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Old 05-08-2003, 07:03 AM   #1
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doyle HB User
Smile inner ear disorder and anxiety attacks correlation

I know this story is long, so if you are unable to read it completely. The short version is, I would like to know if anyone has exeperienced or is experiencing anxiety/panic attacks as a result of an inner ear disorder. PLEASE HELP!!!, and if you have time read my story.

doyle

Greetings Everyone,

I am new to this board and I am despreatly in search of some answers.My story goes as follows.

In December of 2001 I had a very bad cold and as it cleared up I was left with alot of fluid in my left ear. It was so much fluid, I also noticed a significant decrease in hearing loss. At this time my symptoms were fluid in my left ear only, loss of hearing in that ear, and on occassion I could hear my heart beat in my left ear. I had no pain or fever.

When I saw my primary care physician (January 2002) he referred to ear as having so much fluid that it was swimming.
I was placed on two sets of antibiotics and referred to an ENT physician.

I was seen by the ENT doctor within two week of my primary care physicians appointment and was still on antibiotics. The ENT doctor confirmed that fluid was in my ear gave me a sample of nasonex antihistmine to add to the medication that I was already taken. He said that he wanted to wait and see if it would clear up.

Three days later after a long drive home from work, I experience what would be the start of severe anxiety/panic attacks. I was home for ten minutes and all of a sudden my heart was pounding. I thought that I was having a heart attack. From that point on I felt terrible. I was experiencing these feelings of nervousness, and anxiety that I had never felt before in my life and I did not know why I was feeling this way. I was not under any unusual amounts of stress and never had anxiety before. I also at the time did not really correlate the two, my ear and these feelings.

Fast forward to November 2002, I have changed ENT doctors due to not getting any results with the quack. My new doctor does a hearing test and I am completely def in my left ear. She also confirms fluid, I am perscribed antibiotics again. It is now one year since I origionally had this problem. I dont have as much fluid as I did a year ago but I do have fluid. My hearing is 98% gone. As for the anxiety at this point it is not as severe as it was initially but it comes and goes.

It is now March 2003 and guess what, I STILL HAVE FLUID IN MY EAR. My new doctor has decided to try one last try of antibotics and if that does not work she would put a tube in my ear.

April 2003, There has been some major improvement since I completed the last two perscription. My hearing is back. However, the ENT doctor confirms that there is a little fluid still in my ear. She wants me to continue seeing her on a follow up basis every three months. The anxiety is also MUCH better but still there.

In reflecting over the course of this disorder, It is ironic that the anxiety started shortly after my ear disorder was diagnosed and I have noticed that when my ear was full of fluid and at its worse the anxiety was also most severe. As the ear disorder has gradually improved so as the level and severity of my anxiety.

In regards to the anxiety, I have had numerous test to rule out other health conditions that may cause anxiety such as throid and heart problems. In addition to seeing my primary care physician, I have seen a cardiologist and a endocrinologist. The overall diagnosis of what the doctors think have caused my anxiety is stress. It is all in my head appearantly.

My fustrated response is, I AM NOT STRESSED. I dont have any emotional problems and I am not crazy. I know that the cause of my anxiety is related to my ear disorder. I am not a person who worries and I have never been abused.

The point of all of this is that over the course of this disorder I do believe it is greatly related to my anxiety. I am in search of others who may be dealing with the same issue. I would love to hear your story or any source of documented studies or research regarding this matter(anxiety caused by inner ear disorders). Also, I would like to know of any treatment or medication that are usually used in situatios like these.

Thank you for your time.

doyle




[This message has been edited by doyle (edited 05-08-2003).]

[This message has been edited by doyle (edited 05-08-2003).]

[This message has been edited by doyle (edited 05-08-2003).]

 
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:22 AM   #2
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hbep HB Userhbep HB Userhbep HB User
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HI there Doyle,

I don't really know how to answer this, other than to say that in my opinion you are absolutely right, for some reason ear disorders cause anxiety, so much so that people are often misdiagnosed with anxiety rather than an ear disorder. In that respect you are 'fortunate' that they can actually see the fluid in your ear, otherwise that fate might have befallen you. There is a study which makes the link btwn ear disorders and anxiety, I came across references to it on one of my many trawls through the internet but am afraid I can't remember the name.

Some doctors don't understand the link so they deny there is one, simple as that. For example, ear disorders cause something called 'brainfog' a confusion of thought. I have now read countless descriptions of people with different ear disorders and brainfog comes up again and again. The otologist I saw completely denied that brainfog is a component of ear disorders. Over and over again ear disorder sufferers speak of it, so much so that even medical documents acknowledge it but (unbelievably) some still put the proviso that they don't think it's part of the ear condition. Very good vestibular therapist who work with a lot of patients seem to fully acknowledge it and be aware of it, probably because the evidence is so overwhelming, but again and again some ENT's and oto's deny it.

In my opinion, they don't scientifically know why these cognitive /anxiety symptoms are caused by an ear disorder, so it's easiest to pretend there is no link btwn anxiety/brainfog and the ear disorder itself, rather than admit there is one but they can't yet explain it. Hazarding a guess, whatever is happening in the ears, panics and confuses the brain, causing it to panic, irrespective of whether you actually feel panicked/anxious or not. A subconscious reaction over which you have little control.

The good news is that if you manage to kick the full ear, the anxiety will, therefore, go.
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Old 05-16-2003, 10:46 PM   #3
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Dr. Levinson's site might help explain the relationship between anxiety and vestibular dysfunction. He has a book called "Phobia Free". Wish there were more doctor's who looked into this relationship 'casue as you've pointed out there does seem to be a direct correlation as so many people complain of it.

 
Old 05-17-2003, 02:24 AM   #4
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brina HB User
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HI doyle,
i really know how u r feeling. its the same for me, i am anxious ,depressed, to the point of feeling completely incapacitated. and this is all due to the fact that my balance has gone . i admit i did used to have anxiety at times , but not like this, i feel terrified at times . idont want to sound like a downer, but as with your experience of tinnitus. i was also the same 12 years ago. like i am now . but this time . i think im worse. with the tinnitus , for u there is a good chance it will go. if not it will recede into the background. true.
i hope i dont sound confusing , but i find it very hard to concentrate. and feel my spellings are getting worse. i went to see a neuro specialist yesterday, and he said anxiety worry , makes it worse, and has prescribed for me also some anti anx. med.
i feel as though i have retreated into myself.and all that im used to doesnt look the same anymore, it makes me sad for my children. who r full of beans. and want mummy to be there, normal , as usual, but im different because of this. balance problem.
im so glad that all of u here r kind and understanding
brina

 
Old 05-17-2003, 09:45 AM   #5
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MSG41 HB User
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I have a history of panic attacks- I remeber the first one sitting in a movie theatre, and got up and went outside- it totally freaked me out. A feeling of, well, complete terror. After the third time, several years later, I convinced myself, no I'm not having a heart attack, just calm down. And I did, for the most part. So when I started having dizzy attacks and all the wonderful things that go with them, the panic came screaming back. I think, for some reason, the balance thing is really close to the core of our consciousness, and when it goes, we freak. But don't. The fact is that anti anxiety medicines are extremely effective for panic. Hyperventalaion can be diagnosed by breathing into a paper bag, for example. Just knowing whats wrong can be such a relief. I don't know how many accounts I have read here of people freaked out, thinking it was a brain tumor, (myself included) then the releif when the ct comes back negative.

 
Old 05-19-2003, 09:49 AM   #6
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shaolin HB User
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man, you guys are just the best, i used to think i was the only one who sufferd from anxiety attacks, its good to know there are others like me.
anyway one form of therapy that helps is exercised especially streneous exercised , usually in panic attacks the body acts as though its losing oxygen and blood rushes to the vital organs , thats why you feel as blood rushing to your brain and heavy breathing.
exercise helps you breath deeply and in the event of a panic attack the body can fight the mind.
anyway just try and get some breathing exercise anytime you feel an attack drawing near.

 
Old 05-19-2003, 09:50 AM   #7
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shaolin HB User
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man, you guys are just the best, i used to think i was the only one who sufferd from anxiety attacks, its good to know there are others like me.
anyway one form of therapy that helps is exercise especially streneous exercises , usually in panic attacks the body acts as though its losing oxygen and blood rushes to the vital organs , thats why you feel blood rushing to your brain and heavy breathing.
exercise helps you breath deeply and in the event of a panic attack the body can fight the mind.
anyway just try and get some breathing exercises anytime you feel an attack drawing near.

 
Old 05-25-2003, 08:02 PM   #8
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kmnorris HB User
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I have Meniere's disease, and the docs put me on valium at first then on meclazine. I was allergic to the valium. I was also seeing another doctor for muscle spasms and she put me on sarafem because the muscle spasms were related to stress. I know this sound odd, but the sarafem has helped me just as much with my vertigo as it has with my muscle spasms. Makes you wonder if the anxiety caused the vertigo(ear disorders) or if the ear disorders contribute the anxiety.

 
Old 05-25-2003, 08:55 PM   #9
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sorry to hear about your tough luck Doyle. i can totally relate to your stress thing. Anxiety was the first diognosis i got. i couldn't believe it because i'm a really giggley, spunky person. i think hbep was right about stress being connected with inner ear problems. it would make sense because your brain is getting the wrong signals, so even if you don't feel stressed out, your brain probably is. i know now i could really use some Effexor or Paxil or whatever other dope enhanced drugs doctors have come out with!
Good luck, i hope you feel better soon. i could imagine having ear problems for that long!
Anastasia

 
Old 05-27-2003, 02:53 PM   #10
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doyle HB User
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Thank you all for the responses and advise. I hope that everyone had a good weekend and is feeling well.

I had a really bad week last week, however today I am feel good. My ear is full and clicking/popping but I do not feel spacey. I wish this could go away for good. On Thursday I am having a ENG/Caloric test. I am anxious to find the results.

Thats all for now.

doyle

 
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