-up, the flu-like symptoms aren't making you notice your symptoms more.
I know a few people with Herpes, and no-one has ever mentioned disequilibrium issues to me. That's interesting to see if there would be a correlation, considering Herpes runs along the line of a viral and (I believe)auto-immune illness.
You may want to go to the Herpes Board and ask around. Hope you're feeling better soon!
Heya....probably just an effect from having a virus running through my body and nothing more - however, after reading some papers where they found herpes DNA in the cells of the inner ear in deceased persons that had had inner ear stuff going on it makes me wonder. I really wish I knew more about the exact physiology of this thing, like why do the inner ear cells freak out when a viral attack is on presumably in other parts of the body? Does inflammation rise again, is it because the brain is too busy orchestrating an attack and loses it on the compensation? Bizarre.
Actually Scott.....I think the fact that you had a herpes outbreak has everything to do with your increase of vestibular symptoms.
That could be what has created it all in the first place. There are a few anti-viral systemic meds...maybe look into them through your doctor for your herpes symptoms and see if they have any effect on your dizziness or not.
They can be problematic on the liver (since they're metabolised through there)...
Personally, it might be worth a try since your symptoms are never ending.
Once the nerves are damaged, I don't think they come back 100%. It's like they overreact to everything.
One question...the side you get your herpes outbreak, is it the same as your affected ear? If it is, that's a distinct possibility.
Where is your herpes outbreak?
I really do believe herpes is the major culprit in most vestibular disorders as the initial illness.
But, the herpes zoster is usually the strain, but it doesn't mean that one can't have increased symptoms with the simplex strain. It would all depend on the nerves affected.
My take on it,
It's all a matter of perspective!
Actually the herpes I get shows up where the sun don't shine if you know what I mean. I've never had it on my face. So I wonder if it could still be the cause of this vestibular problem or is it a coincidence and just occurring because it is simply a viral upset. I know prior to lab, I would feel rather flu-like 2 days before anything showed up. The fact that a common cold stirs up my symptoms (and others on the board) without herpes occurring seems to point more towards a general viral thing. interestingly though I found this:
A unique form of viral labyrinthitis is herpes zoster oticus, or Ramsay-Hunt syndrome. The cause of this disorder, reactivation of a latent varicella-zoster virus infection occurring years after the primary infection. The initial symptoms are a deep, burning, auricular pain followed a few days later by the eruption of a vesicular rash in the external auditory canal and concha. Vertigo, hearing loss, and facial weakness may follow singly or collectively. Symptoms typically improve over a few weeks; however, patients occasionally may have permanent hearing loss and persistent reduction of caloric responses.
I do remember when the lab first hit that both my ears had a hot feeling inside for about a week. What followed was some heavy-duty viral illness. It all arrived simultaneously with the disorientation, dizziness, severe anxiety etc, however I had no hearing loss, facial weakness or rash in the external auditory canal. Well I really hope this isn't what happened because it sounds like it can be some sort of ongoing problem. No thanks.
Okay Scotts, I am curious now, so I went and looked up a little more information on this Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. Apparently there is Type I and Type II. The reference you are writing about is Type I:
What is Ramsay Hunt SyndromeType I?
Ramsay Hunt syndrome type I, also known as herpes zoster oticus, is a common complication of shingles.
Herpes Zoster Oticus: Background: Herpes zoster oticus (HZ oticus) is a viral infection of the inner, middle, and external ear. HZ oticus manifests as severe otalgia and associated cutaneous vesicular eruption, usually of the external canal and pinna. When associated with facial paralysis, the infection is called Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Pathophysiology: Reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) along the distribution of the sensory nerves innervating the ear, which usually includes the geniculate ganglion, is responsible for HZ oticus.
Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus which is the virus that causes chickenpox.
Shingles occurs in people who have had chickenpox and represents a reactivation of the dormant varicella-zoster virus. Ramsay Hunt syndrome type I, which is caused by the spread of the varicella-zoster virus to facial nerves, is characterized by intense ear pain, a rash around the ear, mouth, face, neck, and scalp, and paralysis of facial nerves. Other symptoms may include hearing loss, vertigo (abnormal sensation of movement), and tinnitus (abnormal sounds). Taste loss in the tongue and dry mouth and eyes may also occur.
Is there any treatment?
Some cases of Ramsay Hunt syndrome type I do not require treatment. When treatment is needed, medications such as antiviral drugs or corticosteroids may be prescribed. Vertigo may be treated with the drug diazepam.
What is the prognosis?
Generally, the prognosis of Ramsay Hunt syndrome type I is good. However, in some cases, hearing loss may be permanent. Vertigo may last for days or weeks. Facial paralysis may be temporary or permanent.
What research is being done?
The NINDS supports research on shingles and shingles-related conditions. Current studies focus on the relationship between the persistence of neurotropic viruses and development of neurological diseases including herpes simplex and varicella-zoster viruses.
In speaking with my pharmacist about this, as it relates to this discussion, this is the strain that causes Shingles, which is not the strain that causes Herpes Type I or II.
As you would say, Cheers!
Last edited by Wowwwweeee; 07-14-2004 at 09:28 AM.
Thanks for the info. Wouldn't it be great if there was someway of analysing the inner ear tissue while we're actually alive without damaging it further to know exactly what is going on? Maybe one day. Too bad MRI technology can't sort it out. We've got a nifty machine here at the biochem department that can analyse down to the atom (called a mass spec)...unfortunately the sample gets severey "zapped" in the process.