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Old 06-14-2013, 05:10 AM   #1
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Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

Hi,

I'm new to this board.

Yesterday, I have been diagnosed to have vestibular neuritis. The doctor said my VNG balance test shows that the balance system in my left ear is not normal. My hearing test is normal.

I started to have bad dizziness and anxiety in Dec 2012. I wonder if my anxiety is caused by the vestibular neuritis. I was not able to drive since Dec 2012.

My doctor (a neuro-otologist) prescribed me Scopolamine patch; however, this patch makes me a lot more dizzy, feeling unsteady. So, the doctor told me to stop using this patch.

I have also tried Meclizine but I feel my anxiety is worse when I take it. All anxiety medication (such as xanax and klonopin) will makes my dizziness worse.

The doctor also told me to follow up with a physical therapist.

I have some questions:
1. What other medication can I take to help my dizziness & anxiety.
2. How to speed up the recovery? I am sick for 7 months.
3. Can my anxiety come from this vestibular neuritis?

Additional info: I'm a male, 29 years old.

 
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:45 AM   #2
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

Hi sub7. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I have VN as well. I have been going through this the same amount of time you have. The anxiety is frightening. For me, there is a rush of adrenaline. My brain will tell me that I am going to hit the floor when things start spinning.

I haven't taken a great deal of meds and have even heard that some meds may slow down your recovery process, of the brain adapting. You may ask that question from a doc which meds exactly can slow it down.

That being said, I've taken lorazapam for a few weeks only, and am now taking a beta-blocker 2-3 times a day, called inderal, or also called propanerol. It stops the rush of adrenaline and helps me quite a bit.
A non-medicative solution that helps with anxiety and stress I've been doing is meditation. I meditate 2 to 3 times a day. I realize not every one can do this. I am not working right now so I have the time.

Also I've been doing vestibular rehabilitation as well, working with a physical therapist. I'm on my sixth week of PT and am compensating, improving quite a bit. You can get a referal from a GP or ENT for physical therapy.

Hope this helps!

 
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:08 AM   #3
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

The anxiety, for me, is actually worse than the symptoms of VN. It's just debilitating at times. Too scared to drive, which has been a real problem for our family. In fact, it was a full on panic attack that brought me to the ER during this nightmare. Still struggling with what to do.

My doctor did give me a prescription for Valium but of course told me not to take it unless it's absolutely necessary, because it does slow down recovery. So, I've got a bottle of 40 pills and have only taken 2 during this entire 3 month nightmare. And it's hard not to want to just take a pill, because I felt close to normal when I did! The dizziness really subsided and so did the anxiety on just 2 mg. (I broke the pill in half.) It's hard to know there are drugs that can alleviate these awful symptoms that we are not really allowed to take. The ultimate Catch-22! I'm terrified of becoming addicted and also want this to go away naturally. So, I am sitting here, now, dizzy and slightly nauseous. And I've got a meeting today.

I have to feel better. This has just been going on for too long. I have tried VRT, but not consistently--perhaps it's time to go back and start that again.

This is the worst thing, physically, that has ever happened to me. I'm a pretty healthy person, and extremely active (not athletic-active, but MOM active!), and this is just a total pain! I am getting better--inch by slow inch--but not knowing if this is my total fate is really frustrating. Is this really the way it's going to be forever???? Nobody knows!

Last edited by Administrator; 07-07-2013 at 06:26 PM.

 
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:50 PM   #4
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

"I have some questions:
1. What other medication can I take to help my dizziness & anxiety.
2. How to speed up the recovery? I am sick for 7 months.
3. Can my anxiety come from this vestibular neuritis?"

From what I've read, you should not be taking any medication for the dizziness, as it makes it harder for your brain to function and process balance information, especially what you're doing in physical therapy. You should talk to your vestibular therapist about how long it takes to get better, once you start the therapy. And yes, having VN and being dizzy lots of the time will DEFINITELY create anxiety! Hopefully, once you get started with therapy and start to get some positive results, you'll be less anxious.

 
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:09 PM   #5
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

My dizziness started in December of 2012. I am still dizzy now. Can it last that long??

 
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:56 PM   #6
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

I just don't know the answer to that question, but I would think that vestibular therapy would help you to adapt. Is there a reason why you haven't followed through with the therapy?

 
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:22 AM   #7
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

Hi I'm going through the same thing I've had this for just 13 weeks its horrid any anti sickness dizziness tablets slow down recovery (stop compensation) a good ENT will tell you to stop taking them I've been taking betahistine which slows it down but not as much as anti sickness dizziness tabs the only thing you can do to get better is VRT drink plenty of water eat healthy no salts or coffee I'm petrified that I am going to be like this forever the person to see about this is a nurotologist I live in the uk and they are few and far between and when you have a doctor that says it will go on its own its <upsetting>.

I haven't even had a diagnosis or been referred to VRT so no matter what it looks like I'm in it for the long hall every body recovers I believe just at there own pace you really do need to go to VRT there is nothing else you can do for this problem it's a big waiting game take each day as it comes its so hard to do that but try also go in to you tube and type in vestibular rehabilitation exercises do theses at home twice a day until you go to VRT I hope this helps and I also hope you get better soon it unfortunately is completely normal for people to suffer from this for months even years x

Last edited by Administrator; 07-07-2013 at 06:28 PM.

 
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:59 AM   #8
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by donnaisdizzy View Post
The anxiety, for me, is actually worse than the symptoms of VN. It's just debilitating at times. Too scared to drive, which has been a real problem for our family. In fact, it was a full on panic attack that brought me to the ER during this nightmare. Still struggling with what to do.

My doctor did give me a prescription for Valium but of course told me not to take it unless it's absolutely necessary, because it does slow down recovery. So, I've got a bottle of 40 pills and have only taken 2 during this entire 3 month nightmare. And it's hard not to want to just take a pill, because I felt close to normal when I did! The dizziness really subsided and so did the anxiety on just 2 mg. (I broke the pill in half.) It's hard to know there are drugs that can alleviate these awful symptoms that we are not really allowed to take. The ultimate Catch-22! I'm terrified of becoming addicted and also want this to go away naturally. So, I am sitting here, now, dizzy and slightly nauseous. And I've got a meeting today.

I have to feel better. This has just been going on for too long. I have tried VRT, but not consistently--perhaps it's time to go back and start that again.

This is the worst thing, physically, that has ever happened to me. I'm a pretty healthy person, and extremely active (not athletic-active, but MOM active!), and this is just a total pain in the ***! I am getting better--inch by slow inch--but not knowing if this is my total fate is really frustrating. Is this really the way it's going to be forever???? Nobody knows!
Donna, the VRT is worth it. Definitely. I've recovered by leaps and bounds. I understand about feeling unhealthy. I am an active Mom of 2 boys which I homeschool. AND I was training to be a fitness teacher! There's something about this illness that makes me feel unhealthy although I know I am not. Some days I feel 90 years old because of tiredness and loss of mobility. But I encourage the therapy. It is expensive and our insurance covers very little of it. I feel bad about that for the sake of my family but I have to get back to life as soon as possible, it's worth it! Hang in there! I understand, it's so so difficult. Some day it'll all be over.

 
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:07 AM   #9
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by sub7 View Post
My dizziness started in December of 2012. I am still dizzy now. Can it last that long??
Mine started in October 2012!! BUT I am about 80% better than I was since then.
I've been in vestibular rehab for a month and since then, I've gotten so much better. I encourage it, it's worth it. I have another month of it set up. Not only do I have the skills to deal with the vertigo, dizziness, swaying, but it is improving overall. My brain and visual system is compensating for the impairment. I was told I had 20% damage to my right ear. Sometimes I lean to the left side!
I'm better. Yesterday, I went on a nature walk on a rocky, brambly path. I stood on an incline by a stream. Several weeks ago, I would have NOT been able to do that. There would have been no way.
It's been a long time for us. I understand, it's such a long, crazy road!! Keep moving, don't give up, you can do it. From what I've heard, getting up and moving, but not pushing it, going gently, will get you well faster.

 
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:38 PM   #10
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberWaves91 View Post
Mine started in October 2012!! BUT I am about 80% better than I was since then.
I've been in vestibular rehab for a month and since then, I've gotten so much better. I encourage it, it's worth it. I have another month of it set up. Not only do I have the skills to deal with the vertigo, dizziness, swaying, but it is improving overall. My brain and visual system is compensating for the impairment. I was told I had 20% damage to my right ear. Sometimes I lean to the left side!
I'm better. Yesterday, I went on a nature walk on a rocky, brambly path. I stood on an incline by a stream. Several weeks ago, I would have NOT been able to do that. There would have been no way.
It's been a long time for us. I understand, it's such a long, crazy road!! Keep moving, don't give up, you can do it. From what I've heard, getting up and moving, but not pushing it, going gently, will get you well faster.
Amber: I really needed to see this post! I'm having a very low day--something that might sound insignificant happened. I couldn't pick my daughter up from a sleepover (still too hard to drive long distances), and had to ask the other mom to bring her home--and inform this mom about my situation--which is getting really irritating and humiliating! I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I do. I'm SO tired of having to explain to people what's going on. Nobody gets it! Everyone understands dizziness, but this is so much more! The cognition issues and the difficulty with hanging in there during group conversations is something I would have never expected! And, another very minor thing but still JOY killing is that I can't sing along to songs while driving in the car! Sounds crazy, but it's hard enough for me to drive without the panic setting in, but the minute my brain has to also figure out how to keep up with the music on the radio too--I get a bit lightheaded! Just too much to handle. So, yet another soul-killing aspect of this crappy disorder!!!

I actually don't feel that bad today--good news! But it's unpredictable and driving is still terrifying. I have got to get this anxiety under control! I am struggling with perhaps going back on anti-depressants, which I took 12 years ago after my daughter was born. I took them for about 6 months and they did help--but I don't like to take drugs and the numbness I felt was not great--but they were definitely needed then and they helped. The options are not great: SSRIs, Benzos (habit-forming), Meclizine (slows or stops compensation). What are we to do???!!!!!

I did read a study that suggested that SSRIs actually may help with Vestibular Disorders, and I am finally at the end of my rope with this panic crap. I have to be able to drive and live my life at some point! It's summer and I'm a teacher so I've been lucky that I don't have to get to work, but the clock is ticking, and I have to get it together in about 6 weeks. I have ZERO confidence that this will be gone by then. None. I've reached and passed every deadline I've been given. It's been 12 weeks. Doctor said 12 weeks. It's better--that's true, but it's still here. And I need to be able to manage it by mid-August. That's just 6 weeks away. If I'm going to start those darn SSRIs I need to do it soon since they take awhile to kick in.

I'm so depressed (not clinically, since I have been there and know what that's about), but I'm just bummed to have been dealth this hand. It's crappy. I do try to walk every day and keep up with my activities (besides driving) and I think that has helped. But perhaps I do go back to VRT (gotta be able to get there, though!).

I'm rambling....Just so you know I'm so encouraged by your post. It's just nice to know I'm not alone. Thank you so much!

 
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #11
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

Hi Donna...that doesn't sound insignificant at all. Even the simplest things are trying with this illness and explaining it to some one is frustrating. It's so hard to describe what it's like. I drive around but I don't like it. Being a passenger feels even worse to me. The other day we drove through the mountains on a windy road and really wish we hadn't. I felt so much worse the other day.
I've explained it to some neighbors what I have. It's so uncommon no one really knows what it is or what it's like. I explained it to a lady on my street who is a breast cancer survivor and at least understands what it's like to go through a long illness, the fatigue and the struggle of it.

I'm glad that my post has uplifted you. With VRT, it can aid you in giving you the skills you need to get through your day, to stand up at the lectern and talk, or what have you.

I hear you on the drugs. I don't like taking the pharmas either. I'm taking an SSRI, trazadone for sleep because I have jaw joint pain on top of what I have. I definitley understand the depression symptoms that come with this. I have moments when I need to lay down and cry, I've let myself do that, just not too long. I try to think that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, an end to all of this, knowing I'm getting better.But, meanwhile, it sucks dealing with it day to day. I know I'm improving, overall, try to focus on that and that keeps me going. My physical therapist said if I continue to do the exercises, I will eventually recover nearly fully.

I hear you on it some times taking the joy out of things. I love to dance, and I can't do that anymore. I also love to read, but it is limited right now because my visual system is really affected and I start getting spinny and have to close the book.

Have you started the VRT? Keep me posted, would love to hear of your progress.
It helps to read your post too and know I'm not alone.

 
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

Amber: Thanks for this reply! I have gotten my prescription for Zoloft and after much soul-searching, I think I will need to take it. I just need to take the edge off of this panic! I'm really panicky today, for example and can't imaagine if I had to drive somewhere.

The The Zoloft would help with the panic but would do nothing for the vertigo. My internist completely disagrees with not taking the Meclizine for relief, for example. She says I should give this 6 months to resolve itself or not--and then seek relief (take Meclizine). I know it's not the smart thing to do, and every ENT says to stay off the meds.

Everything I read says to stay off the meds--so I've been sucking it up. I don 't want to take Meclizine either, because it does make me sleepy and I don't want to be on it forever. But at what point do we know whether we've reached the level of compensation we're ever going to reach?

Also--do SSRIs slow compensation? I haven't seen anything that says they do and in fact, like I said earlier, I think one study suggested things might improve. I was so encouraged to see that you are taking something to help. This gives me the courage to do so as well. It's always such a big step to consider taking any medication, but we are sick, and it's just cruel to think we have the one illness where medication is the enemy.

It's a low day for me--I don't feel horrible, but emotionally, I'm tired. I'm totally drained, and your posts are a real help! I hope to share better news soon. In the meantime, please take care and keep in touch!!

Last edited by Administrator; 07-07-2013 at 06:24 PM.

 
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #13
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

Hi Donna,

I certainly understand why you'd want to take something off the edge of anxiety. It's one of the biggest symptoms of VN, I think. You still have to go on with your day, and if it makes it possible for you to work, and get through it more comfortably, but slows it down a little, then that may work for you.
I'm taking a beta blocker, inderal, which stops the fight-or-flight feeling at least. Haven't read anything about it slowing compensation down. I'm glad to hear the SSRI's down. You know I think the trazadone is helping? I've taken it for a couple of weeks, and it makes a difference because it acts as a anti-anxiety and anti-depressant, go figure. I'm one to try not to be on the pharmas, but this is just temporary, or so I hope. I feel more calm somehow.
I say anything that helps safely, we have to be able to live. So zoloft, or any alternative remedy can be helpful, that is non habit-forming. This is generally a temporary illness, albeit one with a long recovery time, so temporary meds or anything that aids are welcome.
Yes, let's continue to stay in touch and share updates. Take care.

 
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:58 AM   #14
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

Hello
I have been having problems with lightheadedness and inner ear dysfunction since March 2012. Having inner ear problems can cause major anxiety. Because you are already having problems with balance, dizziness, etc, then when you are a concerned about it, the stress makes it worse. I completely understand what you mean. I have only driven a handful of time the past 1.5 years and it's very depressing and frustrating because I was the type of person who would jump in the car and go. I never thought twice about driving and now I feel like I'll never be the same. The ENT didn't do much in March last year. I told him I thought it might be this virus I've read up on and he said no it's not. Well, yes it was and he didn't diagnose that until two months later! Very upsetting. Now with the damage done to the inner ear nerve, my brain must compensate and I was doing much, much better over the summer until the end of September and now it's bothering me again. Do any of you feel like you're in a bad dream and can't wake up? I felt like this about 3-4 times since this September. I did not feel that bad in the past. It's extremely scary because you feel like you're going to lose your mind. Anyone else have some dreamy feelings? Again, the anxiety is horrible because it keeps me from doing the things I want to do and need to do. You have my sympathy. It can take quite a long time to completely recover but you should. I think I'm just having a relapse or something. I will be making an appointment with the inner ear doctor this week. You might want to make an appointment with one, they are called a neuro-tologist. Wish you the best!
~Nicole

 
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:18 PM   #15
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Re: Question about vestibular neuritis and anxiety

just wanted to tune in and see how everyone is doing?Im 9 months in seems like yearsbut im staying active as possible and hanging in there.Got a cold week ago so unfortunately that set me back,errrr.has anyone else suffered a cold or virus while dealing with chronic labs?I feel bad again and I was doing so well before i got the cold.

 
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