This past June, I started to feel nauseous and had a major loss of appetite, and a few weeks later, I passed out early one morning at work, then over the next few weeks, I started feeling incredibly nauseous all of the time, and having episodes of dizziness and shortness of breath. But the worse part is the vision problems Iíve been having, 24/7- my vision is not blurry, itís like itís out of focus, it sort of blacks in and out, and my field of vision doesn't seem steady... it's almost like wearing glasses that are way too strong for you, that's what it feels like.
I've had a billion tests done and seen a billion doctors, and they can't really find much *conclusively* wrong with me, but I did have a vestibular/inner ear test done (where they poured water into my ears and tracked my eye movement) and it showed up as being slightly abnormal. Most of my doctors dismissed it, saying a lot of people have unbalanced vestibular systems, but one of my doctors (a neurologist) said it was possible it was causing my symptoms, but that there wasn't anything I could do about it anyhow, and that it would probably just go away on its own.
It's been 9 months since I first got sick, and nothing has gone away, and I guess it doesn't really matter if it is an inner ear problem, if there's nothing they can do about it, but I'd still like to get an opinion from someone who actually has inner ear problems, just to know. My nausea goes up and down, but my vision problems are pretty much consistent- I wake up in the morning and my vision seems out of focus and slightly faded, and then I'll have episodes were it worsens to the extent where I feel like I can barely see, and sometimes along with that I feel out of breath and like I'm about to pass out. Does this seem like an inner ear problem to anyone? (Btw, I'm only 23 so from what I've heard it's not like an inner ear problem is likely, but it's the only thing I've come across that comes even close to matching with my vision problems)
Can't say weather or not it is inner ear but if your tests pointed towards this and your symptoms seem like inner ear, then I would say it would be inner ear. The passing out sounds strange as I've researched that is is very unlikely to pass out with inner ear problems even though we feel like we could.
Did you see a neuropthamologist regarding your eyes? I'd start there. Also, with my experience and many others on this board, I'd suggest seeing a neurotogist if it was an ENT who performed your testing. I would tend to believe a neurotogist deals with this dizzy stuff and would not dismiss you as easily to there is nothing they can do for you unlike ENTs have a tendency to do. A neurologist deals with the central part whereas a neurotogist will deal with how your ears (vestibular system) and brain function together. A neuropthamologist will look at your eyes and how they function with your brain (central system).
Also, there are many on this board only in their 20's who have inner ear disorders so I wouldn't say that you couldn't get this because you are so young. I was 33 and came down with this after an ear infection/virus and I don't consider myself old and I was very active and lived a healthy lifestyle. The good news is, the youner you are the easier it is to overcome illnesses so that would be a plus for you.
Take care - Gloria
Last edited by gloria2936; 03-17-2006 at 11:00 AM.
Thanks for your reply. Actually, I've had a history of low blood pressure and passing out for years, way before all of this happened, so it's probably not related, and I haven't passed out again since the first time, I just get these sort of episodes of heightened symptoms where I feel like I'm going to pass out, and especially because of my history, it's terrifying for me.
I have seen a neurologist, and they're actually the only one of all my doctors who seemed to think the inner ear possibility was legitimate. I am starting to become really convinced that it is what's wrong with me, reading all these posts, so many of them sound so much like me.
Any tips for combatting this? How long did it take you to recover? Or did you? Does it ever go away?!!! It's been 9 months for me and the nausea has definitely lessened but the anxiety has only gotten worse.
your symptoms are a lot like mine and my dr thinks it is my inner ear that is causing all of this. i posted to u before on my thread but wasnt sure if u got to read it. anyway, i cant go anywhere by myself either. actually, im in my last semester in college and someone has to come with me to every single class i have, or i wont be able to go. i am 22 years old and feel like i have to have a babysitter because i am scared to to things by myself because of this lightheadedness. have you tried going to a vestibular physical therapist? my doctor never mentioned this treatment for me, and the only reason i knew about it is because i am going to grad school for PT, so i have been working for physical therapists for a long time. what they do is make u do head turning exercises (which may seem stupid at first) but it does work for most people, at least decreasing the symptoms a little. i've been going for 2 months and i feel ALOT better then i did before. when i first started going, i could barely walk. now i am doing so much better. for the first time i actually feel like this dizziness might not last forever. i still get anxiety a lot, but it is just something that will take time to work through.
I hope you start to feel better soon, too! That must be so tough to be trying to deal with classes and stuff- I just graduated in May, and then I got sick right afterwards, I don't know how I would have handled it if I'd still been in class, so I feel for you. I don't know what to do about graduate school, like I said I'm supposed to start in the fall, but I can't read for more than 20 minutes without getting completely dizzy and nauseous- which will make grad school pretty hard!
Thanks for the advice, I think I will look into physical therapy for this more. It was actually brought up to me in passing months ago, but at the time all of my doctors (except for one of them, a neurologist) seemed to be dismissing the idea that my problem is an inner ear problem, so I wasn't sure whether to pursue treatment for inner ear stuff, or just keep looking for what else might be wrong with me. But especially after reading some of the posts on here, I am becoming really convinced that I do have an inner ear problem. Every doctor I've talked to hasn't ever seemed to have heard of anyone having visual symptoms like mine, but reading this board, people are describing almost exactly the symptoms I have, it's amazing and kind of a relief, actually! The only thing is, all of my doctors kept saying with inner ear problems, they come and go, so that for part of the day you'll see and feel perfectly fine and then all of a sudden you'll turn your head too quickly and everything will swim around. And that's not the way it is with me- I mean, my symptoms go up and down, but on some level, they're always there. Like, I wake up every morning and my vision is off and remains that way all day- I feel dizzy and like I can't focus my eyes, and, like you said, like I'm looking through the bottom of a glass bottle, but 24/7. Is that the way it is for you, or does it come and go? I guess that's been the most confusing part of this for me- I would be 100% sure that I had an inner ear problem, except a lot of my doctors have said, no, if it was an inner ear problem, you'd see and feel totally normal a lot of the time, and I never really do. But they have done every kind of test there is on me, and one of the only things that showed anything was the vestibular test, which showed some abnormality on my right side. I just don't know what to think, it's so frustrating!
my problems are almost exactly as yours, and my dr thinks it is my inner ear...like you, my symtoms are there usually 24/7. The only symptom that is not there all the time is that feeling in my eyes...it is only there when i get really dizzy. However, the dizzyness never EVER subsides, it just feels better or worse sometimes. I also get stuffyness in my head and ears everyday. Do u have this problem too? The worse the stuffyness, the worse my visual symptoms are.
you definately sound like u have an inner ear problem. in fact, your dr should know that inner ear problems CAN cause constant symptoms that may last for many many months. you probably had some sort of infection or virus that went after your ear, which is what happened to me, and that can cause your symptoms to last a long time.
there are inner ear problems such as BPPV and meinere's disease in which the symptoms do come and go, and you would have times of feeling totally fine, but when u move your head the wrong way, you would get a spinning sensation of dizziness. im no doctor, but i doubt u have either of these because your dizziness is constant and not spinning, like mine.
my guess is that along the way, some ENT dr would probably diagnose you with an inner ear disorder. your symptoms are nearly identical to mine, and i have been to 4 doctors and all of them have said it was my inner ear. also, if u havent got one yet, get an MRI and make the ENT do more tests.
i've been given some good advice on this message board, especially not to worry that this is something that will harm you. it is just your ear, and it takes time to go away, but it will not harm your health in any way. i know how frustrating it is - i have cried quite a few times over this. i also have anxiety because of this too. just try to relax even though it is hard, and go to another dr.