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Old 05-04-2006, 02:30 AM   #1
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[new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone in here is doing good. I stumbled upon this forum after being told by my GP and ENT specialist that I'm struck with a viral inner-ear infection, and was told everything would resolve in about a month's time or so.

After reading through some of the forum posts, I must admit my symptoms are not nearly as severe as some of you seem to be experiencing, but nonetheless it's something that's caused me a great deal of anxiety. It first started with a 4-5 hour spell of tinnitus one afternoon, ending with an hour of vertigo and then everything seemed back to normal for the next 2 days. Then I woke up one morning about 3 days later feeling "weird", sort of like being detached from your surroundings.

I've never experienced any episodes of vertigo or tinnitus after that initial attack, but there seems to be a residual feeling of imbalance all the way, especially on bumpy bus rides or even just a fast scrolling of text on the computer monitor. Fast moving images like movies also tend to induce that "weird" feeling, and cause my neck muscles to tense up and worsen the whole feeling.

Now 6 weeks on and things seem to be better than when it first started. For one, the anxiety is a little better now (I'm 22 by the way, and had to go through my university exams during this period), but some of the symptoms still remain, mainly:
1) Tension in neck muscles especially after playing games even for a little while (I was told the neck is trying to maintain balance)
2) Eyes feel tired very easily now.
3) Anxiety, some nights I have difficulty getting to sleep and end up staying awake the whole night

Really sorry for the long post, but I hope some of you will be able to shed some light on what exactly I'm suffering from. I can relate to all of you saying that you don't feel "normal", cause that's exactly how I feel, but when I tell that to doctors they just shrug it off.

God bless everyone in here and speedy recovery to all

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:27 AM   #2
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

Hi, Cephadol,
So sorry you are having to join our "club"! Though I never suffered from the tinnitus, I, too, had only one incident of violent vertigo, then left with a horrible sense of disequilibrium.... I hate to tell you that I have been battling it for almost 1 1/2 years, though progress is coming... very slowly, but coming nonetheless.

As you'll read here, all your symptoms are very common with a vestibular disorder (the inner ear infection your dr. referred to), but what your dr, might not have mentioned is that there are some proactive things you can be doing to help your recovery. Read everything you can on the subject - the informational sticky at the top of this page will be a great place to start. Further testing is sometimes of benefit (in terms of pinning down your diagnosis), and there are special exercises that can help your brain compensate for the erroneous messages your "sick" vestibular nerve is sending it, called vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT).

There are specific, physiologic reasons why you are feeling disoriented, foggy and disconnected, as you will find in your research - most of us have been there, and know how incredibly frustrating and anxiety-producing it can be to feel so badly - esp. when the dr. tells you it's nothing to get worked up about.

You'll find great support, information and vestibular ""companionship" here - quite honestly, I think this board saved my sanity during my worst months.

Take care, and try to keep active, as hard as it might be and as bad as it might make you feel - every motion you make forces the brain to relearn. We're all pulling for you and walking through this bumpy road together!!!!!!

 
Old 05-04-2006, 12:52 PM   #3
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

Hi Cephadol,

Im 22 years old as well, and i just had finals last week, so i know how hard it is to deal with that. Ive been dizzy for nearly 6 months now, but am feeling much better then when I first became dizzy. Stress can make your symptoms worse, as i have learned, so finals week can certainly trigger worse symptoms. I never had true spinning vertigo, just constant lightheadedness, weird visual symptoms, and terribly bad anxiety. For me, having anxiety is the worst part of it, but if you keep pushing yourself, the anxiety will become less and less of a problem. I still have anxiety when i have to go out anywhere, but i am just pushing myself through, and i am starting grad school in a month (i refuse to have this dizziness thing make me take a year off)!!! Best of luck, Im sure you will find TONS of help and support on these boards.

Tiff

 
Old 05-07-2006, 01:39 AM   #4
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

Thanks for the replies.

I've tried trawling the web for articles on inner-ear disorders, but sometimes the more I read, the more I start imagining things that are not there. The ENT specialist did not do any tests for me other then an audiometry and some balance testing like standing with both eyes closed or walking in a straight line etc., and they all turned out fine, and neither did he recommend any VRT for me. Also, I'm not on medication now other than Vitamin B complex pills that I sometimes take in the morning. I'm now wondering if I should request for further testing for my vestibular functions.

I think the best description of my "dizzyness" is probably lightheadedness, and a fuzzy feeling in the head. Some symptoms seemed to have gotten better compared to a few weeks ago, at least I can travel in a bus or car without my neck feeling totally tensed up, and my eyes also don't seem as sensitive to bright light nowadays.

However, I still can't stay on the computer for too long before my eyes start feeling tired and sort of lose their focus, and my neck also start to tense up, although not as bad as a few weeks ago. The anxiety has probably gotten better, but it's still constantly there, causing me to feel down very easily, and many times, I just feel very aimless. I know it's probably not going to go off easily, but I just hope I'll be able to feel good soon.

Looking forward to hearing from those of you with the same symptoms as me.

Cheers

PS I'm from Singapore by the way

Last edited by Cephadol; 05-07-2006 at 01:42 AM.

 
Old 05-07-2006, 08:09 AM   #5
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

Hi, all the way to Singapore!!!

Sounds like you are already seeing some relief in the decrease of your symptoms - that is good, and it is likely that you will be one of the lucky ones that kicks this thing more quickly than others of us have been able to.

You might take a look at some of the VRT called "gaze stabilization." (You'll find them easily, either in the information archive on this page, or just through a search online.) They may help you get rid of those eye symptoms you're describing - at least it's worth a try!!!! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you are going to see those fuzzy feelings slowly, but surely, disappear.

Good luck!!!

 
Old 05-07-2006, 08:14 AM   #6
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

Benign Positional Vertigo
That's what I was diagnosed with by a neurologist...took him 5 minutes to "fix" me. I had severe vertigo when rolling over in bed and changing positions..also had some pretty intense head cramping..I was so relieved when I found out what was going on and even more relieved when he made it go away sooo quickly

 
Old 05-07-2006, 12:26 PM   #7
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

You are so fortunate to have such a treatable inner ear disorder!!!! The rest of us with VN and labyrinthitis wish we were as lucky. So glad you are feeling so much better - it's a horrible thing to be dizzy all the time, isn't it!

 
Old 05-08-2006, 04:00 AM   #8
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

Appreciate all your replies

Like what alot of people said in other posts, anxiety is probably the worst symptom of this whole madness.

For me, part of it stems from the fact that my giddiness symptoms are comparatively mild, and yet I'm still constantly feeling out of touch and brain-fogged. It's really tough feeling so down everyday, even little things can be depressing or demoralising. I really hope the anxiety is not a psychological problem, and that it will go away as I gradually recover, cause there's really no other way to explain it since I've not undergone any major lifestyle changes or events. The sticky has a link to one thread where there are differing expert views on how the anxiety is brought on.

There's something I'm pretty baffled about though, if you read my first post, for about 2 days after the initial vertiginous attack and tinnitus, I felt PERFECTLY fine, ie, no anxiety, no perceived imbalance, no neck tension when using the computer etc.. The whole brain-fog only set in around the 3rd day onwards and has been with me since. What could be a possible reason for this lag time?

 
Old 05-08-2006, 08:23 AM   #9
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

My personal experience with my inner ear injury is that there just isn't an exact way of knowing exactly how it all unfolds. I, too, had only one majory attack of upside down vertigo... then was left with disequilibrium that was scary, but not all the time - but it eventually, weeks and weeks later, left me completely unfunctionable and ill. I don't think it necessarily happens in predictable steps.

We are complicated beings - perhaps it just took a few days for your brain to sort out what was going on - then the fogginess came as a result of the brain sorting things out. Who knows? The reality is that you now feel spaced out, and as you've read, this is such a common side effect of the vestibular injury.

I wish I had known that at first, as well. I felt like I was losing my mind, couldn't remember all sorts of "regular things" - but now, a year later, I have lost all that sense of disorientation and "weirdness." It will pass for you, too. If the anxiety remains a concern, truly interfering with your life, perhaps you can consult your dr. about it. (I have always said that I wish these ENTs could experience what an inner ear disorder feels like, just for even a week - then they would be far more sympathetic!)

 
Old 05-08-2006, 08:52 AM   #10
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

Hi Cephadol,

I know exactly how you feel. I have been going through the same since Saturday and still has the same feeling today as well.
I am feeling like I am walking on the moon with funny feeling all over the body especially in the head.
I agree the anxiety part as is very hard as I am going through it right now. It is very tough. Feels like the heart rate is pumping faster..
I was in the church yesterday and had the same feeling.
Praying without ceasing.
This too shall pass...

Paul

 
Old 05-08-2006, 03:16 PM   #11
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

This is such a relief to find this board. I have been suffering with alot of the same symptoms you have all described. Lightheadedness,giddiness,feelings of detacthment, dizziness (not whirling or spinning) Major anxiety.
I already have a strike against me because i am 34 and have sufferd from anxiety disorder for 29 years (yes since 5 years old). I to get that "weird" feeling if something on tv flys by quickly or if the computer page scrolls to fast.
i've had this off and on for 2 years but its been extremly bad the last 16 days.As you can imagine my anxiuety disorder has been working overtime.
the reason that made it come about 16 days ago was i played a video came on my computer all day (i know dumb idea). Well when i get off the pooter i felt like my mind was still in the game, and the "weird" feeling and dizzy spells, lightheadedness came back and have been with me since. My mind no longer feels like its in the game but now i have all those feelings that i described above. The worst is the feelings of detathcment, it brings on an anxiety that is so bad that i want to run for the hills.
Can someone tell me how to stop this?


Frank M.

 
Old 05-08-2006, 05:09 PM   #12
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

Maybe those who have dealt with strong anxiety issues along with their inner ear disorders can better give you advise. (I, thankfully, didn't seem to be plagued with that unless I got in a situation that totally aggravated my vestibular symptoms, like driving in the fast lane of the freeway with a wall close to my left side or, in the beginning, even a store! That's when I'd feel the anxiety big time.)

First, it might be helpful for you to pin down your diagnosis. I actually think there are quite a few people walking around under the assumption that their problem is only anxiety - not realizing that a vestibular disorder can bring about those very same symptoms! (I also think there are quite a few drs. that don't equate anxiety with vestibular issues, too.) That's not to say that every person dealing with anxiety issues has some sort of vest. issue, it's just that my feeling is that it's pretty widely underdiagnosed and undertreated.

The fact that your symptoms are exacerbated by visual stimuli makes me think of how that has been my case in the past. Start reading the posts on this board, and you just might identify some of the challenges you've been facing. I have a definite diagnosis of a vestibular injury, and never had the visual problems until that time.

How easy would it be for you to get a referral to an ENT, or better yet, a neurotologist? They are the ones that would be able to give you a clearer diagnosis, and get a better idea of what's going on with your vestibular system.... and even then, sometimes the tests are inconclusive, leaving the drs. to simply go by the patient's discription of things. There are some very gray areas in this field, which is pretty hard to deal with when you're the one whose life is so negatively impacted!!!!!

Good luck! (You might want to start a new post so that those who are better at dealing with the anxiety aspect of inner ear disorders will see your comments. It might get "buried" in post.)

 
Old 05-09-2006, 01:17 PM   #13
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Re: [new member] Looking for advice on "viral inner-ear infection"

Thank You

 
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