I have experienced some 'drop attacks' (I think that's what they'd be labelled), and I would like to know what type of specialist I should ask my GP to refer me to. I don't know if the drop attacks are seizure related or inner ear related. In the case of seizure, I guess I would ask to be referred to a neurologist. But if they are inner-ear related, what type of specialist should I ask to be referred to?
(I have posted a description of the 'attacks' in a previous thread, though I have also copy-pasted it below.)
There is no warning. I lose sense of what direction is up and what is down. It feels like the room or street is swaying (not spinning - it is more like the tipping I would expect from a severe earthquake).
I'm not sure if this tipping/swaying is because I am losing balance and therefore my sense of what is up and what is down (vertigo), or if it's because I'm falling and therefore viewing the world at the angle my head is. But the predominant feeling is of the ground swaying/tipping.
I collapse to the ground and it lasts for a few seconds.
I'm not sure, there may be temporary paralysis, for a few seconds - it is difficult to tell, but I think I lose control of my muscles. It happened a few days ago when I was sitting on the bus: my head tipped over to one side and I couldn't move for a few seconds while it lasted.
It has happened 4 times in my life. One time when I was standing, once when I was walking, and twice while I was sitting.
I was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I was not particularly hot or cold, and one of the times I was outside in the fresh air. There is no pain.
I am male, 33 years old.
The first time it happened was approximately 8 years ago, the second time approximately 7.5 years ago. Then the third time wasn't until about 2 months ago. And the fourth time was a few days ago.
If anybody has any ideas about what this could be, or ideas on what area I should research to try to find out, I would be very appreciative of any info.
Re: What type of specialist should I see for this..?
sounds like you are having a horrible time. I had read about these drop attacks when I was looking for information about Menieres disease. I think they are called Tumarkin's Otolithic Crisis (the otolithic organs are to do with sensing gravity) and I found the following description: Sudden, spontaneous fall to the ground without prior warning experienced by some people with Meniere's disease and non-Meniere's endolymphatic hydrops. It occurs without warning, vertigo, nausea or vomiting, sweating, disequilibrium, loss of consciousness, numbness or paralysis.
If it is this then it is probably more appropriate for you to be referred to a neuro-otologist, as they are inner ear spacialists. Are you anywhere near London? If so ask your gp to refer you to The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queens Square as there is neuro-otology department within the main hospital so if they think you also need to see a neurologist they can refer you straight over. Even if you are away from London it might still be worth getting referred there as I think they are the best in the country and you shouldn't have to wait long for an appointment - I got referred there and was seen in just over 3 weeks.
If it is Tumarkins related to Menieres or hydrops I think it is very manageable. Good luck